Thursday, July 1

"In the practice of meditation, all thoughts are the same: pious thoughts, very beautiful thoughts, religious thoughts, calm thoughts - they are all still thoughts. You do not try to cultivate calm thoughts and suppress so-called neurotic thoughts. This is an interesting point. When we speak of treading the path of the dharma, which... is the Fourth Noble Truth, it does not mean that we become religious, calm, good. Trying to be calm, trying to be good, is also an aspect of striving, of neuroticism. Religiously inclined thoughts are the watcher, the judge, and confused, wordly thoughts are the actor, the doer. For instance if you meditate, you might experience ordinary domestic thoughts and at the same time there is a watcher saying "You shouldn't do this, you shouldn't do that, but you should come back to meditate." These pious thoughts are still thoughts and should not be cultivated."

—Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche


Metamatician said...

No comments? If you're interested in Buddhism, first of all understand that it's the most simplified thing ever achieved, subsequently divided and made into rote doctrine by lesser men and women. Avoid that!

Chögyam Trungpa and his son, Sakyong Mipham, have much wisdom, and much baggage.

Pema Chödrön avoids the paradox of theory and talks about situations that arise every day, and how we react, for good or ill.

Thich Nhat Hanh is more in line with my own Zenlike thoughts, and he has lived a lot.

The Tao may be the most profound philosophy every committed to writing or the most passive and worthless - will you find out?

There are so many paths through life. One life is not even comparable to another because of choices that were made. Yet one is all we get, probably.

Ask me more about so-called "Eastern" philosophy. You'll find it's neither strictly Eastern nor is it religious or even philosophical!

It's time to close the window; the air outside has gotten cold.

Hans said...

I don't know what to comment on. Thoughts are just thoughts so let them pass while we meditate and try to stay present. I'm not feeling particularly mindful these days.

Metamatician said...

Well, before one can be mindful one must let go of attachments, especially to judgments and thoughts. Like Trungpa says, even "pious" thoughts - thinking good things, is no good. Thoughts are like clouds - we can recognize they are there, but then let them drift across the sky and vanish. Don't try to hold onto clouds. Therefore, don't try to cultivate complicated thoughts either. Just live by your senses, be kind, and try to see the world like a child, or a cat. That kind of immediacy will bring us into the flow of the world, rather than create a sort of third-person mind, or character, for us to inhabit and speculate from. That is becoming separate from the world, creating dualism - "me" and everything else - and that tends to create suffering.

Although I intellectually understand all this, it's worthless unless put into practice. And I still have a very hard time with that. I still get depressed, feel lonely, feel a sudden surge of excitement...

Knowing the "idea" of buddhism is easy. Making it a reflexive, instinctual part of your everyday live takes a lifetime of cultivation. There is no goal, no treasure waiting at the end. Like most things, the process itself is the reward, as we slowly learn to extricate ourselves from details of life which do not matter, and more fully experience what is really occurring while we're sitting thinking of other things.

That's my take on it.

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