Author Topic: Watching thoughts is pretty boring  (Read 178 times)

raushan

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    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Watching thoughts is pretty boring
« on: November 20, 2020, 01:45:15 AM »
First I would say it is definitely an improvement that I am able to observe my thoughts sometimes. Being aware of my thoughts wasn't possible for me earlier. Still, there is much more to go.  So yesterday when I wasn't able to fall asleep I tried to be aware of my thoughts. I did that I think for 2-3 hours without any posture. Just lying on the bed.

But I found that just being aware of thoughts is pretty boring. I mean there were the same repetitive thoughts coming again and again. I was able to see that 1 minute I was thinking about something and suddenly got switched to an entirely different topic. Also, I was able to see that How my mood was changing automatically from happy to anger to disgust to lust based on the content of thoughts.

But overall I just wanted it to go away. I wasn't enjoying at all why I was thinking about all these things. I found my mind really boring. It has happened multiple times.

What insight can I get by being aware of the boring mind? Anyone has any opinion/suggestion regarding this?
« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 02:11:40 AM by raushan »

stillpointdancer

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Re: Watching thoughts is pretty boring
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2020, 11:50:19 AM »
Unfortunately a lot of meditation can be quite boring, a bit like going to the gym to get fit. You can go like this for months or years before anything happens during meditation, but changes will be taking place if you have patience. If you don't, like I didn't, you can try some different meditations to see if any suite you better or are more interesting. I went in for visualisation meditations, to give my brain something to focus on but also to keep up the interest over a long time scale.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Goofaholix

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Re: Watching thoughts is pretty boring
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2020, 07:58:56 PM »
Firstly it sounds like you are watching the content of thought, generally you should be paying attention to the process of thought rather than the content or "story" that thought contains.  Unless you find yourself being caught up with the same story over and over again in which case it might be worth investigating why it has such a hold on you.

Just notice thought arising, passing away, it's affect on the body and emotions.  Notice when you get caught up in thought and what happens when you realise it.

Boredom is simply a form of aversion, either you don't want what you are experiencing, or you want something else.  Noticing aversion as it arises is the first step in the process of freeing the mind from it's habitual reactions.

Meditation is designed to unmask this boredom/aversion by taking away all the things that you use to distract yourself, this give you the opportunity to observe it, understand it, and ultimately free yourself.

raushan

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  • from India
    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: Watching thoughts is pretty boring
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2020, 02:23:06 PM »
Thanks, spd for the Response.

Goofaholix,

Thanks. It was helpful. Now Know a new angle to approach it.

mobius

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    • vipassana
Re: Watching thoughts is pretty boring
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2020, 02:40:40 AM »
Interestingly; I don't seem to be able to do this (at least with any serious length). I either get caught up [that is, time passes and I forget I'm supposed to be meditating] or as soon or quickly after becoming aware the thoughts sort of disappear or break apart then I'm silent and still. Though after a few moments of silence new thoughts will come back soon enough.

I guess when I become aware of my thoughts; most of the time they're dumb, repetitive, or negative (useless anger and such) that just lead to more time wasting thoughts. And so becoming aware of it I realize I'm only hurting myself by continuing to think in this way so all motivation/incentive to continue in this way falls away. When I am thinking in an interesting way (coming up with a good idea or solving a puzzle for instance) in the rare occasion that I became aware I guess I would just be glad I was thinking in a positive way then carry on.
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakuin Ekaku

"I have seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it has never come to pass" - Mark Twain

stillpointdancer

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Re: Watching thoughts is pretty boring
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2020, 11:09:47 AM »
It took many years for my brain to settle down enough to just sit in meditation without doing anything or without my mind wandering (still happens, of course) so I decided to try different strategies. Visualisation worked best for me and I went through lots of different types. Here's a list of a few of them: picturing myself in a safe place, tears of the Buddha (three or four variations of this), a hollow self which the air breathed in circulates around, breathing in black smoke and breathing out white light, chakra meditation, misty bridge over a river, pillar of energy, white mist, white metta flowing out of my hands.

If any of these piques your interest I would be glad to expand on them. I was a teacher before I retired and in what little time I had to meditate my brain was still churning from all the stuff I did that day. Which is my excuse for not being able to still my thinking without some kind of support like this.

