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1 hour ago, Finitude said:

The natural resolution to involuntary thought seems to be in the realization thought has no owner, that involuntary thought has always been the product of an abstract self. 

It is more likely that biggest problem of involuntary thought is naming / labeling the thought as "thought" and "involuntary thought" or "abstract self". 

 

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows."

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11 minutes ago, James123 said:

It is more likely that biggest problem of involuntary thought is naming / labeling the thought as "thought" and "involuntary thought" or "abstract self". 

 

 

Yes, I understand, but naming and labeling are limitations of language. If we're to communicate about these matters it becomes a necessary concession. 

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3 minutes ago, Finitude said:

 

Yes, I understand, but naming and labeling are limitations of language. If we're to communicate about these matters it becomes a necessary concession. 

Yes definitely. However, comprehending that naming/ labeling is the biggest illusion, it can help more imo. 

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows."

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22 minutes ago, Orb said:

@James123 so how come you can casually use the word "thought" yet somehow not label thoughts as thoughts?

 

Can involuntary thought end?

I am just trying to point the "thought" of thought that you are attached. What is a thought? What is a "what is"? 

 

It can never end or began, because there is no such a thing as began, end or thought.  Try to see the thought, where is it, where it comes from, where does it goes. 

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows."

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4 hours ago, Finitude said:

The natural resolution to involuntary thought seems to be in the realization thought has no owner, that involuntary thought has always been the product of an abstract self. 

Awesome.

 

Is-ness / I-am-ness comes to mind, with there being volition to that there is experience, an albeit apparent, expanding universe. Like a tree grows (isness) thought ‘attracts’ thought, or ‘grows’ in kind (I-am-ness). Perhaps thought was / is never voluntary or involuntary, but the ‘birth’ of thought was / is voluntary, as or being the volition of being the universe. Ultimately maybe what will be is as voluntary or volitional as that anything is in the first place. 

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5 minutes ago, James123 said:

I am just trying to point the "thought" of thought that you are attached. What is a thought? What is a "what is"?

@James123 oh man, my brain is melting from this lol. 

 

I don't know what thought is,  no idea really as it would just be another...thought. 

 

What is a what is? 🤷‍♂️

 

13 minutes ago, James123 said:

It can never end or began, because there is no such a thing as began, end or thought.  Try to see the thought, where is it, where it comes from, where does it goes. 

 

So why do people speak of No-Mind, Cessation of thinking, being freed from knowledge. 

🌞🌚

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17 hours ago, Orb said:

 

So why do people speak of No-Mind, Cessation of thinking, being freed from knowledge

No mind is not having any thoughts in the mind. No mind is comprehending that there is no such a thing as mind therefore thought. Mind and thought is an illusion itself. 

 

17 hours ago, Orb said:

don't know what thought is,  no idea really as it would just be another...thought. 

 

What is a what is? 🤷‍♂️

The ultimate answer of all the questions is there is no such a thing as question. 

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows."

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There's research on the Default Mode Network (DMN) since the 90s. Relatively recently. For meditators, it is one area where

there's evidence that meditators have a quieter DMN than non meditators. This is something I have personally noticed. 

 

There are of course thoughts. There still occur random thoughts, sometimes silly thoughts, sometimes thoughts wonder -- where did THAT

come from?

 

I'll give you a random thought I have almost daily, usually morning, before making coffee. I think "Who was the best chess player of all time?". It just pops up like an old friend. I usually mull over it a bit  and answer it mentally. If there's aversion to the thought, I include with this thought, the message to send Metta and Kindness to others. So I can use this random thought as a trigger for a short meditation. 

 

Trying to end involuntary thought is tricky and probably unbeneficial for most. It's like going to war with your mind or spiritual bypassing. Most meditation teachers stress not trying to end thoughts. That being said, it's possible to investigate with cutting through thought in a Dzogchen sort of way and seeing what happens. Don't try to force it. 

 

 

 

“If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.” ― The Buddha

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On 8/13/2022 at 7:39 PM, Finitude said:

The natural resolution to involuntary thought seems to be in the realization thought has no owner, that involuntary thought has always been the product of an abstract self. 

