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How free are you ?

Are you free from your thoughts? Are you free from the compulsiveness? Are you free from constantly creating problems in your head when all you need to do is enter the present moment?

How do I become free of these things? Ive felt the present moment but I am constantly distracted by uselesss things so I cant stay interested in it. I just want to be free, free an enlightened.

How free are you?
EnriqueSpain

Comments

  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran
    I'm not yet free but i am trying to be mindful and just being observant of my thoughts and speech and watching the world it kind of makes me feel like a scientist in a way and being mindful is really helping me to see the world through a different light, and i believe i am starting to see things as they truly are and one time i felt what it was like to be the present moment and it felt wonderful

    I am also distracted by a lot of useless things as well that really discourage me but i finally see the root of my problem and its a work in progress
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran
    Namaste,

    I don't necessarily believe that free=enlightened. We are never free. Being in samsara means we are not free. There is always something gnawing away.

    Just my 0.02 of course.

    In metta,
    Raven
    lobsterMaryAnnebetaboySabre
  • How do I become free of these things?
    @how and @bookworm have given good advice. :)

    Initially you will have to develop more skilful efforts towards slowing . . .
    Practicing more comes in relation to our capacity, need and commitment.
    For example thoughts arise . . . we become calmer, less overwhelmed and distracted by suffering, experience and life, in proportion to our effort. A calm environment, calming practices and general purpose calm is a holiday. Calmer karma allows our destructive distractions time to empty . . .
    :om:
  • ZeroZero Veteran


    How do I become free of these things?
    Ive felt the present moment but I am constantly distracted by uselesss things so I cant stay interested in it.
    I just want to be free, free an enlightened.

    A better position from which to ask that question is from a stance of understanding how it is that they arise to curtail your 'freedom' and exploring how that interacts with what it means to be you.

    Distracted by : Interested in - seems to me to be potentially 2 sides of the same coin.
    I want to be : x - perhaps this is another coin...

    Flip the coins as many times as you need... they always fall on one face or another.
    Once one realises this, coins are just coins.
    Jeffrey
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran



    How do I become free of these things?

    "How free are you" depends on who you compare it too. Compared to a thief or murder, very free! Compared to the Buddha himself, not so much!

    Seems to me that you just do what the Buddha said to do and that's it. Sila, Samadhi, and Prajna. "To abstain from all evil, to cultivate good, and to purify one's mind."

    To keep the precepts, to do daily meditation practice and cultivate wisdom. The daily meditation practice part is the most freeing aspect IMO.




    lobsterJeffreyKundo
  • seeker242 said:



    How do I become free of these things?

    "How free are you" depends on who you compare it too. Compared to a thief or murder, very free! Compared to the Buddha himself, not so much!

    Seems to me that you just do what the Buddha said to do and that's it. Sila, Samadhi, and Prajna. "To abstain from all evil, to cultivate good, and to purify one's mind."

    To keep the precepts, to do daily meditation practice and cultivate wisdom. The daily meditation practice part is the most freeing aspect IMO.


    lobster said:

    How do I become free of these things?
    @how and @bookworm have given good advice. :)

    Initially you will have to develop more skilful efforts towards slowing . . .
    Practicing more comes in relation to our capacity, need and commitment.
    For example thoughts arise . . . we become calmer, less overwhelmed and distracted by suffering, experience and life, in proportion to our effort. A calm environment, calming practices and general purpose calm is a holiday. Calmer karma allows our destructive distractions time to empty . . .
    :om:
    No matter how much I read about meditation I stil feel like im not feeling anything when I do it. Whenever I meditate im just fighting constant distraction
  • The notion of self can't be applied to any of the five aggregates nor any combination thereof, because they are dependently originated and not self-existent, so that would also include thoughts.

    They very fact that one can't stop the process of thoughts could even be considered evidence that there is no independent self-enduring nature or entity existing by its own power.
  • howhow Veteran
    @Silouan
    Silouan said:

    The notion of self can't be applied to any of the five aggregates nor any combination thereof, because they are dependently originated and not self-existent, so that would also include thoughts.

    They very fact that one can't stop the process of thoughts could even be considered evidence that there is no independent self-enduring nature or entity existing by its own power.

