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Nirvana=No Negative Thoughts

ShoshinShoshin No one in particularNowhere Special Veteran
edited November 7 in General Banter

At Monday evening's group we read from one the Dalai Lama's books (Can't remember which one)...What we found interesting was he more or less said Nirvana is when one is free of all negative thoughts (not his exact words I should add)...and if one thinks about it (pun intended) ...it does make senses....And simplifies the definition somewhat...

Hmm the Twin Verses come to mind (well one take on them anyhow)

After all We are what we think.......but then again......we are not our thoughts

Some food for thought perhaps :) ...What do you think ???

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

    I try not to.

    BunksKundo
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Old habits die hard ;)

    kando
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I think when you have found nirvana it is easier not to associate yourself so closely with the mind, and the mind is more quiet, except when you choose to call on it to perform. It certainly seems to be possible to still think negative thoughts, or critical thoughts.

    kandoKundo
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Negative thoughts so it would seem, are for want of a better term unwholesome and counterproductive ... ...

    Mind precedes all knowables,
    .mind's their chief, mind-made are they.
    If with a corrupted mind
    one should either speak or act
    dukkha follows caused by that,
    as does the wheel the ox's hoof.

    Explanation: All that we experience begins with thought. Our words and deeds spring from thought. If we speak or act with evil thoughts, unpleasant circumstances and experiences inevitably result. Wherever we go, we create bad circumstances because we carry bad thoughts. This is very much like the wheel of a cart following the hoofs of the ox yoked to the cart. The cart-wheel, along with the heavy load of the cart, keeps following the draught oxen. The animal is bound to this heavy load and cannot leave it.

    Verse 2. Happiness Follows The Doer of Good
    Mind precedes all knowables,
    mind's their chief, mind-made are they.
    If with a clear, and confident mind
    one should speak and act
    as one's shadow ne'er departing.

    Explanation: All that man experiences springs out of his thoughts. If his thoughts are good, the words and the deeds will also be good. The result of good thoughts , words and deeds will be happiness. This happiness will never leave the person whose thoughts are good. Happiness will always follow him like his shadow that never leaves him.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited November 7

    One of my favorite sutta references =) AN 4.35

    "He thinks any thought he wants to think, and doesn't think any thought he doesn't want to think. He wills any resolve he wants to will, and doesn't will any resolve he doesn't want to will. He has attained mastery of the mind with regard to the pathways of thought.

    Although. it depends on how you define "negative thought". Some people might say that "everyone will die one day" is a "negative thought". Other people would not consider that to be a negative thought at all.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited November 7

    Nirvana=No Negative Thoughts

    Positively No!

    Equinimity is a pause and choose capacity. Free will if you will ...

    Here is the teaching of the Heart Sutra which may be useful:

    all dharmas are marked with emptiness;
    they do not appear or disappear,
    are not tainted or pure,
    do not increase or decrease.
    Therefore, in emptiness no form, no feelings,
    perceptions, impulses, consciousness.
    No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind;
    no color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch,
    no object of mind;
    no realm of eyes
    and so forth until no realm of mind consciousness.
    No ignorance and also no extinction of it,

    Ay carumba ...
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/7546/heart-sutra

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran

    A Zen teacher said: the conditioned life is the functioning display of unconditioned. The unconditioned is the essential nature of the conditioned life.

    Vimalajāti
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited November 7

    @misecmisc1 said:
    A Zen teacher said: the conditioned life is the functioning display of unconditioned. The unconditioned is the essential nature of the conditioned life.

    "Two is the essence's function. Not two is the function's essence." -Ven Jízàng

    seeker242misecmisc1kando
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    @Shoshin said

    At Monday evening's group we read from one the Dalai Lama's books (Can't remember which one)...What we found interesting was he more or less said Nirvana is when one is free of all negative thoughts (not his exact words I should add)...and if one thinks about it (pun intended) ...it does make senses....And simplifies the definition somewhat...

    One can get rid of negative thoughts, and yet not be free of them - they can become a sort of negative mindset that is harder to get rid of than the thoughts themselves - like the dark raincloud hovering over Joe Btsplk in the old Lil Abner comics.

    Simplification of terms is useful - gives you something to work on, a target to aim for - but it doesn't really simplify the path.

    Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Simplification of terms is useful - gives you something to work on, a target to aim for - but it doesn't really simplify the path.

    Very true @Fosdick

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited November 8

    @federica said:
    I try not to.

    ;)

    Not thinking lovely thoughts, avoiding unwholesome neural meanderings? Developing karmic saintly empty Bodhi-Mind is all very well for the dharma hard nuts. They reside in Nutty Nirvana Mindfulness but what about us Buddhist plebs?

    We have to practice mind settling - no-thought, no-arising. Hence meditation. Who knew?

    Oh the humanity!

    Dhammika
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited November 9

    Wait a minute, @Shoshin. I think we would need to define "negative thoughts", first. Do you (or did the DL) mean--ruminating on negativity? That's attachment to negative thoughts. I agree that attachment to negativity isn't compatible with Nirvana.

    But negative thoughts arise, if briefly, in response to, for example, wrongdoing observed. The Buddha said we should speak out in the face of wrongdoing. So when we're addressing wrongdoing, we're necessarily entertaining negative thought about the act or behavior we're speaking out against. Negative thoughts can be constructive, perhaps even "wholesome" if directed toward ending the suffering of others. If we're making use of a negative thought in order to catalyze an effort toward ending suffering, that's a good thing.

