How to regard intrusive, unwanted images or thoughts in meditation?

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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L.N.
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Re: How to regard intrusive, unwanted images or thoughts in meditation?

Post by L.N. » Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:44 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:38 am
The dichotomy of subject/object, mind watching mind, or however you want to explain it, is untouched by sila or any volitional activity. Acting in a certain way can minimize stress but it doesn't unbind the sense of self, the split into subject/object. Wise reflection brings this into focus, but you are helpless to stop this movement. Helplessness can lead to disinterest, disenchantment, and dispassion into the activity of 'I' making. Letting go of our samsaric views is a big step that very few ever make. As Meister Eckart said:'The kingdom of heaven is for the thoroughly dead'. The death he speaks of is of the self, nothing more. Or less.
Sila is absolutely foundational.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

Dinsdale
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Re: How to regard intrusive, unwanted images or thoughts in meditation?

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:52 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:23 am
What is watching what!?
And who or what is being mindful? It's an interesting question!

"Furthermore, when walking, the monk discerns, 'I am walking.' When standing, he discerns, 'I am standing.' When sitting, he discerns, 'I am sitting.' When lying down, he discerns, 'I am lying down.' Or however his body is disposed, that is how he discerns it."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Saengnapha
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Re: How to regard intrusive, unwanted images or thoughts in meditation?

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:15 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:52 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:23 am
What is watching what!?
And who or what is being mindful? It's an interesting question!

"Furthermore, when walking, the monk discerns, 'I am walking.' When standing, he discerns, 'I am standing.' When sitting, he discerns, 'I am sitting.' When lying down, he discerns, 'I am lying down.' Or however his body is disposed, that is how he discerns it."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Yes, that is how the sutta goes. Certainly, it is you doing all these activities. The question still remains what is this sense of self and how does it originate? At some point, this becomes the focus of attention.

Dinsdale
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Re: How to regard intrusive, unwanted images or thoughts in meditation?

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:59 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:15 pm
Spiny Norman wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:52 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:23 am
What is watching what!?
And who or what is being mindful? It's an interesting question!

"Furthermore, when walking, the monk discerns, 'I am walking.' When standing, he discerns, 'I am standing.' When sitting, he discerns, 'I am sitting.' When lying down, he discerns, 'I am lying down.' Or however his body is disposed, that is how he discerns it."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Yes, that is how the sutta goes. Certainly, it is you doing all these activities. The question still remains what is this sense of self and how does it originate? At some point, this becomes the focus of attention.
I think in the suttas self-view develops as the result of identification with, and appropriation of, the aggregates. Though apparently there is nothing doing the identifying and appropriating. :thinking:
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Saengnapha
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Re: How to regard intrusive, unwanted images or thoughts in meditation?

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:12 pm

L.N. wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:44 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:38 am
The dichotomy of subject/object, mind watching mind, or however you want to explain it, is untouched by sila or any volitional activity. Acting in a certain way can minimize stress but it doesn't unbind the sense of self, the split into subject/object. Wise reflection brings this into focus, but you are helpless to stop this movement. Helplessness can lead to disinterest, disenchantment, and dispassion into the activity of 'I' making. Letting go of our samsaric views is a big step that very few ever make. As Meister Eckart said:'The kingdom of heaven is for the thoroughly dead'. The death he speaks of is of the self, nothing more. Or less.
Sila is absolutely foundational.
I glossed over your response much too quickly. I agree that Sila is foundational and important and often overlooked as not as important as meditation practice. This seems to be a big mistake that most people make, or have made, or will make. Sila is essential for sotapanna, it helps break the habitual behavior of selfishness and prepares the ground for the deeper aspects of samadhi, dispassion, and insight/wisdom, which release us from all 'I' making activity. I do think Sila makes a huge difference in a person and how they approach all facets of one's life. You are right, it is absolutely foundational.

alfa
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Re: How to regard intrusive, unwanted images or thoughts in meditation?

Post by alfa » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:18 pm

There is another way to look at this whole thing.

Karma will be worked out, like it or not. Outside certain events are gonna happen, affecting us. Inside certain thoughts are gonna arise, affecting us.

Meaning, we cannot stop the thoughts any more than we can stop the events from occurring, since they are both fruits of karma and must be experienced. So we let them occur, suffer, and move on.

Maybe, this is why buddha said no self. Because if we accept there is no self, then we make no unwanted effort....

Saengnapha
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Re: How to regard intrusive, unwanted images or thoughts in meditation?

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:57 am

alfa wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:18 pm
There is another way to look at this whole thing.

Karma will be worked out, like it or not. Outside certain events are gonna happen, affecting us. Inside certain thoughts are gonna arise, affecting us.

Meaning, we cannot stop the thoughts any more than we can stop the events from occurring, since they are both fruits of karma and must be experienced. So we let them occur, suffer, and move on.

Maybe, this is why buddha said no self. Because if we accept there is no self, then we make no unwanted effort....
The thoughts that come up as emotional reactions to experience (kamma) are the habitual reactions that each of us create. These create future kamma, don't you think? Turning away from these thoughts which are emotional reactions and habitual, we exchange them for beneficial ways of thinking and acting in accord with Dhamma. This is how we stop being selfish. It sounds simplistic but it is very fundamental and brings us into a different way of acting, no longer creating any harm to ourselves or others. This prepares the ground for sotapanna.

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