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thought, perception and thinking

upekkaupekka Veteran
edited June 2016 in Mindfulness

is there any difference between a thought and a perception

and

what is the difference between a thought and thinking

and

is there any connection between a thought and thinking

if yes, what is the connection

(food for a thought or a thought for thinking)

IchLiebte

Comments

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Interesting questions, @upekka.

    1. a thought and a perception to me, is that it takes two or more thoughts to form a perception; it's like our food - it takes a while to go through a process (thought) before we make a conclusion which I guess is a perception.
    2. thinking is an action (verb) and thought is the noun. (a little grammar for ya)
    3. I think that's just another grammar issue.

      :glasses:

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    I don't know. I know Buddhism makes a distinction between raw sense experience and our perception of it. For example, we take in an image with our eyes, the immediate first input is sensory, once that brief moment of now has past any subsequent image that appears in our mind is made up by the mind, a kind of mental photocopy. Since the mind is considered to be a sixth sense maybe it could work that way with a thought as well, maybe not.

    Starting at about minute 54 John Dunne presents a Buddhist understanding of the way concepts form.

  • upekkaupekka Veteran

    @silver said:

    1. thinking is an action (verb) and thought is the noun. (a little grammar for ya)

    how did you know 'thinking is an action (verb)'

    how did you know 'thought is the noun'

    how did you know 'a little grammer'

    why did you write answer for the OP

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran
    edited June 2016

    B)
    I learnt some grammer in grade school...maybe I'm a little rusty or something.
    Why do you want to know why I wrote that answer for you (OP)?
    Is there anything wrong with my answer?

    @person's answer is much more in - depth and 'better'. Even if my responses are stupid, I guess I just like to get the ball rolling sometimes.

  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited June 2016

    is there anything that says or implies 'silver, your grammer is wrong'

    when you see 'why did you write answer for the OP' who told you 'there might be something wrong in my answer, so i must write and ask "is there anything wrong with my answer" and wrote answer and post it

    Silver, Person this is very interesting, and we are getting closer and closer to ..........

    (don't rush to answer, just think a bit about writing in this post and come with an answer, if you or anyone who go through this thread come with an answer without rush we all might be able to help ourselves and many others, for sure)

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    I simply would like to know why you asked questions like that because honestly I don't know how to respond and I have no idea what you're on about in the second paragraph, so I have no response. Which may be what you want because I didn't know why you asked the questions you asked but obviously others like @person knew what you were getting at. I'm sometimes stupid, I do what I think is appropriate but it's not always the case, so sorry if you think I answered in haste. I wanted to find out as I said, what the purpose of the questions were and now I've got a better idea.

  • upekkaupekka Veteran

    dear silver,
    there is nothing wrong with your any post

    this thread started with 'thought, perception, and thinking'

    my intention was 'if someone knows and posts the answer' that would be well documented in this forum for others to see

    with your answers i saw (i thought) even though we didn't get a proper answer for the 'thought, perception and thinking' but we are reaching for it through our answers, questions, replies and responses

    ok dear, i hope above writing is enough as an answer to your questions in your last post

    if we come back to our discussion,

    how did you know 'obviously others like @person knew what you were getting at'

    why did you wrote ' I'm sometimes stupid, I do what I think is appropriate'

    how did you know ' but it's not always the case'

    (clue: thought, perception, thinking)

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    I get a lot from studying/reading/talking about Buddha and Buddhism, but without the intensive study and depth of understanding that probably most here have. I'm okay with a not-so-erudite understanding of it and it has helped me immensely, so I'm always up to learn more - I have a very long way to go. I'm not bothered by the thought that I'm sometimes 'stupid' and for me, it's shorthand for I'm not as learned as others on a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

    I think the answer is obvious to '...@person knew what you were getting at.' I remain unclear on your line of comments/questions/responses to me and I'm okay with that.
    <3

  • upekkaupekka Veteran

    if you don't get upset by seeing this post i would like to ask another question or two
    but if you get upset (you and you only know whether you get upset or not) just ignore this post

    before you read the above few lines did you know you would be able to read such writing
    (just answer yes or no)

    there are some lines in your previous post

    do you know, where did they come from
    (if the answer is yes, just say from where)

    there is nothing to worry about intensive study and in depth understanding of Buddhism

    to understand Buddha's Teaching (Buddha's Teaching and Buddhism is two different thing, even though we sometimes think they are the same) what we already know is more than enough if we apply it right

    in this case we are trying to apply what we already know as Buddha's Teaching to the writing appear in the screen in front of us

    <3

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    As I understand it, a perception is arising from one of the physical senses, while a thought arises from the awareness of mind. So while the point of origination is different, the process of becoming aware of it is not so different.

