A clear mind more important than listening to music

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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manas
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Re: A clear mind more important than listening to music

Post by manas » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:47 am

Could someone kindly define 'kamaguna' please? 'Kaama' refers to sensuality, but 'guna' means what exactly (in this context)?

:anjali:
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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Polar Bear
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Re: A clear mind more important than listening to music

Post by Polar Bear » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:04 am

kamaguna [kaamagu.na]: Strings of sensuality. The objects of the five physical senses: visible objects, sounds, aromas, flavors, and tactile sensations. Usually refers to sense experiences that, like the strings (guna) of a lute when plucked, give rise to pleasurable feelings (vedana).
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Kamaguna
And yes, the Buddha dhamma is amazing! I think that's awesome that you're stoked on relinquishing and renunciation. Sounds like you've got right effort and right resolve working well for you. Keep up the good work!

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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tiltbillings
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Re: A clear mind more important than listening to music

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:44 am

manas wrote:, I think I just need to stop listening to music. I find that having 'earworms' hinders being really present with the body in the here-and-now, it kind of sucks or drags awareness in the direction of obsessive thoughts, and away from the body and it's current task.
Earworms. Don't play the following unless you want to deal with a potentialy very annoying and persistent earworm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAbaqzk66Vc

On the other hand, if you are presently infected by an earworm, being annoyed by it, not wanting it, only feeds it, making it last longer. If you have an earworm, it does not need to "hinders being really present." It is what is "really present" at that moment, along with your annoyance. Just relax and lightly pay attention to it and your reaction to it, and don't worry about it staying or going away, and definitely don't worry about having to pay attention to it. Whatever is going on at any particular moment can be, if you simply learn to pay attention to it, a moment of Dhamma.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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convivium
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Re: A clear mind more important than listening to music

Post by convivium » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:01 am

Earworms. Don't play the following unless you want to deal with a potentialy very annoying and persistent earworm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAbaqzk66Vc
yeah, any (non-choral) music related to jesus is akusala in the extreme. :rofl:
edit: and even a lot of choral music
the more you meditate, do retreats, and practice sila the less earwormy music you will be able to listen to.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

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manas
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Re: A clear mind more important than listening to music

Post by manas » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:39 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:
kamaguna [kaamagu.na]: Strings of sensuality. The objects of the five physical senses: visible objects, sounds, aromas, flavors, and tactile sensations. Usually refers to sense experiences that, like the strings (guna) of a lute when plucked, give rise to pleasurable feelings (vedana).
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Kamaguna
Ah thank you, that's a good explanation and analogy.
polarbuddha101 wrote:And yes, the Buddha dhamma is amazing! I think that's awesome that you're stoked on relinquishing and renunciation. Sounds like you've got right effort and right resolve working well for you. Keep up the good work!

:anjali:
Thanks polar. As for being stoked on renunciation, I wish I could say that was continuous, but it isn't. My enthusiasm comes and goes. What I need to do is to sustain my resolutions, even when I have doubts or feel disheartened. Which can happen sometimes. But yeah, today I have no doubts about this issue. 'Sticky' music (music with the tendency to get stuck in the mind, to be repeated over and over) is a pain in the...a pain for the mind. And is best avoided completely.
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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tiltbillings
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Re: A clear mind more important than listening to music

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:16 am

manas wrote:[ But yeah, today I have no doubts about this issue. 'Sticky' music (music with the tendency to get stuck in the mind, to be repeated over and over) is a pain in the...a pain for the mind.
It is a pain because you make it a pain. And avoiding music is not going to stop that.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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convivium
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Re: A clear mind more important than listening to music

Post by convivium » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:22 am

Ajahn Brahm:

The party was going on. It was already 2 am. The sound of merry making from the Thai villagers was impossible to ignore. A young monk sitting in his kuti (hut) was not feeling happy.

He was unable to meditate.

Nor get to sleep.

His waking time was usually at 3 am. How was he possibly going to survive on one hour’s sleep if at all, he wondered.

The young monk decided to have a chat with his peers. His peers were equally vexed by the same issue. Would it be possible to ask the villagers to end their partying earlier? They debated for a while and agreed that no villager was going to listen to their request. After all, they were a group of foreigners, who had each separately come from afar to learn from a great Thai meditation teacher. Their Caucasian features would have given them away.

So the group of monks – including the young monk – decided that they would ask their teacher. They concluded that only their great teacher could command enough respect by the local villagers. The villagers would probably accede to his request.