How would having an owner be for you: Do you mean like you saying this is my thought, or there is a smaller men inside of you thinking of a thought? How do you practically experience your abstract self?

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On 8/14/2022 at 6:30 PM, James123 said:

No mind is not having any thoughts in the mind. No mind is comprehending that there is no such a thing as mind therefore thought. Mind and thought is an illusion itself. 

 

Reading this somehow feels super freeing.

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 One answer is that thinking is fine in meditation, just notice that thinking is thinking and thoughts are just thoughts. Thoughts come, stay for a while, and then leave. You can call this an insight if you’d like. You’re welcome. 

 

A perspective is that thoughts are just inherently hard to control. A famous example, is the test to try not to think of a Pink Elephant. And even if you achieved some no-thought blank state – what have you gained? What differentiates one from someone who is deep asleep or in a coma? So not-thinking is difficult, maybe impossible, and in the end – what have you achieved if anything? Hell, I could have a few beers and a xanax and achieve no-mind (Don’t do this – mixing alcohol and drugs can really mess one up and even kill – seriously it’s ultra dangerous). Then when I pass out, I’m in another non-thinking state, sleep. A double-double. The Internet YouTube lifecoach and guru Leo Gura in his video lecture on the Zen oxherding pictures misunderstands non-thinking as a no thinking zombie-like state and advocates being in a happy state no matter what. If your dog dies, Leo says, you’re okay with that. Nah Leo, that’s not it at all. 

 

We can look at this zombie-like state of no-thinking and no feelings, no emotions. It seems less an attainment than a disassociation. It’s more akin to a serial killer affect than a true zen master’s one. Leo’s no-thinking, no feeling state is achievable too with an isolated cell-like no-attachment existence. But is a solitary jail-like escape the same freedom of a zen master? I think not. It’s textbook spiritual bypassing. 

 

However, there are some dharma masters that advocate no-thinking. Zen in particularly frequently mentions not-thinking in writings and poems. 

 

 

 

Dogen’s 300 Koan Shobogenzo, Case 129: “Yoashan’s Non-Thinking”

The Main Case

When Priest Yaoshan was sitting in meditation1 a monk asked,2

“What do you think about, sitting in steadfast composure?”3

Yaoshan said, “I think not thinking.”4

The monk said, “How do you think not thinking?”5

Yaoshan said, “Non-thinking.”6

 

The Commentary

Abide in neither thinking nor not thinking. Thinking is linear and sequential, a separation from the reality that is the subject of thought, and thus is an abstraction rather than the reality itself. Not thinking is suppressive. It cuts away thoughts the moment they arise, making the mind into a great impenetrable mountain-dead, unresponsive. Non-thinking has no such edges. It is the boundless mind of samadhi that neither holds on to, nor lets go of, thoughts. It is the manifestation of the buddha mind, in which the dualism of self and other, thinking and not thinking, dissolves. This is the dharma of thusness that is the right thought of all the buddhas in the ten directions.

 

The Footnotes

1. What is he doing? Even Kasho Buddha didn’t attain it with hundreds of kalpas of zazen.

 

2. Why doesn’t he leave the old man alone?

 

3. Huh? What are you thinking, venerable monk, in asking such a question?

 

4. He’s much too kind. It really can’t be explained; he’s just setting the monk to thinking.

 

5. Now they’re both in the same hole. Just shut up and sit.

 

6. How kind. But say, what does it mean?

 

I love the footnotes. 

 

 

When we are sitting, we do not follow our thoughts, nor do we stop them. We just let them come and go freely. We cannot call it thinking, because the thoughts are not grasped. If we simply follow our thinking, it is exactly that, and not zazen. We cannot call it not thinking, either, because thoughts are coming and going, like clouds floating in the sky. When we are sitting, our brains don’t stop working, just as our stomachs don’t stop digesting. Sometimes our minds are busy; sometimes they are calm. Just sitting without being concerned with the condition of our minds is the most important point of zazen.

 

– Footnote 23, Opening the Hand of Thought: Foundations of Zen Buddhist Practice, 

By Kosho Uchiyama

“If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.” ― The Buddha

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