    Perhaps this will clarify things, Ayatana

    upekka
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    Perception is recognition, it's generally automatic and we're not aware of doing it. Thinking comes later.

    rohitupekkapegembara
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    In my perception, @upekka, you're over-thinking this.

  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited June 2016

    @federica said:
    In my perception, @upekka, you're over-thinking this.

    what you say is true, thanks for reminding

    'we' think the perception is 'my perception' that is the problem with us

  • No thought here about thought verses perception. Thought in relation to thinking however, in my understanding/experience, is the difference between watching, the thought (noun sense), and engaging with or selfing with, the thinking (verb sense). I can only observe a thought,
    but can get "lost" in thinking.

    upekka
  • They are all impermanent, not self, and can lead to suffering. Awareness (sati) would be the only thing that stands out from them.

    upekka
  • @upekka said:
    is there any difference between a thought and a perception

    For what it's worth, I would think most thoughts are perceptions. But, say, an idea could spring from a perception but not actually be a perception.

    Then again, one can perceive an idea.

    Not really sure.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Deformed said:

    @upekka said:
    is there any difference between a thought and a perception

    For what it's worth, I would think most thoughts are perceptions. But, say, an idea could spring from a perception but not actually be a perception.

    Then again, one can perceive an idea.

    Not really sure.

    In the suttas perception ( sanna ) is the basic function of recognition, the example given is that of recognising different colours. So for example if you were approaching some traffic lights you would recognise the colour and act accordingly. But you wouldn't generally have a thought about it eg "red" or "green". An interesting experiment is to consciously label things from time to time, it gives you an understanding of the process involved.

    lobsterDeformedupekka
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    upekka
  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited June 2016

    @SpinyNorman said:
    An interesting experiment is to consciously label things from time to time, it gives you an understanding of the process involved.

    instead of consciously label things
    observe how the label comes from within but not from the 'thing' that is seen,(heard, felt, tasted etc.) itself; label doesn't come from outside

    (this is the beginning of Insight Meditation, if one thinks 'i know this and i don't have to observe to know this, one would miss so many things that would reveal through the observation, for example
    observation would reveal the label comes after the seen, heard etc. but not before
    not only that the observation reveals so many other hidden things (Dhamma) that one would never know otherwise)

    what you have to do is. whenever the thought 'work place/ office/ home/mother/my car etc' comes when you are not at the place or near the person or near the thing just remind to yourself this is a thought, i can not do anything to a 'thought' , (the thought would go away without your involvingthat happens unknowingly, but if you remind 'thought is just a thought it hasn't any inherant thing it would go away with your knowing)
    this is the 'insight meditation' technique that we can reduce our suffering

    try to practice this whenever a 'thought' comes
    (one thing is you can not physically involve with the thought and other thing is it would go away without staying;
    you can not physically involve in a thought so if it go away with your knowing you wouldn't think over that thought (not thinking on that thought any longer) ;
    if you are not at the place, near the person, near the thing you can not physically involve;
    if you at the place of thought, near the person of thought, near the thing of thought and that physically involvement is necessary to continue the day-today life you can physically involve with knowingly

    if the practice become perfect whenever a thought comes to your mind then you wouldn't continue thinking on that thought. that means knowingly let go of the thought, knowingly reduce suffering for one thought moment

    this technique would reduces the mental suffering which means it reduces the restlessness and anxiety

    restlessness and anxiety is one of the five defilement (pancha nivarana)

    if knowingly let go of a thought there wouldn't be any defilement
    one is at the Present Moment

    if so that moment is ............

    (all the above writings including the writing continues in this post until the end would become thoughts for anyone who read them, so what one has to do is let go of all the writing in this post
    and observe through one's own six sense bases to see what is happening at the moment of observation)

    lobster
  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    @upekka. Thank you.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @upekka said:> and observe through one's own six sense bases to see what is happening at the moment of observation)

    That's my main practice these days, observing what arises at the sense gates - sensations, sights, sounds, thoughts and so on. It's all just stuff!

  • upekkaupekka Veteran

    is there any teacher who guide you
    or
    any friend you discuss your experience with

  • @SpinyNorman said:

    @Deformed said:

    @upekka said:
    is there any difference between a thought and a perception

    For what it's worth, I would think most thoughts are perceptions. But, say, an idea could spring from a perception but not actually be a perception.

    Then again, one can perceive an idea.

    Not really sure.

