Stronghold 4 July 2010, Thoughts & Thinking
save something involved. Thoughts, know, now the book that you're building it not do it. That thoughts. You know, I I think for years i'll heavy I read that we trying to be rid at socks. Mh. In way they feel back fox are way. Using at thoughts. Came the thoughts here's the account. And see think have no. Substantial out Mh. Even that way come to the the realization not Okay. Can you repeat the question for the recording? Her too. You. Too. Yeah. I my mine got I see some speech Is pretty strong. What you're asking?
So I'll just summarize into his that. You... The important thing is you you had gotten the impression over the years that thoughts were not necessarily good paying a lot of what we're trying to do is to get rid of us. And so it's a bit surprising to discover bit in than M Mud rather than saying, get over your thoughts for stop your thoughts. It's saying, well, look at your thoughts and use them. As you use observing your thoughts as a vehicle for insight or Gaining I understand. And that's that's a very good call cultivation and very big question.
And I think what I find very often when and people come to meditation. They do get the impression that thoughts or a bad thing. And... Or these at the very least that we're supposed to try to stop our ourselves thinking. And I think people spend a lot of frustrating and rather fruit was time in their meditation practice trying to stop thinking. Know. And just to take a little more global perspective on it. The the darn doesn't really say that anything is bad or good intrinsically. Thoughts, emotions are anything else that you wanna name.
They they they they are not intrinsically either good or bad, but they have the potential to produce results that even there the words good and bad or are to to laden with other connotation, but any of these things has the potential to take us in a direction that is either more wholesome or my olson depending on what we do with them. But bots in particular, the reason that whether we no matter how we understand it, the reason that so much focus comes on the thoughts is that they are such a major part of what we are but as human beings.
And we are thinking Right. That's what we do. We think. And we've been successful in the world because of our ability to think But the problem comes that we'd we tend to be dominated by our thoughts and right thinking. And it's thought the the thoughts and thinking are bad because they've done many, many good things. But when we become dominated by the processes are thinking, then we become ent by the limitations, that are inherent in that part of our mind that thinks in that right. And that's just a small part of our mind if it takes over too much.
It cuts us off from so much else. And it can it can dilute us. Pen. It can keep us from understanding the way things really are. So that's the problem with blocked. And of course, one of the things that happens that many people are very they they're so fond of their thoughts, but they're very intellectual in their entire approach everything. And even when they become interested in spirituality, they want to think it through. They wanna figure it out. They wanna understand it intellectually. And the fact is that you cannot...
It it's absolutely absurd to think that you could even come close to some grasp orphanages and ultimate reality through through thinking. But because it is so powerful, it's very easy to to come by that notion. And because we naturally think so much and it's such an important part of ourselves. In order to go beyond the process of thinking, we do have to make an effort. But the the right kind of effort isn't to turn against our thoughts so so they're a bad thing. And and condemn them and try to stop them because we can't you can't stop them.
Thinking is one of the things that we do. That our minds too. And, you know, when I occasionally, you'll hear somebody who she is like, you know, they've been able to overcome thinking. And I'm not sure exactly what they've done. But I... You know, they haven't really understood. What we want to do is we want to... In our meditation practice We do come to a place where thought stop, but they stop by himself, because the idea that I want to stop my thoughts is just a thought. And it's the thinking process.
You know, it's a it's it's a dog chasing its tail kind of thing. And, you know, you can fool yourself into holding on the thought that I have sought my thoughts for a while. But thinking can't stop. Thinking can stop if you stop attaching to the thinking, then the thinking will just kind of fade away for periods of time. Then you and then, you know you can do this really good as you can think whenever is good and serviceable of and useful for you to think. And whenever thinking gets in your way, you can let go something.
So thinking is neither good nor bad in here. Thinking analysis is this intellectual sorts of thing. They have a tremendous use in environment. When we go to dha botox we're here, you know, you hear a teacher speaking in and words logically transmitting flawed from one line to another through the medium of language. Triggering thought processes. After you read a book or dawn teaching you go, and you think those true and you arrive at a certain degree of intellectual understanding that can guide you.
And then if you can get away from being dominated by thoughts then the role of thinking are those thoughts that come up, which gently remind you when you're going in in the wrong direction or gently make you aware of the fact that a particular course of speech or action or behavior or emotions that are rising or whatever is not taking where you where you want to go, and that's the right. That's a really good purpose for thoughts. And that comes from you've learned, you you studied you thought. You thought about it and you realize that that these are not good way good ways to go.