So the young monk approached his teacher. He asked, “Ajahn Chah, I have been disturbed by the noise that the villagers are making in the night. I cannot sleep.”

He continued somewhat hopefully, “Can I get your help in telling them to stop their partying sometime around midnight?”

Ajahn Chah turned to the young monk.

He replied, “It is not that the noise is disturbing you.”

He then went on, “You are disturbing the noise.”
It's the same with sankharas. We say they disturb us, like when we sit in meditation and hear a sound. We think, ''Oh, that sound's bothering me.'' If we understand that the sound bothers us then we suffer accordingly. If we investigate a little deeper, we will see that it's we who go out and disturb the sound! The sound is simply sound. If we understand like this then there's nothing more to it, we leave it be. We see that the sound is one thing, we are another. One who understands that the sound comes to disturb him is one who doesn't see himself. He really doesn't! Once you see yourself, then you're at ease. The sound is just sound, why should you go and grab it? You see that actually it was you who went out and disturbed the sound. - Ajahn Chah
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: A clear mind more important than listening to music

Post by LonesomeYogurt » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:36 am

tiltbillings wrote:It is a pain because you make it a pain. And avoiding music is not going to stop that.
Then why are monks and other serious meditators encouraged to give up sensual things at all? The reason we have these precepts in place is because sensual indulgence does objectively muddle the mind, and one who chooses to renounce something in order to reduce the muddling should be praised.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.

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tiltbillings
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Re: A clear mind more important than listening to music

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:01 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:It is a pain because you make it a pain. And avoiding music is not going to stop that.
Then why are monks and other serious meditators encouraged to give up sensual things at all?
And you do not think that "monks and other serious meditators" never get earworms or have to deal with other annoyances, internal and external, no matter how disciplined they may be or free of external distractions? Not listening to music is not going to stop earworms and other internal chatter and annoyances from external sources even for "monks and other serious meditators."
The reason we have these precepts in place is because sensual indulgence does objectively muddle the mind, and one who chooses to renounce something in order to reduce the muddling should be praised.
There is renunciation and then there is renunciation. Reread the OP. What was being expressed there was a lot of negative, averse ideation. Renunciation grounded in that might not be the best way to start.

Also, what constitutes "sensual indulgence?"

See: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 32#p236621
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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tiltbillings
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Re: A clear mind more important than listening to music

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:03 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:It is a pain because you make it a pain. And avoiding music is not going to stop that.
Also. you really did not address what I am saying here.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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manas
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Re: A clear mind more important than listening to music

Post by manas » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:45 am

tiltbillings wrote:
LonesomeYogurt wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:It is a pain because you make it a pain. And avoiding music is not going to stop that.
Also. you really did not address what I am saying here.
Tilt,

I appreciate that you are trying to help me, by pointing out my aversion to music going on in my head. Thank you for reminding me not to become aversive if such things happen, and to remain watchful. But actually the whole point of this topic, was that I had a realization: that there is an easy way to be rid of the noise: Stop putting it in there, in the first place. Yes, I know it won't fully solve the problem of a noisy mind. But it will help. As I understand it, this practice is part of the Eight Precepts, and is to be encouraged. I am a bit confused as to why you seem to be kind of 'pouring cold water' over this idea (correct me if this is not your intention, but that is the feeling I am getting).

Kind regards :anjali:
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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Mr Man
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Re: A clear mind more important than listening to music

Post by Mr Man » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:48 am

Hi Manas
I think it could be an intereating experiment but remember to keep your practice sustainable.
It's posible that the race is going to be a marathon.
:anjali:

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manas
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Re: A clear mind more important than listening to music

Post by manas » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:57 am

tiltbillings wrote: There is renunciation and then there is renunciation. Reread the OP. What was being expressed there was a lot of negative, averse ideation. Renunciation grounded in that might not be the best way to start.
I am saddened by this judgement you are making here. I felt quite inspired and even uplifted this morning when I wrote that OP. Not 'negative' at all. But rather, realizing that sometimes on the Path, there comes a time to let go of a particular sensual indulgence, and it can seem like this natural thing rather than a big challenge. Is it safe to be so honest about my practice here? To express my feelings like this about joy in the Path? Without you saying there was a lot of 'negative, averse ideation'?