    In the suttas perception ( sanna ) is the basic function of recognition, the example given is that of recognising different colours. So for example if you were approaching some traffic lights you would recognise the colour and act accordingly. But you wouldn't generally have a thought about it eg "red" or "green". An interesting experiment is to consciously label things from time to time, it gives you an understanding of the process involved.

    That reminds me of Thich Nhat Hanh's writings about awareness of all the conditions behind the things we perceive. Like the sun, clouds and rain behind an orange, and practicing that awareness while eating it.

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited June 2016

    What do you perceive(see), a simple rock surface or a face? If you perceive a face, it is likely to be followed by thoughts of who, how, is it real etc. Would you then worship it?

    "Now suppose that in the last month of the hot season a mirage were shimmering, and a man with good eyesight were to see it, observe it, & appropriately examine it. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in a mirage? In the same way, a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any perception that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in perception?"

    Phena Sutta

    upekkaGus123
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited June 2016

    @pegembara said:> What do you perceive(see), a simple rock surface or a face? If you perceive a face, it is likely to be followed by thoughts of who, how, is it real etc. Would you then worship it?

    Though I don't think it's the perceptions of "rock" or "face" themselves which are the problem, rather it's the mental proliferation which follows.

    upekka
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited June 2016

    I like this definition of perception

    "The function of perception is to turn an indefinite experience into a definite, recognised and identified experience. It is the formulation of a conception of an idea about a particular object of experience."

    And as for "Thought" & "Thinking"

    "Thought itself is the thinker, there is no "I" involved
    and if this is kept in mind all ones problems would be solved!

    But alas many are unaware and so they become quite distraught
    as they stumble along the path, thinking there's an "I" behind the thought!"

  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited June 2016

    @pegembara said:
    What do you perceive(see), a simple rock surface or a face? If you perceive a face, it is likely to be followed by thoughts of who, how, is it real etc. Would you then worship it?

    no

    but we have to remove another layer to go deeper to know what is real because still we perceive (see) it as a 'rock'

    @SpinyNorman said:

    Though I don't think it's the perceptions of "rock" or "face" themselves which are the problem, rather it's the mental proliferation which follows.

    the perceptions of "rock" or "face" _themselves are the beginning of the problem because we are with the 'wrong view'

    mental proliferation follows according to the 'wrong view'

    [ ]

    what do you see within brackets
    if you remove the brackets what do you see

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    The problem is not the image of a holy image of a seagull bottom left, it is the tendency to insist it is a dove. A dove sent by Buddha the Magnificent, Noah or a Rinpoche from a past dimension.

    The ability of the mind to see patterns explains why we sometime say, 'emptiness is form and form emptiness'.

    upekka
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @upekka said: the perceptions of "rock" or "face" _themselves are the beginning of the problem because we are with the 'wrong view'

    In what sense? If we are walking towards the edge of a "cliff", then the ability to perceive "edge" is very useful - how is a perception that saves our life "wrong view"?

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @lobster said:> The problem is not the image of a holy image of a seagull bottom left, it is the tendency to insist it is a dove. A dove sent by Buddha the Magnificent, Noah or a Rinpoche from a past dimension.

    So wishful thinking and imaginings then? Adding lots of stuff which isn't there?

  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited June 2016

    @SpinyNorman said:

    In what sense?

    as far as 'we' don't see the perception as a perception

    If we are walking towards the edge of a "cliff", then the ability to perceive "edge" is very useful - how is a perception that saves our life "wrong view"?

    there is conventional truth and ultimate truth (you know this very well but i just remind it now)
    when we mix them up we get confused

    when there is 'if', that means it is not experiencing at the moment but imagining/thinking (proliferating/ fabricating/becoming/ creating kamma/ arising consciousness/ birth of the mind base) on a thought (perception/ fabricated/ sanna)
    -in other words perceptions on perceptions

    look back and check whether you were suffering at the time of writing your post

    check if you 'let go' of the 'writing in this post' whether you would get rid of suffering of 'thinking what to write, writing an answer etc.'

    i am giving you an example, not that i am telling you not to question the writing of this post or express your ideas

    actually i am learning more and more by this type of discussions

    thanks immensely for participating in this thread

    <3

    lobster
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited June 2016

    @upekka said: there is conventional truth and ultimate truth (you know this very well but i just remind it now) when we mix them up we get confused

    So could you apply this distinction practically to the cliff edge example?