    So, I feel that more info is necessary about the material you read. Context is everything. Pretending there's no harm being perpetrated in the world, and sitting on our cloud of Enlightened Bliss all the time, ignoring the Samsaric world in order to avoid having negative thoughts, sounds like escapism, not Nirvana. That's not what the Bodhisattva vow is about.

    Lots of food for thought, here. Great discussion topic.

    lobsterShoshinkando
  • I think we need insight into what is good and bad. But before that we need concentration for that insight to arrive. And this meditation is process of letting things settle and seeing what is there. We can easily have a 'monkey mind' version of deciding what is good and bad that is just mental chatter. As in 'oh no I am having thoughts'.

    lobsterShoshinkando
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    When negative thoughts was mentioned n the book, I took its meaning to be lacking positive or affirmative qualities eg, thinking negatively about someone or something...

    However I'll find out the book title at this evening's meeting ...I think it might be "Many Ways to Nirvana" :)

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited November 12

    Nibbana=Cessation of thoughts both positive and negative. It transcends.

    "This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Nibbana.".

    The sound of silence is like a subtlety behind everything that you awaken to; you don't notice it if you're seeking the extremes. Yet as we start to become more poised, more present, fully receptive of all this moment has to offer, we start to experience it vividly and listening to it can draw us ever--deeper into the mysteries of now.

    Ajahn Sumedho

    “There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.” Rumi

    Close the door of words
    that the window of your heart may open.
    To see what cannot be seen
    turn your eyes inward
    and listen, in silence.

    ~ Rumi

    lobsterperson
  • Wait a minute, @Shoshin. I think we would need to define "negative thoughts", first. Do you (or did the DL) mean--ruminating on negativity? That's attachment to negative thoughts. I agree that attachment to negativity isn't compatible with Nirvana.

    Attachment to pink unicorns and fluffy new age rainbow thoughts are another form of ruminating (I would suggest karmically more helpful but also an attachment) :o

    In the stillness of mind from practice, genuine or unattached expression arises. In this sense it is calm and right for the situation. o:)

    The Right Concentration that @Jeffrey mentions of a disciplined mind, moves away from ruminating, wallowing, indulging and becomes empowered by stillness and quiet as @pegembara illustrates ...

    The plan. We haz it ... <3

    person
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    The book was "The Eight Verses of Mind Training" Unfortunately the group member didn't bring the book to this Monday's meeting, so I can't give the precise location of where the Dalai Lama mentions things along the line of being free of all negative thoughts in the book and how we the group came to this conclusion ...

    However I guess some who are familiar with theses verses will no doubt see the connection relating to one must seek to be free of all negative thoughts ( negative being unwholesome thoughts that wish to harm others and so forth) just as some may not see it this way at all...

    Some teachers use the term "The Eight Verses of "Thought" Transformation"

    But each to their own thoughts I guess ;)

    Being free of all negative thoughts may simplify the definition of the state of Nirvana but achieving this goal is just as daunting... so it would seem :)

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    I love the Eight Verses, I used to say it everyday as a part of my prayers.

    With the determination to accomplish
    The highest welfare of all sentient beings,
    Who surpass even a wish-granting jewel,
    I will learn to hold them supremely dear.

    Whenever I associate with others I will learn
    To think of myself as the lowest amongst all
    And respectfully hold others to be supreme
    From the very depths of my heart.

    In all actions I will learn to search into my mind
    And as soon as a disturbing emotion arises
    Endangering myself and others
    I will firmly face and avert it

    I will learn to cherish ill-natured beings
    And those oppressed by strong misdeeds and sufferings
    As if I had found a precious
    Treasure difficult to find.

    When others out of envy treat me badly
    With abuse, slander, and the like
    I will learn to take all loss
    And offer the victory to them.

    When the one whom I have benefited with great hope
    Hurts me very badly without reason,
    I will learn to view that person
    As an excellent spiritual guide.

    In short, I will learn to offer to everyone without exception
    All help and happiness directly and indirectly
    And respectfully take upon myself
    All harm and suffering of my mothers.

    I will learn to keep all those practices
    Undefiled by the stains of the eight worldly concerns
    And by understanding all phenomena as like illusions
    Be released from the bondage of attachment.

    lobsterShoshin
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    can nirvana be where there is a low there is a high.such as a sneeze. such as deep sleep after overworked all day. a warm bath to relieve the ache.nirvana can be real.,concreate,from the abstract,imo.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    nirvanic feeling tone,the buddha siddharth suggest.the feeling tone wins out the negative feeling tone that those concreate example suggest.

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited November 14

    "This is the difference, this the distinction, this the distinguishing factor between the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones and the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person."

    Gain/loss,
    status/disgrace,
    censure/praise,
    pleasure/pain:
        these conditions among human beings
        are inconstant,
    impermanent,
    subject to change.
    

    Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
    ponders these changing conditions.
    Desirable things don't charm the mind,
    undesirable ones bring no resistance.

    His welcoming
    & rebelling are scattered,
    gone to their end,
    do not exist.

    Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
    he discerns rightly,
    has gone, beyond becoming,
    to the Further Shore.

    Painful feelings are neither welcomed nor rejected. The same goes for pleasant ones. Don't be a masochist.

    https://www.mehermount.org/story-blog/2016/hiss-but-dont-bite

    lobsterperson
  • Well said @pegembara 🙏🏽

    Someone once summarised her years of listening to dharma talks in this most valuable advice:

    ‘Hello thought, goodbye thought!’

    👋

    Kundo
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