    Outside of some curious suppositions, I'm
    not sure what you are trying to say here?
  • ToshTosh Veteran
    edited October 2013
    Deleted; I mucked up the quotes!!!!
  • @how said: Outside of some curious suppositions, I'm
    not sure what you are trying to say here?
    @how What I stated was in reference to the statement @riverflow had made in saying that "you are your thoughts", in the post prior to mine. His quote should have been cited to qualify. I apologize for the confusion.

    Anyway, according to dependent origination one can’t even be considered as being thoughts. That was the purpose of my rambling and in retrospect perhaps that is all that was needed to be stated instead.
    lobster
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran



    No matter how much I read about meditation I stil feel like im not feeling anything when I do it. Whenever I meditate im just fighting constant distraction

    How long have you been doing it? I would say it's just a skill that is developed with practice like any other. Like baseball for example. You can't expect to hit the ball like a Babe Ruth when you have only been playing for a year. He couldn't hit all those home runs in his first year playing either. He had to do a lot of practicing to be able to hit so many home runs. :)

  • riverflow said:

    Are you free from your thoughts?

    You do not HAVE thoughts -- you ARE your thoughts. That's why trying to be free from them will only make you dizzy, like a dog chasing his own tail.
    Thoughts are the only game in town. Wake up from your illusions so you can make dharma realms.

  • @Jeffrey I thought dependent origination would be the only game in town, as a thought, like every event, is the result of concatenation of dynamic processes.
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    I'm as free as I need to be to realize freedom.

    Alas, I will never fully know freedom until the last of us has been freed.
  • ZaylZayl Veteran
    edited October 2013
    I'm as free as I can be when I'm on my motorcycle. When I'm riding, I have to be aware of the present moment at all times. Gravel or sand on the road, cars or animals coming into my lane, the vehicle behind me, other riders, water on the pavement, as well as feeling my bike moving beneath me. I cannot afford to be distracted at all. No matter what troubles I am facing, or how much I am worrying about the future, any problems in my head and any compulsions go right out the window for if they did not, chances are higher I might hesitate while riding, and wreck.

    The *only* thoughts in my head are of operating my vehicle. Other than the occasional "this view is so beautiful" or "the curves on this road are so much FUN" are simply thoughts of correctly operating my bike. When I ride I am not operating a simple vehicle, riding a motorbike is more about muscle memory, your bike is an extension of you. That's how I see it anyway. When I'm flying down the expressway at 80mph (average free flowing traffic speed) I am entirely focused. I use riding to clear my head, for example after a rather difficult and damaging argument with someone close, I'll go out for a ride for a little while and come back. taking a "break" from thinking about the argument lends me new perspective when I finally return home.

    Seriously, riding a motorcycle is a zen experience.

    Totally forgot a video, this guy rides sort-of how I ride. As you can see, riding like this, you cannot allow distracting thoughts to affect you.

  • I feel fairly free. I've defeated a lot of my person demons. I have a lot less weird compulsions than I used to.

    I used to have the compulsion to say out loud the worse possible outcome if I hear about a person getting hurt. It was often inappropriate, but I felt that people needed to know.

    I used to have the compulsion to make the cheesiest and nerdiest jokes just because I thought they were funny, and it didn't care that I was annoying others.

    There were other weird and morbid compulsions of mine, but it's been such a long time, I've forgotten what they are.

    How do you become free of these things? Reprogramming yourself. Not easy, but I'm just saying it's possible. I literally had to constantly explain to myself that I shouldn't have these weird thoughts, and why. Well, I guess you'd have to figure out why for yourself first.

    The best way I can explain it is that a lot of these weird thoughts come from your sub-conscious mind. The sub-conscious mind and conscious mind are connected in some way. Use your conscious mind to reprogram your sub-conscious mind to stop having these weird thought. Again, it's not easy, but definitely possible.

    This can be done through meditation. I did it through self-reflection, a lot of it. I used to take a lot of long walks by myself. I would think about why I think the way I do, and why I say the things I say.
    lobster
  • NomaDBuddhaNomaDBuddha Scalpel wielder :) Bucharest Veteran
    To answer to the title of this thread : not very free, and I will not be..never ever. Be it freedom from my own personality and senseless desires, freedom from the consequences of my actions and decisions or social and financial freedom, I'll never be fully free. As long as other people have and manifest their own freedom, neither them and neither I will be fully free.

    Now to the topic...

