Insights into Thinking.

Fascination for our Mental Suffering, by Corrado Pensa

When we recognise the impact, the consequences, of this constant and out-of-control train of thoughts-emotions-thoughts-emotions, when we recognise the proliferation, and when we start to realise that the more we feed this flow, this behaviour, the less tractable we become, then we begin to wake up to something of value.

Corridor Pensa
Seated Buddha, Sakyamuni, China, Shanxi province, Tianlongshan, early 8th century, © Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum

We hear and read that we should look inside. We suffer, we are stuck in some kind of pain, mostly mental — mental torment, mental pain — and the dharma, the wisdom-path emphasises how necessary, how crucial, it is to look inside. And that is different from always looking outside which is much more common. We tend to find faults here and there but not look at the roots inside. So we like this idea, after some hesitation maybe, ‘Ah looking inside, yeah!’ After some enthusiasm, however, we might find that it’s not that easy. We might still be convinced that we should look inside, but we keep looking outside.

Fascination for our Mental Suffering, by Corrado Pensa

Mindfulness is not thinking, by Trevor Leggett

Mindfulness in words — trying to make an internal commentary of what one is doing — is just a kind of illusion.

Trevor Leggett
Monk and friend Artwork by Marcelle Hanselaar

Mindfulness is not thinking, this is one of the reasons it is so powerful.

It is a common view that mindfulness is thinking — Now I’m walking. Now I’m talking. Now I’m not walking or talking, but just standing. Now I’m sitting down... It is just like a running BBC commentary. But, as a matter of fact, words cannot describe these things. Words can never describe what you do when you walk. There is only the actual living experience. If you say ‘walk’, does that mean the toe comes down first, the heel comes down first, or the foot comes down flat? The living experience is awareness of it all, but words can never describe it.

Mindfulness is not thinking, by Trevor Leggett

All things come together without our knowledge. Gien Inour Roshi

However, everything I’ve just said – the seeing of the difference between fact and opinion, the ability to simply see everything arising, one thing after another – is only the first step, not the basis, not the fundamental thing.

Gien Inour Roshi
Gien Inoue Roshi.

The way thought is usually being used, it has no power at all! It doesn’t deal with reality. It is based on ‘I’. So, no matter what conclusion it comes to, it can’t fit, because it’s not dealing with reality. Once you let thought go, you see a bigger function, a bigger ‘I’ that has nothing to do with thought. Then, all of a sudden, thought itself begins to deal with reality. It arranges itself automatically. Now thought naturally follows from reality whereas before it was mere nonsense.

All things come together without our knowledge. Gien Inour Roshi

This is the Buddha’s Firm and Unshakeable Awareness, by Ajahn Chah

I’m telling you, it’s great fun to observe closely how the mind works. I could happily talk about this one subject the whole day. When you get to know the ways of the mind, you’ll see how this process functions and how it’s kept going through being brainwashed by the mind’s impurities.

Ajahn Chah
Ajahn Chah © The Sangha, Wat Nong Pah Pong

Psychological states are guests who come to visit this spot. Sometimes this person comes to call; sometimes that person pays a visit. They come to the visitor centre. Train the mind to watch and know them all with the eyes of alert awareness. This is how you care for your heart and mind. Whenever a visitor approaches you wave them away. If you allow them to enter, where are they going to sit down? There’s only one seat, and you’re sitting in it. Spend the whole day in this one spot.

This is the Buddha’s Firm and Unshakeable Awareness, by Ajahn Chah

Categories: Ajahn Chah, An Introduction to Buddhism, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Corrado Pensa, Trevor Leggett

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1 reply

  1. Great quotes ☺️👍!


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