Thursday, May 20, 2004

Today's Daily Zen:

Your notion that thoughts arise
Leads to a notion that you
Must prevent them
From arising.
These conflicting ideas
Are both wrong.
Look well at the source
Beyond mental activity.

- Daito (1282-1334)

What do you think this means? My meditation manual discusses the notion that thoughts just come and go, and that much of what we view as realities are nothing more than mere thoughts. But what is the source of our thoughts and why would anybody want to stop them from being generated? Do thoughts arise from reality, via perception and consciousness? Is that dangerous?


Brenda said...

I don't prevent my thoughts. I just got this mental picture of me standing on train tracks that go every which way, and I keep hopping into a car that represents a thought until I see another more appealing train car and hop into it. I do this all day long.
There is your fascinating look at the mind of a distracted idiot. You're welcome.
But it's fun, and I seem to lead a quiet, productive life.

doug said...

I will respond with what I think is ideal, not with what my own reality is. I want to be just like Backpew, she seems pretty cool.

No seriously, I strongly believe that much of my thinking is undisciplined and I would be served well to be more mindful of what I allow to play on my radio station. Sometimes I am dialed into RadioKFUCK and all bets are off. Other times I can dial into RadioReSUN (ReSUN = reason! just in case I was too cryptic, but I was going with the call letters theme) even if there is chaos all around.

I agree with your manual Randy, many of my thoughts are useless and so I try to devalue them. I think the trick for me personally is to know when my thought should be ignored and when it should be given a stage. With regards to the other fine questions you've raised, I pass to the more philosophical folks in the bunch. Dave, what say you?

Dave said...

Thank you Doug. Good evening, everyone.

To me, there is no source beyond mental activity. One thought leads to another. You get some input, but the input is translated into thoughts suitable for processing, so what you’re processing is just input interfaces (perception), and perception is merely thought. I think it’s dangerous to think otherwise. Just look at all the pain caused by believing in some outside source, like god(s) for instance.

Our entire experience is what goes on in our heads. That’s where all the perceiving, processing and experiencing happens. It’s a fallacy to think anything is real beyond what goes on in our heads. Absolute truths? Whatever. Maybe. Who knows? Who cares? It’s irrelevant. All we know is what we think.

I think the guy who wrote that quote was a religious nut who thought he was getting inspiration from some god or another. That’s just my personal take on it.

Dave said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dave said...

The reason I removed that last post was because I posted the same thing twice. Just in case you were wondering...

Brenda said...

"Thank you and good evening."

LOL! I feel like I just attended a symposium with you as guest speaker.
There I go again, chasing thoughts around. So, like, weren't there supposed to be refreshments after the symposium? I'm hungry.