And then the thinking part of your mind can remind you of that and say, oh you're starting to go in that direction that we've thought about and recognized is not a good one. So that's a really good positive beneficial, wonderful use of thought. Chris, we all know the problem what thoughts can be. You get certain kind of thoughts to start slight playing through your mind. They can create fear and anxiety. They can create worry. They can create anger angry thoughts just spiritually They put you into rut than then these thoughts that come up and keep cycling.
They they generate emotions and the emotions make this lot stronger and You know, you're caught a trap. And and we've all done in that place. And we don't wanna be there. It's like, oh, if like could only stop my mind if I could stop these thoughts here I could stop these feelings in So so we all know what the problem of thoughts can be. They can be problem in the sense that I mentioned before is that we we become attached to them and we as to them far more valuable and power than they actually have.
And they can also be a problem in that these... We we get locked into these ways of thinking that I'm not very good for us and and very can be very destructive. But they're not inherently good or bad. But they're very important part of it. There's such a major part of us that if we undertake the discipline, alright. I want to discover What is how are things really? You know, who am? What am? What is happening? What's really going on? Here. Okay. So when those kinds of of profound questions and the desire, to wish, the aspiration for wisdom, arises.
When at that point, we have to go Beyond thinking, but do we go beyond thinking by stopping thoughts? Well, we can meditate and in our meditation arrive at a place where thoughts stop. And if we can do this successfully. Then we open ourselves up to the possibility of knowing and understanding and many other way. The practice of mindful awareness is is best done when was minimal thinking take wipes because then your mind is open, receptive it can observe clearly and can take in what it's observing.
Without judgment and without every time you go into a thought process, you leave the present. Believe what's really happening. You leave reality and you enter into the artificial internally created world of the thoughts themselves. So one of the ways to get beyond thoughts is in your meditation to reach the place. Where the thoughts stop. And that's a very good method but it's not the only method. The other method is to say well, These thoughts are happening all the time. Well, they are part of what I am.
They are part of what's happening. They are part of due reality. So you can be mindful so you can practice mindfulness of thoughts. It's a little bit it has... It has a little bit of trick ness too. Right? Because what you want to do is get to the place where you can just observe the thoughts without being caught by them, and also allowing them to take place without trying to stop them or reject them. And so it's a little of a a a a little bit of a a skill a Knack that you'd have to acquire. But if you can do that, you will...
That is a path that will give you an insight into. How this process of thinking plays such a tremendous role in determining the kind of experiences that you're having? Every day of your life every every in every aspect of your life. Because this thinking process goes on so much of the time. It is creating a story. It's creating a fiction. It's it's it's telling you this is the way you are and this is the way the world is. And so who gain insight when you see how that's taken place. So you can use the thoughts.
You don't just have... you know, the only way isn't to start profiles. Which you can't do intentionally, you can only allow them thought by himself. But if they do stop by yourself, yes. That is a good way. But you don't have to go there. You can watch the facts. They are a huge part of what you are watching thoughts. And lead to watching every other aspect of what constitutes reality. But by watching the thoughts, he's either true nature when you see their true nature, they lose their power to capture and dilute to the same degree.
So these are both amongst many different approaches we've. Well, I mean that's very interesting is in terms of where we're doing, you know, to become and awake person isn't to become a person whose mind doesn't think anymore. If you if you read the teachings to the Buddha or any great spiritual teacher who you think made may achieved awakening. You can't. Say, well, this is a person who doesn't think. I mean, have you ever read anything? By any teacher that you admired in respected, but gave you the impression this is a person that doesn't think?
Course. They say great. But as as the sixth Patriarch of Zen describes it, want to get to a place where there is no thought even a while thinking. Which sounds really paradox and confusing. But what it means is you get to that place through your practice, that is beyond thought beyond the constructs of the mine, which allows you to awaken him to the higher truth the highest true to the ultimate to to the ultimate reality of who and what you are and all of this is and what's going on. And that is that his best described does no thought.
It's described in many ways, but no thoughts are really accurate and good one. It's because it is a realization and awakening and understanding that comes when all of the mines heating activities come to end. Then this is something thing that when you practice you can have experiences up. You can have experiences of no thought and experiences of alternate reality. But they happen and confined little chunks periods of time that, you know, you'd have was fantastic period of medi insight and elimination that lasts for half an hour for example.
And then it's over with and you go back into the world, Now what you want to do what where you want to you want to become as Lean says you want to be in the place where there's no thought even while thinking. So you wanna get beyond going from the experience of no thought to un back to thinking To... Well all good, here's another no thought experience development i'm true. I get to the place where there's no thought even while thinking and then you can be in the rural, you know, it's i that's not...
