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Thought in past tense

When I meditate thoughts arise and I then become aware that I was thinking but as soon as I become aware the thought is gone. So I am only ever aware of the thought in the past tense. Unless I intentionally think something it does not seem possible to observe random thoughts that arise as they are happening. On retreat one time I was in a state of samadhi and it was like a separate part of my mind knew thought was happening but the thoughts were distant and the part that knew seemed accepting but uninterested in them. It was a very blissful experience. This doesnt happen to me when meditating at home. There are short lived moments of spacious emptiness but never samadhi. At the Sangha I go to the teacher mentioned that when concentration is good then as soon as you become aware of thought it disappears.

RuddyDuck9

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Do you have a question about this...?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    You can only think about anything in the past, or in relation to the past. You cannot think in the present. Everything you think about is based on a past event, experience, expectation or assumption.

    Zania
  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    It sounds like the experience you had on retreat is exactly what meditation is supposed to become. My experience has been the opposite of yours. When I meditate at the local center, it is generally lower quality than when I meditate at home. I have never been away on a meditation retreat.

  • ZaniaZania Explorer

    @Steve_B said:
    It sounds like the experience you had on retreat is exactly what meditation is supposed to become. My experience has been the opposite of yours. When I meditate at the local center, it is generally lower quality than when I meditate at home. I have never been away on a meditation retreat.

    Hey Steve, you should definitely go. My first time was absolutely mind blowing. I can't even describe it in words really because it's just not even possible. Retreat can be difficult but also just such a beautiful rewarding experience. It was also very humbling and cathartic. I cried the whole time on my first retreat. It was like I just cracked open and had been carrying around all this pain and suddenly it was released and I felt such pure joy, love and stillness like never before.

    federicaRuddyDuck9
  • ZaniaZania Explorer

    @federica said:
    You can only think about anything in the past, or in relation to the past. You cannot think in the present. Everything you think about is based on a past event, experience, expectation or assumption.

    Well when I was on retreat as I said I was aware of the mind thinking but it was like a distant babbling. It was like a split. One part of my mind was in absolute bliss and uninterested in the babbling part. It was happening in present tense.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    It was babbling in the present, but what was the subject matter?
    Incidentally, this is not my theory or supposition. This is apparently researched scientific fact...

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/time-on-the-brain-how-you-are-always-living-in-the-past-and-other-quirks-of-perception/

  • ZaniaZania Explorer

    @federica said:
    It was babbling in the present, but what was the subject matter?
    Incidentally, this is not my theory or supposition. This is apparently researched scientific fact...

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/time-on-the-brain-how-you-are-always-living-in-the-past-and-other-quirks-of-perception/

    Yes of course the content was past and future but generally in daily practice I can't seem to be aware of thought in the same way ie as its happening.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Confusing isn't it? The moment you realise it's not there - it's there.... O.o

  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    I have experienced this, being "in the zone" as discussed on another thread. It's present/immediate future, and it's exhilarating (and fleetingly rare). But I haven't yet experienced it in meditation.

    Meditation retreat, bucket list, not soon.

  • It's definitely worth going on retreat if you can, an opportunity to deepen your meditation practice and see what the possibilities really are. Solitary retreats are also worth considering.

    lobsterRuddyDuck9
  • RuddyDuck9RuddyDuck9 MD, USA Veteran

    I feel this in my practice too. It's difficult to find time for retreats with work and family as they are, so I end up being unsatisfied with the buzzing insect thoughts. But when I am frustrated what I really ought to do is ask myself why I'm unsatisfied. I have this nutso idea that I ought to be great at this right away, when in fact im only an infant at meditation... at least in my current incarnation. Ive only felt that clear flow of awareness without judgement once, and that was in a group meditation, as you describe. As @federica says, aren't all thoughts in the past tense? Unless you're DiCaprio searching for his lost wife.

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