  • upekkaupekka Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @upekka said: there is conventional truth and ultimate truth (you know this very well but i just remind it now) when we mix them up we get confused

    So could you apply this distinction practically to the cliff edge example?

    if the answer is Yes

    1. i am answering to a hypothetical question
    2. i must be a Full Enlightened Nobel Person

    but i can say 'i don't know' because
    1. i am not a Full Enlightened Noble Person
    2. even if one knows the distinction one can not say one is mindful all the time

    just awakened to the 'Noble Right View' is not enough, one must practice mindfulness until one is with the Full Enlightenment

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    So wishful thinking and imaginings then? Adding lots of stuff which isn't there?

    :)

    We often can not help this. We are hard wired to see faces, potential mates, dangers or points of co-operation. For example next to the obvious face is a rock face troll in profile. No doubt other faces exist. Other species will not need to see a cliff face in quite the same way if they can fly off it ...

    The strange thought that the enlightened lose their human ability or become a sort of know it all zombie is what some find in the dharma scriptural cliff-face ...

    ... and now back to a different perception ...

  • upekkaupekka Veteran

    @lobster said:

    ... and now back to a different perception ...

    <3

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited June 2016

    @upekka said: just awakened to the 'Noble Right View' is not enough, one must practice mindfulness until one is with the Full Enlightenment

    Sure, but we just having a discussion here. If a Buddha was walking towards a cliff edge, can we assume he would recognise it, and not carry on walking and fall to his death?

  • upekkaupekka Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    If a Buddha was walking towards a cliff edge, can we assume he would recognise it, and not carry on walking and fall to his death?

    be with the 'reality of Dhamma' doesn't mean one would act without mindfulness or if we use day to day language, he can understand the consequences if he carry on walking so he would stop
    (these writing comes after the morning meditation, so there is a possibility that this answer is more accurate than earlier ones)

  • i thought this thread might help some of you, that's why i am writing now

    bear with me @federica for giving you one more reading to scrutinize (suffering/dukka)
    my intention is pure, no rings attached
    =)

  • I started a response which was along the lines of 'first thought, then perception'. Then I wondered if that was correct and responded with 'first perception, then thought'. Then I wondered if that was correct and responded with 'perhaps bidirectional'.

    Maybe it's dependent co-arising?

    I also wondered if a thought was general and perception specific (a perception could be a kind of thought).

    But I feel like I'm going round in circles.

    Better to not contemplate these things and instead meditate to wait and see.

  • @Tiddlywinds said:

    But I feel like I'm going round in circles.

    samsara is a circle
    no beginning point or ending point

    Better to not contemplate these things and instead meditate to wait and see.

    contemplate before the meditation (first right attention)
    during the meditation wait and see what is happening here and now (second right attention / real meditation)
    after the meditation contemplate again (third right attention)

    lobster
  • Perception and feeling, then breath/body sensation followed by thoughts/speech.

    "When a monk is emerging from the cessation of perception & feeling, friend Visakha, mental fabrications arise first, then bodily fabrications, then verbal fabrications."

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Tiddlywinds said:
    I started a response which was along the lines of 'first thought, then perception'. Then I wondered if that was correct and responded with 'first perception, then thought'. Then I wondered if that was correct and responded with 'perhaps bidirectional'.

    In the suttas feeling, perception and consciousness are conjoined, ie inseparable. Thinking comes further down the line.

    "Feeling, perception, & consciousness, friend: Are these qualities conjoined or disjoined? Is it possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them?"

    "Feeling, perception, & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them. For what one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one cognizes. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them."

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.043.than.html

    lobster
  • Sounds like it's about dependent coarising.

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited November 2016

    Consciousness and namarupa are also conjoined.

    It is as if two sheaves of reeds were to stand leaning against one another. In the same way, from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.

    And what, bhikkhus, is name-and-form (nama-rupa)? Feeling, perception, volition (cetana), contact (phassa), and attention (manasikara): this is called name. The four great elements and the form derived from the four great elements: this is called form. Thus this name and this form are together called name-and-form.

    The earliest Buddhist texts explain that the four primary material elements are the sensory qualities solidity, fluidity, temperature, and mobility; their characterization as earth, water, fire, and air, respectively, is declared an abstraction – instead of concentrating on the fact of material existence, one observes how a physical thing is sensed, felt, perceived.[11]

    The Buddha's teaching regarding the four elements is to be understood as the base of all observation of real sensations rather than as a philosophy

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_element#Buddhism

  • Today I read a book at the library and I try to paraphrase it up to the best of my ability because i couldn't bring it with me as I am not a member of that library:

    -to know what other people want and give what they want pretending that is what I want to say is a developed writing skill-

    when i read that phrase it reminds me that " this is the exact thing we do without knowing 'what we are doing' "

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