Taking a holiday to Nirvana now and then when you had knuckles on Sara, but Han and Santiago Clara, are not two different things. And not two places it was not. Woo is the Chinese no. And woo end. Again. Yeah. But it's it's not just the no thought. Of not thinking. It's the no thought. It's it's dwelling in the place with no thought even while you let the mind go ahead and think In terms of creativity because I think we do create our world that's first. So if somebody's, you know, they not detector minority whatever.
There has to be some happening Yes. So I would think it would just be charcoal way you think. Well, careful what you think it... That's where it starts out. Yeah. As you started out being careful what you think. And you can use the thinking mind to help you be careful of what you think. But what's what if you can just fix your getting to a place where At the deepest level, where you're really dwelling is that openness that connectedness to everything and to ultimate true. And while at the same time that part of your mind.
You know, you've got a body. Your body still works in the world. And body's got a brain and the brain still does its thing and it's things thinking. So an artist an d architect, you know, or or perhaps a statesman or or, you know, whatever kind of person. They will be at their at their best in terms of the purpose of humanity of the service of their art the service over the world. If they can allow their body and those... And and their speech and that thinking part of their mind that acts to conduit so that the deepest level of of creativity and the express expression of the greatest love compassion, if if that can be channel through the thinking mine and the speech and the body to create changes in the world.
Yeah. So we... We, you know, it gets one of our greatest gifts is our ability to think. And so to cast that aside or to turn against it is is it's not a good idea. But but at the same time, the unfortunate thing is it's such a great gift that we become enamored with it and chapter by it. And we forget everything else that we are and all of our other capacities for functioning at a much more intuitive and holistic folks. The thinking process thinking is very linear. And thinking takes everything apart into pieces and really rearrange the pieces.
I mean, isn't that what thinking does? I know think about this problem on like you do in your mind is it's just... You take it all apart and we re rearrange the pieces when you try to understand. Categorize eyes and else. And at the end of it, you can come away with some useful understanding and ideas. But we we have another great capacity, which does just the opposite. It doesn't take things apart. It connects everything together. You know. And if we over value the thinking part of our mind, and we lose touch with the other cath capacities that we have.
I'm picking of another p. And boots... I guess in some ways, it's data involved. It's like asking west channel. Mh Know, For example, there is a concern problem. What would we even interesting idea or all about this. Action really just to open asking with thoughts. And mean, I just think of that is another piece of what you're saying at least for me and is because I've been finding that sometimes there is a new kind of awareness. And maybe in the form of a thought or a feeling or even perhaps an in image.
Mh. That connects. Whether it's different bit different Would you say something about that? About About asking for know Mh. To be... Out you're asking gonna be more open or to. That would be the most useful thing to apply with this. Well, I guess it's ask these guidance in the... Oh okay. Yeah. That's what I think... That's what I thought I was... What I thought I was hearing you say, is it sometimes what your thinking mind can do is in its thinking analyzing process, it can identify for you what the problem is or what the question is?
And then once it's done that, well, there's two ways that we can go and the way that we go unfortunately too often is of the same thinking mine. The formulated the question wants to see if it can keep picking things apart come up with the answer. But the other way to go is to just And and this this is the really powerful and useful thing that the thinking mind has done is it has clarified the question. So and and if you can not try to think to your way to the answer, to just hold that question and open yourself up to the entire universe to your subconscious mind to your intuition, to the sync of what might happen or what somebody might come and state to you or what might come to you in a dream at night, if you could just hold that question and be open from any direction of any kind to the answers coming, then, you know, the the thought machine could spin its wheels forever and never come up with a useful answer but if it gets out of the way and you open up, then the answer can come, you know, and and and the important part of opening up is you're not even trying to guess in advance where the answer is gonna come from.
You know. It's just you're going to be you're going to be ready. You know... Surrender to whatever surrender. It's Do you call that? It's it give you call surrender because it involves not being in control. I mean, that's the other part. It's not exactly the same thing as thinking, but there's another part of online. That always wants to do to be the doe to say. Okay. This is the problem. I'm identifying the solution. Or even I'm gonna look for the solution or whatever. To be the doe, and it it's the the surrender of of that to stop stop being the doe and stop and charged, But open just...
And that's why to say opening out it's an opening up and it's a being willing to other come to. Being on a patch right. Mh. And that's the other thing too is that sometime you'd have to stay open. Because sometimes something comes to you. And there's a tendency you want to grab onto that and say that's it. But sometimes that's only part of the message and you have to you have to stay open to get the hold yes. Sometimes the part that comes first, there's something that you have to let go of, but that you have to acknowledge and let go before to the deeper answer can come.