    Are you free from your thoughts? Are you free from the compulsiveness? Are you free from constantly creating problems in your head when all you need to do is enter the present moment?

    How do I become free of these things? Ive felt the present moment but I am constantly distracted by uselesss things so I cant stay interested in it. I just want to be free, free an enlightened.

    How free are you?

    1. No, I'm not free from my thoughts. I don't really wish to...at least at this moment.

    2. No, again, I'm not free from my compulsiveness...but there are moments when I surely forget, for some time, about that compulsion and do something more constructive instead.

    3. No, again and again, I'm not free from worries. Things happening around me show me that I should not them lightly.

    4. You can't get rid of these things. You can deal with them, you can postpone them, you can willingly replace them with other more constructive things...but you cannot overlook that the things ( compulsions ) were there in the first place. If you want to get free and enlightened ( for now just enlightened ) you have to realize how does your compulsion mechanism works in your case, and then apply the right treatment.
    bookwormlobster
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran
    No. I am not free but I have definitely loosened the chains......

    I honestly used to think you I had to act on certain compulsions in order for them to go away but I've discovered I don't.......that brings a certain amount of freedom with it!

    Best of luck @heyimacrab.......just remember, baby steps....... :om:
  • BeejBeej Human Being Veteran
    riverflow said:

    Are you free from your thoughts?

    You do not HAVE thoughts -- you ARE your thoughts. That's why trying to be free from them will only make you dizzy, like a dog chasing his own tail.
    see, now this here is something that i'm not sure i agree with, as it is stated. if you "are your thoughts", which thoughts are we refering to? all of them? thoughts come and go. i think a lot of different things, everyday. some of these things conflict with other things. so which thought am i? does it not cripple the notion of not-self to believe that you are your thoughts?

    i've thought of hopes and dreams, failure and despair, fun and joy, misery and pain, and a lot about sex. i am all those things? or was i just "verb-ing" when i experienced those thoughts? just a mind in motion, really. you aren't your thoughts, though you thoughts can sure make you feel that way. you are a verb. verb-ing all the time. no?
    David
  • Silouan said:

    @Jeffrey I thought dependent origination would be the only game in town, as a thought, like every event, is the result of concatenation of dynamic processes.

    Yes, thoughts are dependently originated. But from the perspective of our only experience it is all thoughts.
  • Jeffrey said: Yes, thoughts are dependently originated. But from the perspective of our only experience it is all thoughts
    What of between thoughts or the falling away of thoughts with just bare awareness? Is this not an experience then?
  • riverflow said:

    Are you free from your thoughts?

    You do not HAVE thoughts -- you ARE your thoughts. That's why trying to be free from them will only make you dizzy, like a dog chasing his own tail.
    I hear many enlightened people say this, but wouldn't this imply we're helpless?
  • MaryAnneMaryAnne Veteran
    edited October 2013
    You will only be as "free" as you allow yourself to be.

    I didn't read that or hear that from anyone in particular, (that I remember, anyhow) but it makes sense to me; because only you can release yourself from suffering- through awareness and the Dharma and applying its teachings to your daily life/style.

    So it doesn't matter to me how "free" I am now, because there is only now. This moment... no need to compare with past or hope to surpass current "Free" in the future. It is what it is. :)

    Davidstill_learningEvenThird
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited October 2013
    I can't be my thoughts or else how could I watch them flow past?

    Or question them?
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited October 2013

    riverflow said:

    Are you free from your thoughts?

    You do not HAVE thoughts -- you ARE your thoughts. That's why trying to be free from them will only make you dizzy, like a dog chasing his own tail.
    see, now this here is something that i'm not sure i agree with, as it is stated. if you "are your thoughts", which thoughts are we refering to? all of them? thoughts come and go. i think a lot of different things, everyday. some of these things conflict with other things. so which thought am i? does it not cripple the notion of not-self to believe that you are your thoughts?

    i've thought of hopes and dreams, failure and despair, fun and joy, misery and pain, and a lot about sex. i am all those things? or was i just "verb-ing" when i experienced those thoughts? just a mind in motion, really. you aren't your thoughts, though you thoughts can sure make you feel that way. you are a verb. verb-ing all the time. no?
    I'd have to agree here. It makes more sense that we are our actions rather than our thoughts.



