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Not attaching to thoughts

JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matterNetherlands Veteran

I was writing this morning and it occurred to me that if you can manage not to get attached to your thoughts, and instead can just let them come and go, you will have achieved almost total detachment. The reason thoughts are so fascinating is because your thoughts contain everything you ever experienced or imagined. It is the sum total of your personal samsara.

But understanding that thoughts are not really wholesome, that they are something to be handled with care and caution and a measure of distaste, like a dangerous snake, can help you keep your distance. You may note when you start doing this a tendency for attention to get caught up in clicks and movements within the body.



  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited October 9

    The human condition seems predicated on a self-serving dominance of thought, whose primary purpose has been the maintaining of its own rulings' storyline. This is a description of a coup of the mind where our thoughts have been habitually promoting themselves above all of the incoming data available from all of our other sense gates.

    Meditation simply offers a level playing field where a potential reversal of such power imbalances can occur with no one sense gate getting preferential support in seeking dominance over another.
    Neither attaching, rejecting or ignoring our thoughts,
    a sleeper can awaken to an equanimity beyond the limits of it's former attachments.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    Byron Katie’s method “The Work” is interesting here as well, as it is all about finding and examining our deeply-held thoughts to see if they are actually true. It seems that in many cases people hold thoughts about their parents and near family that aren’t true.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    I suspect that any thought that we "need" to hold, more likely describes our identity, than an independent truth.

  • This is somewhere I get a little lost. What happens after the detachment from thoughts? Neither attaching, rejecting, or ignoring. Just a guest visiting. There is still this interconnected life to be lived. A life which, in the living of, will ripple into other lives.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    From a me-first agenda, arising thoughts remain deeply intertwined in an identity and the self-oriented interests that they reflect.

    While such thoughts may feel powerful for the emotional overlay that our identity imparts to them, they are equally hobbled by the same self-limiting interests.

    From a more selfless agenda, arising thoughts, not being so tied to a self-identity, are able to unfold with freedoms that better represent the underlying fluidity of all truths.

    When meditation allows one to objectively observe all of our data flows without our habituated editing of those data flows getting in thoughts way, then our interactions with life will simply reflect those truths.

    Just don't confuse the detachment from thoughts with inactivity, apathy, indecisiveness or with giving it values below or above of what you also are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting or feeling.

  • If I understand right, in reducing the me-first agenda which attaches to thoughts based on likes and dislikes, thoughts that represent the underlying fluidity of all truths are more able to be identified from among them and chosen?

    The story of the monk sitting by the water's edge of a forest lake, calmly, quietly in concentration as if an extension of the embankment. The monk's stillness is an act of safety from themself to all the types of forest animals who come to drink from the lake. It's in acting out of a me-first agenda which sends the animals running back into the woods.

    I sit alone at the lake and skip stones across the water's surface to entertain myself while waiting for the animals to show up not realizing that act is what keeps them away. Confused by that me-first agenda which likes to do things and be entertained when waiting around for stillness to show up.

  • The calmer, gentler and kinder we become. The more Peace we are the more peace manifests around us.

    You can fool some of the world some of the time but not all of the world all the time. <3

  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran
    edited October 11

    Just a thought....

    Thoughts are charmers (both the pleasant and destructive ones) our minds can be easily charmed by them... and it's force of habit of this sense of self to think it is the thinker behind the thought, when in fact the thought itself is the thinker and the unaware sense of self more often than not is just taken for an emotional rollercoaster ride ..
    E(nergy in) Motion
    Awareness is fundamentally non-conceptual before thinking splits experience into subject and object...It is empty and so can contain everything including thought...It is boundless...And amazingly it is intrinsically knowing

    One could say ....Awareness is in the habit of finding the thoughts thoughts faults...

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    There seems to be a certain amount of choice in a chain of thought. That you have one thought, which sparks another thought, which leads to a third, and so it goes on. But the direction your thoughts take is largely dependent on your state of mind, which colours your experience of memory and so the thoughts that follow. It’s interesting.

    When you don’t identify too much with thoughts you can begin to see a bit of the process.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think The liminal space Veteran

    I think feelings and emotions kind of fall into this dynamic as well. Thinking and feeling are linked, feelings lead to certain thoughts and those thoughts reinforce and give rise to feelings, on and on.

    When we're aware and can see the patterns happening we have the opportunity to step back and reconnect with the breath or body, or redirect our mind elsewhere.

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