The concern for the possibility of that kind of reaction to honest, forthright sharing of a personal journey, used to stop me from being too forthright and honest here on DW. I thought, "best just to keep things to yourself". But lately I have decided that, since there's no easily accessible, physical 'sangha' I can hang out with, to more fully embrace this idea of the 'virtual sangha' here online. But this comes with risks, that someone will really misapprehend the spirit and intention of what was written, and that's what you have done in this case. Since when is giving up a sensual indulgence, and joyfully rather than with a groan of how hard it's going to be, anything other than a positive thing? If I had been gritting my teeth and with tears saying "oh this is going to be hell..." - then I would understand your comment. But I thought I made it clear, that I have made an experiential link with the concept of cause and effect here. This is a positive step, not a negative one, nor was it undertaken in a negative frame of mind. Quite the opposite.
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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Re: A clear mind more important than listening to music

Post by kirk5a » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:24 pm

manas wrote:Hello all,

it has become apparent to me, in the course of trying to be 'mindful in everyday life', i.e. when doing even mundane tasks such as cooking, washing dishes etc, and even sometimes during sitting meditation, that the music often playing in the background of my awareness, like a soundtrack in my head, has got to go. I have tried so many other ways to cleanse it from my mind, but as an ex-musician who spent years training and developing his 'inner ear' to hear melody and harmony in his head, it has now become a burden to the point where, I think I just need to stop listening to music. I find that having 'earworms' hinders being really present with the body in the here-and-now, it kind of sucks or drags awareness in the direction of obsessive thoughts, and away from the body and it's current task.
I have these "earworms" also. I wonder what they're really about. Just a way to provide an ongoing internal distraction?

But I've discovered this habit reveals an important principle - it is volitional activity, just exactly the same as singing out loud. But people generally don't suppose they can't stop singing out loud. I guess mental activity is more habit-forming. Addictive, even. But it doesn't change the fact that it's not a case of the mind doing this stuff "on it's own." It is, in fact, our own activity, and we can stop doing it, exactly the same as how we can start/stop talking out loud. The key is applying effort to wakefulness, in my experience.

As for your decision to give up listening to music for awhile, I think a quiet-er environment is conducive to practicing mindfulness. There is that much less sensual distraction to reach out and latch onto.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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tiltbillings
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Re: A clear mind more important than listening to music

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:45 pm

manas wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: There is renunciation and then there is renunciation. Reread the OP. What was being expressed there was a lot of negative, averse ideation. Renunciation grounded in that might not be the best way to start.
I am saddened by this judgement you are making here. I felt quite inspired and even uplifted this morning when I wrote that OP. Not 'negative' at all. But rather, realizing that sometimes on the Path, there comes a time to let go of a particular sensual indulgence, and it can seem like this natural thing rather than a big challenge. Is it safe to be so honest about my practice here? To express my feelings like this about joy in the Path? Without you saying there was a lot of 'negative, averse ideation'?

The concern for the possibility of that kind of reaction to honest, forthright sharing of a personal journey, used to stop me from being too forthright and honest here on DW. I thought, "best just to keep things to yourself". But lately I have decided that, since there's no easily accessible, physical 'sangha' I can hang out with, to more fully embrace this idea of the 'virtual sangha' here online. But this comes with risks, that someone will really misapprehend the spirit and intention of what was written, and that's what you have done in this case. Since when is giving up a sensual indulgence, and joyfully rather than with a groan of how hard it's going to be, anything other than a positive thing? If I had been gritting my teeth and with tears saying "oh this is going to be hell..." - then I would understand your comment. But I thought I made it clear, that I have made an experiential link with the concept of cause and effect here. This is a positive step, not a negative one, nor was it undertaken in a negative frame of mind. Quite the opposite.
I am sorry for offending you with what i wrote, which certainly was not my intention. I think, however, you might want to go back and look at what you wrote.
"music running in my head a lot of the time has become a burden" Also, you might want to consider what else I said.

Given that music has been an important thing in your life, your stopping listening to music is not going to make the unwanted earworms go away. Stopping listening to music may be, for any number of reasons, what you need to do. Maybe, but far more importantly, learning to pay attention, with lightness, to your mind's functioning is even more directly to the point, particularly since you cannot always control your envirnment, nor can one necessarily control what pops up in the mind, but we can cultivate the mindfulnees, the attention, that allows us to let go of, not by force of will but by arising insight, those things that are distractions and our negative responses to them. Probably the best thing posted in this thread is this: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 20#p236621

Again, my apologies.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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