Author Topic: Watching thoughts and its benefits  (Read 2572 times)

right2be

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Watching thoughts and its benefits
« on: October 28, 2012, 03:11:16 AM »
Hello dear brothers,

for the last couple of days i have had an unusual amount of influx of thoughts, making me feel like my head was about to explode as i enquired " to whom do these thoughts arise", "to me", "who am i". Thoughts were appearing every second is seemed like and was frustrating to stay centered in I i was even enquiring "to whom do thoughts of frustration arise". I got to a point that i no longer enquired, and just watched each thought as it arose one by one like clouds passing by. it really made me feel centred as thought i was not living the thought, it really made the thoughts seem pointless and took the life away from the thoughts making them seem what they really are, unreal. i watched thoughts of frustration and anger pass seeing them for what they are which is just a thought and being unaffected.

I know this is not self enquiry as i am just watching thoughts.

But is there any benefits tho this ?

Thank you brothers.

Ravi.N

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Re: Watching thoughts and its benefits
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2012, 04:00:16 AM »
Ivac,
You have brought out a very practical and important aspect and as it seems,an inevitable phase that one has to pass through.There are several angles to this.Here is an excerpt from Swami Vivekananda's Raja Yoga:

The first lesson, then, is to sit for some time and let the mind run on. The mind is bubbling up all the time. It is like that monkey jumping about. Let
the monkey jump as much as he can; you simply wait and watch. Knowledge is power, says the proverb, and that is true. Until you know what
the mind is doing you cannot control it. Give it the rein; many hideous thoughts may come into it; you will be astonished that it was possible for
you to think such thoughts. But you will find that each day the mind's vagaries are becoming less and less violent, that each day it is becoming
calmer. In the first few months you will find that the mind will have a great many thoughts, later you will find that they have somewhat decreased, and
in a few more months they will be fewer and fewer, until at last the mind will be under perfect control; but we must patiently practise every day
. As
soon as the steam is turned on, the engine must run; as soon as things are before us we must perceive; so a man, to prove that he is not a machine,
must demonstrate that he is under the control of nothing. This controlling of the mind, and not allowing it to join itself to the centres, is Pratyahara. How
is this practised? It is a tremendous work, not to be done in a day. Only after a patient, continuous struggle for years can we succeed.

Be like the pearl oyster. There is a pretty Indian fable to the effect that if it rains when the star Svati is in the ascendant, and a drop of rain falls into an
oyster, that drop becomes a pearl. The oysters know this, so they come to the surface when that star shines, and wait to catch the precious raindrop. When
a drop falls into them, quickly the oysters close their shells and dive down to the bottom of the sea, there to patiently develop the drop into the pearl. We
should be like that. First hear, then understand, and then, leaving all distractions, shut your minds to outside influences, and devote yourselves to
developing the truth within you. There is the danger of frittering away your energies by taking up an idea only for its novelty, and then giving it up for
another that is newer. Take one thing up and do it, and see the end of it, and before you have seen the end, do not give it up. He who can become mad
with an idea, he alone sees light. Those that only take a nibble here and a nibble there will never attain anything. They may titillate their nerves for a
moment, but there it will end. They will be slaves in the hands of nature, and will never get beyond the senses.
Those who really want to be Yogis must give up, once for all, this nibbling at things. Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life -- think of it, dream
of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the
way to success, and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced
.
Others are mere talking machines. If we really want to be blessed, and make others blessed, we must go deeper. The first step is not to disturb the mind,
not to associate with persons whose ideas are disturbing
. All of you know that certain persons, certain places, certain foods, repel you. Avoid them;
and those who want to go to the highest, must avoid all company, good or bad. Practise hard; whether you live or die does not matter. You have to
plunge in and work, without thinking of the result. If you are brave enough, in six months you will be a perfect Yogi. But those who take up just a bit of
it and a little of everything else make no progress. It is of no use simply to take a course of lessons. To those who are full of Tamas, ignorant and dull --
those whose minds never get fixed on any idea, who only crave for something to amuse them -- religion and philosophy are simply objects of
entertainment. These are the unpersevering. They hear a talk, think it very nice, and then go home and forget all about it. To succeed, you must have
tremendous perseverance, tremendous will. "I will drink the ocean," says the persevering soul, "at my will mountains will crumble up." Have that sort of
energy, that sort of will, work hard, and you will reach the goal.

