Author Topic: repetitive thoughts  (Read 386 times)

Everest10

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    • Vipassana
repetitive thoughts
« on: April 15, 2022, 01:56:44 PM »
Hi,
for the past 4 months I have been sitting twice daily for Vipassana, taking my sittings seriously. This practice has enabled me to give up alcohol completely (I wouldn't call myself an alcoholic but it was a daily habit) and end a period of moderate depression (feeling low for a considerable period, linked to relationship issues). In essence, daily practice of Vipassana has changed me for the better and I realize its value, so continue. This more serious period of practice followed a 10 day course. 6 years ago I also took a course but didn't have the determination to continue regular practice, nevertheless the benefits remained in memory. 
As it is, during my daily sittings my mind settles very quickly as I bring my awareness to my breath, then to the bodily sensations. I'm not sure if I'm in absorption (I try not to use labels) but I am aware that the meditation is deep, continuous  and stable. Occasionally there is a awareness that the body is just pure vibration, nothing else. My first experience of this was followed by fear and I stopped practicing, but then I started again because I need to meditate. Now I just see this kind of experience as a normal part of practice and it doesn't bother me. I guess this is normal. I have stabilized in practice again.
My question is related to repetitive thoughts that I have between meditation sittings. These are related to a difficult relationship in the past that has ended.
An image of the person comes to mind then my thinking around this imagination begins its narrative. I try just to be aware of the imagination as it happens and then let it go at that point and not begin the internal dialogue (which I know is rooted in clinging and aversion, not wanting things to be as they are, essentially ego). I know this but it is still incredibly hard to be free of these thoughts. I am also aware that I created this condition for myself.
My assistant teacher gave me some good advice. He said that I should see the repetitive thoughts as impermanent because they are never quite the same thoughts. Indeed, this is true.
Should I then view these thoughts as sensations, like all the others? More rarified sensations? or are they something else?
I guess these thoughts are emerging from deep inside, should I just allow them to happen? Just be mindful, register and let go?
I do now see certain kinds of thoughts as reminders to strengthen mindfulness. That is a positive reaction.

I am unsure whether just to be mindful is allowing the repetitive thoughts to dissipate and loose their power? Should I inquire into them or just let them go? I do not want to repress.

Apologies for this rather rambling post.











 






 

Thanisaro85

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  • When thoughts, sensations, feelings arise,know it
    • Reverend father Jaran, Pramote. Theravada
    • Still breathing.
Re: repetitive thoughts
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2022, 10:51:55 AM »
Congrats to you on quitting alcohol successfully with meditations. Its a big milestone and encouragement at least for yourself.

Have you notice, The thoughts frequency varies from day to day. Sometimes there are not much thoughts, sometimes there are a lot and never stop?


((Should I then view these thoughts as sensations, like all the others? More rarified sensations? or are they something else?
I guess these thoughts are emerging from deep inside, should I just allow them to happen? Just be mindful, register and let go?)).

Thoughts are different from sensations but you are right, allow them to happen, watch it and let it go.
A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

Middleway

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  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: repetitive thoughts
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2022, 04:38:48 PM »
Everest10, you are on right track. Because of your steady practice, you are now more mindful off-the-cushion. This is the reason why you are able to take notice of your discursive thought process during the day. It was there before too but you did not notice it as much.

Keep up the practice, it will slowly reduce the discursive thinking. You can also practice it by noting it whenever you catch yourself thinking, and bring your attention back to breathing. In a way, you simply extend your practice on the cushion to off-the-cushion activities.

Great to see a positive post like this in a while on this forum. It is inspiring!
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

dharma bum

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  • Certified Zen Master (second degree black belt)
    • vipassana
Re: repetitive thoughts
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2022, 07:47:17 PM »
I also suffer from repetitive thoughts. (I think this is true for everyone). I don't have any advice to give, but for me, a good night's sleep makes the most difference to repetitive negative thoughts. Also, an early morning walk in natural surroundings appears to help. If I'm meditating regularly, then I'm also going to sleep at the right time, and acting upon my plan to go for walks in the morning. The early morning walks actually are a kind of meditation because you exercise awareness of birds, plants, and your sense of self reduces. Often I start a walk full of repetitive noise in my head and as I'm walking back home, they are greatly reduced.
Mostly ignorant

Dhamma

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Re: repetitive thoughts
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2022, 06:48:22 PM »
I also suffer from repetitive thoughts. (I think this is true for everyone). I don't have any advice to give, but for me, a good night's sleep makes the most difference to repetitive negative thoughts. Also, an early morning walk in natural surroundings appears to help. If I'm meditating regularly, then I'm also going to sleep at the right time, and acting upon my plan to go for walks in the morning. The early morning walks actually are a kind of meditation because you exercise awareness of birds, plants, and your sense of self reduces. Often I start a walk full of repetitive noise in my head and as I'm walking back home, they are greatly reduced.

That was a beautifully truth-telling post.

Thank you.

Peace and enlightenment.  :)
May we see the emptiness of all phenomena

mobius

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    • vipassana
Re: repetitive thoughts
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2022, 12:25:57 AM »
I also suffer from repetitive thoughts. (I think this is true for everyone). I don't have any advice to give, but for me, a good night's sleep makes the most difference to repetitive negative thoughts. Also, an early morning walk in natural surroundings appears to help. If I'm meditating regularly, then I'm also going to sleep at the right time, and acting upon my plan to go for walks in the morning. The early morning walks actually are a kind of meditation because you exercise awareness of birds, plants, and your sense of self reduces. Often I start a walk full of repetitive noise in my head and as I'm walking back home, they are greatly reduced.

Boy can I not agree and reiterate this enough. I lost count how many times I was feeling depressed/anxious/angry or any kind of useless or even harmful negative mental state, and then I realized; I'm tired. I'm extremely tired I need sleep. And the next day; those thoughts are gone; as if they never happened. Why did I feel this way? Why was I thinking those thoughts? Because I didn't get enough sleep; I was not in a healthy mental place that's why.
Walking/physical exercise  has been really good for me as well.
"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

 

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