LP Pasanno's advice for a mind that keeps fizzling with thought

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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TLCD96
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LP Pasanno's advice for a mind that keeps fizzling with thought

Post by TLCD96 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:46 pm

Hi all,

I just recently left Abhayagiri after a 2 week stay. This is after about a year of practice where it seemed my meditation was not going anywhere. I had an approach where I thought I would use Buddho to settle my mind on my breath and build a foundation for investigation; but that settling never seemed to arrive, as my thoughts would constantly (and somewhat quietly) be chattering away. Over time it also seemed that I had forgotten what it meant to investigate; I guess in the couple of years before investigation was something fun and easy because I was exploring new territory for myself, but over time my mind became somewhat desensitized and uninterested in those things, and I felt that I had needed to prioritize settling of mind as opposed to investigation. I had also thought that I reached a point where simply being mindful of these phenomena could qualify as investigation; I began to discard the conceptual frameworks taught by the Buddha in favor of simple mondfulness. Even though insight seemed to lacking, I thought that patience alone with this method would bring some change.

So I asked LP what might be useful for my mind which keeps on fizzing with thought and can't find a concrete means of investigation. This is all from memory:

He said that this is where it's useful to use the Buddha's conceptual frameworks. In order for the mind's thinking-oriented energies to settle into stillness, first the mind should gather and utilize those energies skillfully with a theme such as the 32 parts, 16 tetrads of anapanasati, etc. If the mind does not do this, then the most settling would likely be nodding off into sleep. Skillful application of thought gives the mind a focused energy and would eventually give it the momentum to discard thought and drop into stillness.

For investigation, this could be approached with wisdom-related themes, especially the three characteristics and four noble truths.

I also had a chance, with thai friends, to talk with Ajahn Sek about wisdom. He said that even a stupid person can have sati; in order for wisdom to arise, one needs to skillfully think and reflect on the workings of the mind with sampajanna, clear comprehension or self awareness.

Hope this is helpful!
All of us are bound by birth, aging, and death.

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