Namaskar.

right2be

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Re: Watching thoughts and its benefits
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2012, 06:07:17 AM »
Dear Ravi,

Thank you for your beautiful reply. I will read it over and over and will not give up as I am starting to see the mind for what it is and understand. when i see thought after thought that passes by it starts to take away what I used to believe was reality. One by one passing by which I used to arrogantly take for real as though these thoughts was who I am. They create the illusion similar to a movie with a personality, desires, preferences and misery. But none are permanent, none are eternal. As one thought ends it needs the next thought to arise to continue the illusion. Even the thought appears ' I am watching my thoughts ' and I realise. Mind cannot watch mind, thought cannot watch thought. this thought of 'I am watching my thoughts' is even illusion because this thought is not permanent, once it ends another follows. But in the spaces between, it is quiet, never changing, un affected I now take to be real and rest in it while I watch thoughts pass by. What I used to arrogantly think was real which was the thoughts of mind are seeming to become the background and what I used to take as the background, quiet and never changing I now rest in while I watch thoughts pass.

The stream of thoughts still run, and is not yet silent, but they are starting to lose their power because i no longer fear them, i do not get angry or happy if there is a heavy or light stream of thoughts or good thoughts or bad thoughts I now see them for what they really are and see me for who really am. I am not thought. I am changeless, can not be touched, eternal and unaffected never rising and never going, and realise more and more. I will follow the advice from your post of Swami Vivekananda's and will now rest in it till mind is exhausted from all thoughts.

Thank you
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 06:17:08 AM by ivac_d »

atmavichar100

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Re: Watching thoughts and its benefits
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2012, 07:41:26 AM »
Quote
Observing thoughts is a very good and useful sadhana.

In Buddhism they practice this in the form of a technique called "Vipassana" , so is Vipassana also useful technique ?
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

Subramanian.R

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Re: Watching thoughts and its benefits
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2012, 12:26:39 PM »
Dear ivac_d,

Watching the thoughts can be experimented by a sadhaka in the beginning. But how to control those jungle of thoughts.
As Ravi said, keep one thought, that would replace the other thoughts. Say, a god's name or mantra. It is like giving a chain
to the ever oscillating trunk of the elephant. The elephant instead of catching this tree branch and that tree branch, will hold
on to the chain and keep moving.

Arunachala Siva.

right2be

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Re: Watching thoughts and its benefits
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2012, 01:44:24 PM »
Dear subramanian brother.

After watching thoughts mind seems to settle down in some time at that point when mind is relatively quieted down I revert back to "who am I" and " where from does I spring" but when mind is just soo overwhelming with thoughts trying to hold one thoughts seems to be like having a new thought rise every few second. It makes it such a difficult task to have a quiet mind with "I" thought for even 10 seconds seems almost impossible without having another thought pop up and disturbing concentration. So pretty much it's helping to be less affected by thoughts and approach self enquiry with less distracting thoughts.

Just out of curiosity how long can you keep a quiet mind with only "I" thought until other thoughts can arise.

Also is there no other use to watching thoughts other than experimental purpose ?
In ravis post it also say after watching thoughts mind will learn to be silent after some time according to Swami Vivekananda's.  What are your impression of this ?

right2be

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Re: Watching thoughts and its benefits
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2012, 01:47:12 PM »
Thank you also tushnim for bringing that to my attention. That is very true though, I am is unaffected.

Ivac_d

right2be

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Re: Watching thoughts and its benefits
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2012, 02:01:11 PM »
Thank you for your reply also subramanian I understand what you mean. If I am to watch thoughts it would be much more beneficial to watch a single thought other than watching many thoughts.

Ravi.N

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Re: Watching thoughts and its benefits
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2012, 02:42:27 PM »
Ivac,

Quote
"After watching thoughts mind seems to settle down in some time at that point when mind is relatively quieted down I revert back to "who am I" and " where from does I spring"


You have got it perfect.No more teaching needed from any quarter.Now is the time to be like the pearl oyster!

Wish you the Very Best.

Namaskar.

atmavichar100

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Re: Watching thoughts and its benefits
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2012, 09:21:39 PM »
Dear Atmavichar,
     :) Vipasana is a superb technique. But a "Technique" or a "sadhana" is for purification of mind. We should know this clearly.
I believe you understand this difference. :)
Sure I just wanted to know whether you were referring to Vipassana when "Observing the thoughts" was mentioned because that is what Vipassana is popularly for .
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha