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Buddhist teaching about daydreaming?

Hi, I don't know if this is the right forum for this but i wanted to ask this question. Is daydreaming bad in Buddhism? I tend to do that a lot. For the past few days I keep daydreaming about a boy that I will probably never see or talk to again. What is the right thing to do in this situation according to Buddhism?

Comments

  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    @new158 said:
    Hi, I don't know if this is the right forum for this but i wanted to ask this question. Is daydreaming bad in Buddhism? I tend to do that a lot. For the past few days I keep daydreaming about a boy that I will probably never see or talk to again. What is the right thing to do in this situation according to Buddhism?

    Day dreaming is considered a pointless exercise in Buddhism but it is something all of us mere mortals tend to be prone to doing.

    The idea in Buddhism is to try and be present in the moment.

    So when you catch yourself day dreaming come back to the breath or some kind of mantra that suits you. Be gentle with yourself though. Old habits take a long time to break. Just keep going without judgement.

    Best of luck ❤️❤️❤️

    Nirvana
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Hi and welcome...

    Daydreaming in my experience is when the mind is getting ready to attach itself to something. I used to daydream about spaceships, and these days they seem to have moved into my actual dreams!

    I don’t think it is bad, as such. It’s more something to be treated with awareness, try and be aware of what’s happening. But approach it with kindness and friendship.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    What is the right thing to do in this situation according to Buddhism?

    Wake up or dream your life away? Which would anyone choose? 🙏🏽

    Bunks
  • federicafederica Deep-fried Dharma Batter Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @lobster said:

    What is the right thing to do in this situation according to Buddhism?

    Wake up or dream your life away? Which would anyone choose? 🙏🏽

    "I slept and dreamt I was a butterfly...Then I awoke; and wondered, was I a butterfly dreaming it was a man?"

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

    The imagination is a tool. Desire powers the tool, and it can be used for many things. it can create ghost worlds, and it can be used to engage more fully with this more immediate, but also ephemeral, world. I recommend, and try to practice, the latter.

    Daily life, art, literature, even some forms of meditation use this tool. You must be mindful of what you create with it because it can also use you, and it can carry you to a place that is far from what you desire. A table saw can be used to make useful things, and it can easily cut off your fingers. Mindfulness is the key to a good outcome.

    Dream on, I say. Consider all the ramifications, discard the impossible and the harmful when you have perceived their nature.

    KeromeShoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @new158 said:
    Hi, I don't know if this is the right forum for this but i wanted to ask this question. Is daydreaming bad in Buddhism?

    Good, bad.....in the scheme of things.... it's all relative...

    I tend to do that a lot. For the past few days I keep daydreaming about a boy that I will probably never see or talk to again. What is the right thing to do in this situation according to Buddhism?

    Be patient for this too shall pass

    @Bunks suggestion of a mantra is one way to help focus the mind...

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran
    edited December 2019

    Day dreams and their content can distractingly bring us over and over the content of thoughts. But thoughts never cease like waves in water never cease. It is for you to decide which thoughts are day dreams and to be let go. If training in meditation the start is to notice thoughts are there and perhaps have the breath to bring you into the present moment. But why does anything matter? That's for you to decide/investigate.

  • GuiGui Veteran Veteran

    Some might say that all thinking is dreaming. And what we call day-dreaming is just thoughts that we accept as not being in our mind's box of what it calls reality.

    Kerome
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran

    To elaborate:

    "When we are lost in thinking, we make all sorts of assumptions about the nature of thoughts. Before we can explore these assumptions we have to learn to acknowledge thoughts as thoughts and let them all go. In other words, we have to give up our attachment to the content of what we are thinking about.

    At a certain point, the practice becomes more one of letting be than of letting go. It is a matter of letting experience be as it is without complicating it further. This is what happens when you let go of complicating and distracting thoughts. As you let them go you sense a kind of opening movement and that becomes increasingly relaxed and spacious.

    This opening happens naturally as you become more familiar with the nature of thoughts. At first they seem to be something quite tangible that get in the way of the meditation. But gradually it starts to dawn that the nature of thoughts is light and spacious. They are not anywhere, they are not anything, they don’t stay anywhere and they don’t block anything. So what is there to let go of? When you understand this you can just let them be."

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited December 2019

    Thoughts do occupy your attention though, to the extent that you sometimes have to say to someone else “sorry, I was just lost in my thoughts” after not paying attention to them. The origin of thoughts is unclear, except that it has to do with memory. Thoughts can be experienced as light and spacious, but your attention can be entirely occupied by them, as it can by any of the senses.

    That’s why daydreaming can be seen as somewhat negative, your attention gets moved away from the present moment. Learning to observe thoughts and be a witness is a good skill to have, some would say it is a turning point in the spiritual journey.

  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `   South Carolina, USA Veteran

    IMO, daydreaming is at least doing something as opposed to being a TV-aholic or a movie-aholic. Much of religion, IMO is just glorified daydreaming.

    lobsterBunks
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `   South Carolina, USA Veteran

    Is there a Buddhist Teaching on This —other than just rigorously cultivating mindfulness insofar as one is capable?

    I mean, if you catch yourself doing it, maybe turn it into a creative story-telling or story-creating exercise? At some point, even sitting in meditation wastes some time. But does it deteriorate your substance?

    I am interested to hear of a truly Buddhist teaching on just this question, but I seriously doubt that there is one. But then again, wonders never cease.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    for some this may seem wacko but...

    I think the Buddha was just someone who woke up from the daydream of his own ignorance. Daydreams probably have some values somewhere but I suspect those values have little to do with any direct heading along the road towards sufferings cessation.

    The following is just what I practically observe within my own particular meditation practice about daydreams.
    Any mangling of any Buddhist scriptures in these ramblings is purely unintentional.

    I find there are two places where a daydream can actually be unplugged before it starts to play out. There may be finer precursors to these two, but these are what works for me.
    With sufficient mindfulness it is possible to notice when one or more of our sense gates start to distort some of our sense gate data feed of what we see or hear or smell or taste or feel.
    This can first be discerned when the normal sense gate data flow changes from a balanced input over to the dominance of some sense inputs at the expense of the rest.
    Here, when noticing a lack of awareness of the flow of one or more of the sense gates, a simple intentional scan of the quieted sense gates will instantly over ride what ever instigated their shut down and their data feeds return to normal.
    When I fail to notice (or choose not to correct the imbalance) a daydream will invariable start to unfold. If this occurs while my eyes are open, my eyes will intentionally lose some of their focus to facilitate a neutral screen upon which the daydream is played out. Noticing and correcting the eyes when they start to lose focus is the second and last time where a daydream can be avoided before it starts to play out.

    I also didn't mention the mind, which is usually listed as one of the sense gates, as it appears to me to be the most likely suspect in the manipulation of other sense gates and is probably instigating the daydreams as a habituated defense of it's own imagined fiefdom.

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