So, yeah. To stay hope and then Yeah. But so back to up about murder though. I mean, unless you're very still one which is a very difficult correct. That's right. When you talk about nah and this is one of the things there's so many people. I think as part of our human nature. We're in a hurry and we hear about names that. Know you'll hear about a practice like Mo Now. Oh, that's what I wanted do. That's frustrating me. And Things about in in Hem mud, you open your mind up. It's all about opening your mind up and not grasp things of things.
So that... When a thought comes, you let it come know all by itself without pacing after grass on through it. Or or anything else. And not just the thought, also an emotion b damage anything melted it learning to stay in that place are open And some people if they're struggling with learning to develop concentrations as Oh, you don't have folks i'm think oh, that sounds a lot easier. I'm on a new nirvana motor, but you can. And the mine is perfectly skill. So first learned how to let the mind be perfectly still wild things pass through.
And the other thing means that your mind thinking all the time, and so you might say, well, Even you can do a meditation practice for. Watch your thoughts instead of, you know, being plagued by as this this nuisance sick chain and which... That sounds like it's been me. I have a lot of thought. I'll that. But but the thing is until and children you've done announce real other time in practice. We're not going to able. A box coming go. They're gonna comment. They grab you and pay your wife. Or you're gonna find yourself chasing after them and grab down with that.
So So i... Bumped the and things like that are wonderful, very, very powerful practices, which you can do but you do you do have to prepare your mind. A little bit praise. You have to you have to bring the lines for that place of still miss. And then you can open it up. You have to have practice and there's many different ways to cut there's not this one. But you your have admit done. The kinds of practices could developed that that might non judgmental nets that willingness to just let things come else.
And... And you have to have that kind of awareness and so that you know whenever you're starting the grass up? If you do that, then practice in mister way. And sure you're fine. You'll see through the awareness you'll see where your mine. Begins to move to grasp. And so you can practice letting go, the instant that brought arises you and because of what you the work you've already done, very quickly you'll be able to do that. But if you you know, mono is a practice that is properly back accurate developed concentration and mindful.
There actually is no practice in the empire all the different schools and systems of Buddhism. There is no practice that there is any of the three until you've learned to called waiting session movement and activity of the line until you've learn to create that. Powerful awareness that allows you to just with clarity, c and b with what's there? And until you have that degree of that keeps you from grabbing on unclear right whatever comes up. You know, and and if you're not been yet when you get to the points where Well, I only grab on to sixty percent of the thoughts.
I know. They're seventy percent of the but That just means that you're going to be caught the whole time while thirty percent maybe still drive on. So that's why... That's why That's why we practice to. Thank you. To comes. That's right. But Part of ours survival. Now seems to been in fan spot. Mean the. Yeah. So now i'll trying to data. It's That's we're trying to evolve beyond the survival mode, which means that all of those things that were so well survival we need to learn... I mean, it it's it's not that we don't need to continue to survive and they don't need to have something then.
But now we need to get beyond and, you know, they need to be tools back there and the in the toolbox that we can pull out need, but they The to i mentioned of papers sir. Talking about it. It's the nature of line that it it sounds more linear and sequential than really here. From the very moment that you first begin to build your mind, you're also in the same moment. Beginning to observe your mind and let it be. So we're also practicing that awareness. And that even in the very first moment that we try to exercise something degree restraint probably the monthly monitor burden the line that's earning content and i would And but one thing about this is that it means that because can you you are bringing all of these things to bear at every moment.
It's not like after you perfect concentration. Named after perfect. And after you achieved this the sublime tranquil will be an of mine that only wind will insight and understand what. Because in all of those brief little instances along the path where these things come together enough. Insight begins the barn and so the process of growth is taken place throughout the entire process. So you just you just on following the path. Yep the sense of being a place of creativity. That's where That's of that's mh.
When you're in next space, because I know that find variety. Find move are open. It's easier for me to have practice this. So You're absolutely right. You know as a manager fact? Life is a creative process. I mean, every single moment that you like. I feel worth the about. It is it is your greatest work of like. Man. So if to degree and you can be open and and live your life as as it creator, process and every moment doing exactly what you do when you open cell up to the creativity when they're writing.
Or when they're painting or when or you know, whatever else meeting not feeling that you think of as a you know, in quotes, this is a creative activity, separate from put dinner and even which chats to darn the word. You know expand that. So all of it becomes the same creative process and all of the same open notes. Thank you. Joanne nick gonna be fitting. Certainly might. Through love light. Thank you. This was a great discussion, and I... Is useful for you.