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

dharma bum

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Re: Watching thoughts is pretty boring
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2020, 01:17:38 PM »
It can be liberating to realize that the thoughts are the same old rubbish I have been thinking of. It can s easier to let them go.
Mostly ignorant

raushan

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  • from India
    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: Watching thoughts is pretty boring
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2020, 06:23:02 PM »
It took many years for my brain to settle down enough to just sit in meditation without doing anything or without my mind wandering (still happens, of course) so I decided to try different strategies. Visualisation worked best for me and I went through lots of different types. Here's a list of a few of them: picturing myself in a safe place, tears of the Buddha (three or four variations of this), a hollow self which the air breathed in circulates around, breathing in black smoke and breathing out white light, chakra meditation, misty bridge over a river, pillar of energy, white mist, white metta flowing out of my hands.

If any of these piques your interest I would be glad to expand on them. I was a teacher before I retired and in what little time I had to meditate my brain was still churning from all the stuff I did that day. Which is my excuse for not being able to still my thinking without some kind of support like this.

Hello spd,

Your list of Visualization meditation is surely interesting. I would love to know in detail 1-2 of them. Like tears of Buddha, misty bridge over a river.

Middleway

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Re: Watching thoughts is pretty boring
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2020, 06:26:47 PM »
It took many years for my brain to settle down enough to just sit in meditation without doing anything or without my mind wandering (still happens, of course) so I decided to try different strategies. Visualisation worked best for me and I went through lots of different types. Here's a list of a few of them: picturing myself in a safe place, tears of the Buddha (three or four variations of this), a hollow self which the air breathed in circulates around, breathing in black smoke and breathing out white light, chakra meditation, misty bridge over a river, pillar of energy, white mist, white metta flowing out of my hands.

If any of these piques your interest I would be glad to expand on them. I was a teacher before I retired and in what little time I had to meditate my brain was still churning from all the stuff I did that day. Which is my excuse for not being able to still my thinking without some kind of support like this.

Not sure visualization leads to wisdom. If you visualize and get the mind to calm down, once you are out, you would be back to the monkey mind.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

raushan

  • Member
  • from India
    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: Watching thoughts is pretty boring
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2020, 06:30:49 PM »
Interestingly; I don't seem to be able to do this (at least with any serious length). I either get caught up [that is, time passes and I forget I'm supposed to be meditating] or as soon or quickly after becoming aware the thoughts sort of disappear or break apart then I'm silent and still. Though after a few moments of silence new thoughts will come back soon enough.

I guess when I become aware of my thoughts; most of the time they're dumb, repetitive, or negative (useless anger and such) that just lead to more time-wasting thoughts. And so becoming aware of it I realize I'm only hurting myself by continuing to think in this way so all motivation/incentive to continue in this way falls away. When I am thinking in an interesting way (coming up with a good idea or solving a puzzle for instance) in the rare occasion that I became aware I guess I would just be glad I was thinking in a positive way then carry on.

Hi mobius,

Even I'm having difficulty. There are thoughts that will break you however your mind is calm. Also, I guess for most people 90 % of thoughts are not wholesome. There is a majority of unwholesome thoughts. Their number is greater by a large amount. That's a big revelation in itself when we start to observe our thoughts. Most of the time we are judging, criticizing, getting angry.

If you observe closely you will find we always try to escape the difficult thoughts/feeling by any activity(Activity can vary with a large amount.)  So if we don't escape then we are forced to deal with the thoughts.

raushan

  • Member
  • from India
    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: Watching thoughts is pretty boring
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2020, 06:36:37 PM »
It can be liberating to realize that the thoughts are the same old rubbish I have been thinking of. It can s easier to let them go.

That's true. I find most of the thoughts I might have thought millions of times already. It's really interesting to find this fact. But at the same time, the same thing is useful also. Take for example suppose you have to do some paperwork you may notice that this thought will come to you multiple times over the week or month(if you keep procrastinating), at last, you complete it. So in this case this repetition of thought is necessary or useful.

But there are other hundreds of useless thoughts that also keep repeating themselves. So I want to say that this repetition of thought is maybe a required faculty of mind but it becomes a burden when it isn't in our control.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 06:38:37 PM by raushan »

 

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