  • banned_crabbanned_crab Veteran
    edited October 2013
    ourself said:

    riverflow said:

    Are you free from your thoughts?

    You do not HAVE thoughts -- you ARE your thoughts. That's why trying to be free from them will only make you dizzy, like a dog chasing his own tail.
    see, now this here is something that i'm not sure i agree with, as it is stated. if you "are your thoughts", which thoughts are we refering to? all of them? thoughts come and go. i think a lot of different things, everyday. some of these things conflict with other things. so which thought am i? does it not cripple the notion of not-self to believe that you are your thoughts?

    i've thought of hopes and dreams, failure and despair, fun and joy, misery and pain, and a lot about sex. i am all those things? or was i just "verb-ing" when i experienced those thoughts? just a mind in motion, really. you aren't your thoughts, though you thoughts can sure make you feel that way. you are a verb. verb-ing all the time. no?
    I'd have to agree here. It makes more sense that we are our actions rather than our thoughts.



    I disagree, I am not my actions. You cant just act the thoughts away, nor can you understand the thoughts away. Because you are not your thoughts or your acts. You are your feelings, you have to feel the feelings away, but how?
  • The way I see it;
    You become your thoughts as soon as you "cling" to those thoughts. Our thoughts we cling to, (not merely the fleeting thoughts) become the glasses through which we view our world.
    So it's much Wiser to cling to the 'good/positive' thoughts then, as opposed to clinging to "bad/negative' thoughts, eh? Choose your views. :D
    Beej
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited October 2013

    ourself said:

    riverflow said:

    Are you free from your thoughts?

    You do not HAVE thoughts -- you ARE your thoughts. That's why trying to be free from them will only make you dizzy, like a dog chasing his own tail.
    see, now this here is something that i'm not sure i agree with, as it is stated. if you "are your thoughts", which thoughts are we refering to? all of them? thoughts come and go. i think a lot of different things, everyday. some of these things conflict with other things. so which thought am i? does it not cripple the notion of not-self to believe that you are your thoughts?

    i've thought of hopes and dreams, failure and despair, fun and joy, misery and pain, and a lot about sex. i am all those things? or was i just "verb-ing" when i experienced those thoughts? just a mind in motion, really. you aren't your thoughts, though you thoughts can sure make you feel that way. you are a verb. verb-ing all the time. no?
    I'd have to agree here. It makes more sense that we are our actions rather than our thoughts.



    I disagree, I am not my actions. You cant just act the thoughts away, nor can you understand the thoughts away. Because you are not your thoughts or your acts. You are your feelings, you have to feel the feelings away, but how?
    I don't understand... Thoughts come and go on their own as long as we don't cling to them. If they are not clung to, they have no consequence aside from a learning aide.

    It is the same way with feelings. If we can simply observe and reflect on the feelings thereby distancing from them, they can change on their own. It can take a longer time to let go of feelings than thoughts but it can be done.

    Actions on the other hand do not go away just by observing them or with reflection. They have real consequence on yourself and other.

    Try as you might, you will never have distance between you and your actions. Your thoughts and feelings are a different matter altogether.

    banned_crabBeej
  • GuiGui Veteran
    If I am my thoughts, I am in BIG trouble!
    Seriously, I think I (we) are experience. Not my experience, but experience.
    Davidbanned_crabBeej
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited October 2013
    betaboy said:

    riverflow said:

    Are you free from your thoughts?

    You do not HAVE thoughts -- you ARE your thoughts. That's why trying to be free from them will only make you dizzy, like a dog chasing his own tail.
    I hear many enlightened people say this, but wouldn't this imply we're helpless?
    my theoretical understanding says: we are not totally helpless and we are not totally in full control - so do not try to think about it to get it sorted out. it is similar to idea that both craving for becoming and craving for non-becoming lead to suffering. moreover, it is similar to 'we' do not exist and also we exist - similar to moon in water analogy - the moon is not in water, but the moon is also in water. moral of the above statements - these things cannot be figured out by thinking, so relax, just be in the here and now without doing anything, rather just being by fully accepting whatever is happening in here and now. the truth is always present in every moment, to know it we just need to awake to it, but it cannot be done till 'we' are doing something.
    EvenThird
  • You do not HAVE thoughts -- you ARE your thoughts
    There are many ways to express, understand and realise this thought. Doing so will provide insight into the nature of freedom and enslavement by our arisings.

