Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

A Thoughtless Pursuit

ShoshinShoshin No one in particularNowhere Special Veteran
edited July 2017 in General Banter

Thinking...Don't you just love it...After all the effort put (by us and others) into learning how to think, we end up finding Buddhism and meditation through thoughts... and then find to our surprise when we want to stop thinking (misguided meditation) we can't (Oh the irony) ...

Not only we can't stop thinking, but for the most part it would seem we have no 'real' control over the contents of the thoughts... Rational, irrational, weird, wonderful, whacky, they are churned out over and over again... .

But then it's also magical ...Thinking can make one feel light and carefree, (put a spring in one's step) or heavy and weighed down (dragging one's feet) ...

However it would seem we like to 'think' we are (ie, there's an "I" ) doing the thinking, which is somewhat irrational, for if this were the case...Who in their right mind's "I" (pun intended) would choose to think thoughts that are unpleasant/disturbing or even act on unpleasant thoughts...

"Thinking" is a convenient tool if used wisely, but if handle incorrectly it will use you as its fool tool... A slave to one's thoughts

I guess Thinking is one of the most difficult things to think about, as one needs to use the very thing a "thought" to think about itself ...

Thinking...A Thing Often Done 'Without' even Thinking (not giving it a second thought).........Or do we ?

A penny for your thoughts on thoughts...

"Skillful Versus Unskillful Thoughts"


One of the first things I learnt about "thoughts" from meditation instruction was "All a thought wants is to be acknowledged after which it will happily go its merry way"



  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran

    I liked that article on thoughts...I got a couple good things from it. Thanks!

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    It was a good article I agree - well researched and with some good points about thinking, which seems to be a key topic in our daily lives.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    I often 'think' about this...

    But "I" don't always get it right....

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    When the spell is broken we can become our own enchanter perhaps.

  • upekkaupekka Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    I often 'think' about this...

    But "I" don't always get it right....

    can you see the empty space in between the letters, in this case T H I N K
    what we always do is add them together and give it a meaning
    it is alright until we incline towards our bias (pre notions, or perception we have built up around the word already with which make our world)

    what an interesting /dhamma revealed by Buddha and how compassionate He was to tell about it for us to know the nature/dhamma

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    As we continue to practice and learn to trust the Openness, Clarity, and Sensitivity of our being, it starts to dawn on us that this Openness, Clarity, and Sensitivity of our being is actually the Awakened Heart of all the Buddhas. This is the reality or truth that lies at the heart of the universe, the mystery at the heart of all that is.

    Shenpen Hookham

  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran
    edited July 2017

    the quotations in the article are interesting. "distraction of skillful nature" is a concept i wish i had heard about before. It is impossible to stop thinking entirely. I tried in vain.

    As a Pure Land Buddhist this skillful distraction reminds me of nembutsu. it was hard for me to understand what nembutsu was. am I supposed to chant? meditate? visualise? is it thought or beyond thought?

    in the Ichimai-kishomon Honen stated

    In China and Japan, many Buddhist masters and scholars understand that the nembutsu is to meditate deeply on Amida Buddha and the Pure Land. However, I do not understand the nembutsu in this way. Reciting the nembutsu does not come from studying and understanding its meaning. There is no other reason or cause by which we can utterly believe in attaining birth in the Pure Land than the nembutsu itself.

    from my other pure land readings I've come to realize the nembutsu is an experience you can only achieve once you totally let go of thinking, neither rejecting nor embracing thoughts, but viewing them as unimportant, immaterial, and separate from the nembutsu

    As a chronic over thinker, this is a life saver. I can recite the nembutsu whenever and wherever and no matter what it will have the same effect. when I recite the nembutsu I relinquish my mind and ownership of thoughts. no matter what I think or feel, the nembutsu will center me on a better path. I feel calm and relaxed.

    when I recite the nembutsu there is no "I" to worry about. the nembutsu is the great equalizer. under the pure vow, I will achieve "liberation" no matter what I think or who I am. what this liberation entails, I don't entirely know. but knowing isn't the point.

    I achieve liberation from the self because I'm just a vehicle of the pure vows fulfillment. to become this vehicle I recite the nembutsu, achieving liberation from thought in my recitation.

    single mindedly, simple mindedly. one mindedly. no mindedly.



    Leaving the (defiled) mind of sentient beings just as it is, Amida places the good mind (Buddha's mind) upon it and makes it good. It is not that the mind of sentient beings is completely taken away and that it is filled only with the Buddha's wisdom. (Goichidai kikigaki 64)

    When the mind of the Buddha and the mind of a foolish being become one, the defiled mind of the foolish being becomes the good mind of the Buddha. That is, the defiled mind, filled with blind passion, changes into a good and pure mind. But we must note that although such a change occurs, the defiled mind of the foolish being does not disappear completely. Rather, while the defiled mind is transformed by the power of true compassion, it remains just as it is.

Sign In or Register to comment.