    - Walls can be walked around or head butted into path clearance.
    - As you think, so you are. Think well.
    - Static/signal interference is not the message.
    - The outward reveals the nature of the inner. In essence they are the same.
    - That which is stilled continually, becomes a settlement. Live there.

    etc.

    More New age ranting soon enough . . .
    :wave:
  • Are you free from your thoughts? Are you free from the compulsiveness? Are you free from constantly creating problems in your head when all you need to do is enter the present moment?

    How do I become free of these things? Ive felt the present moment but I am constantly distracted by uselesss things so I cant stay interested in it. I just want to be free, free an enlightened.

    How free are you?

    If you get too free, you'd turn into a vegetable. Count your blessings.
  • Silouan said:

    Jeffrey said: Yes, thoughts are dependently originated. But from the perspective of our only experience it is all thoughts
    What of between thoughts or the falling away of thoughts with just bare awareness? Is this not an experience then?

    Any experience is dependently originated. Yet there is something that is not an experience, non-duality. Like you say it is just a dropping away. This is what is unconditioned because it is not an experience, a life, a being, or a lifespan.
  • Are you free from your thoughts? Are you free from the compulsiveness? Are you free from constantly creating problems in your head when all you need to do is enter the present moment?

    How do I become free of these things? Ive felt the present moment but I am constantly distracted by uselesss things so I cant stay interested in it. I just want to be free, free an enlightened.

    How free are you?

    One who is free never thinks of his freedom, just as one who is full never thinks of his hunger. To be free, let go of freedom. To be peacefull, accept your thoughts.

    To tame the mind do not engage, do not ignore, only watch carefully. One need not eat if they are not hungry. Allow the mind to eat, but allow the self to rest, in watchfullness as a parent looks after a child. Do not chase thought, do not cling to non thought. Let the self rest in the body, and the thoughts will conform on their own. Just as a child falls asleep when a parent is accepts the childs cries to stay awake.
    Jeffreylobster
  • i am not free from any of those things. i realized this problem when i was 15. 4 years later i have made little change, but i am more optimistic and know which direction i am going. this is my 1st post by the way, hello everyone.
    EvenThirdSabre
  • hello S-Mouse welcome
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    Namaste - new member here!

    Remember fellow sufferer you have buddha nature, but have chosen to walk the the path that brings realisation and awakening. Unfortunately it can be very hard at times, and my heart goes out to you.

    The question seems to indicate restlessness of the mind and the mind's reaction to your thoughts. Some of the comments in this thread are informative and if read in the right way are very informative. There is surely a great opportunity here to realise the reaction to the thoughts -it sounds like AVERSION, and that brings suffering.

    This is just a couple of thoughts about freedom and enlightenment, I hope that they resonate with you:

    When you can sit and see that these thoughts are just emanating from your mind and you can just observe them arising and fading and not react to them in the way you appear to be doing then you are in fact free.

    Enlightenment is just a word that when you try to grasp its meaning you immediately lose it - GRASPING for enlightenment will bring suffering. Let the observance of the grasping be something that helps awakens you.

    The other day whilst doing jogging meditation I had a few moments of bliss as my mind became quite still, and I smiled, because I saw my freedom and was present, and then a stupid thought came into my head, and it was gone, and I stopped smiling! I tried to get it back but realised that I was grasping for that experience and trying to push away my thoughts and then in that realisation the peace and freedom was realised again but in another way!

    Good luck and keep practicing!
    JeffreyEvenThirdS_Mouselobster
  • Thank you Jeffrey and anataman, I will!
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited November 2013
    How free I am? Free enough. A lot of things that bound me in the past I have largely let go and I don't take my thoughts that seriously anymore (that's a good thing in my eyes). For me it's more than I could have wished for and I'm contented with it.

    Part of it is realizing the craving to be free in itself a thing that can keep you from being free. Also freedom is not in controlling your thoughts or having things being the way you want them to be. Freedom is allowing things to be and not fight them. So when I said before I'm contented with not totally being free, that contentment in itself creates more freedom. That's kind of the thing I think one needs to realize.

    When people think about being free they often think they need to change things. They need to fight things, turn them around. They need to be different, be better at this or that. But in my eyes, when you are not free it is not because of the situation, but because of how you react to it.
    JeffreylobsterS_Mouse
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