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Watching the Mind — 11 Comments

  1. Reading the blog I assumed it was one of the yogis. I thought, ah this is someone who has really been focused on practice, glad to be in the group with this person. Wonder who it is? When I finished I realized it was you Pandit.

    Just found out Ajahn Jayasaro will be in here in Northern California in Oct. attending the Kathina at Abhayagiri. Look forward to spending time with him. Have it in mind that as I write this email you and the group will be on your way to Pak Chong in a few hours. If the talk is recorded it would be wonderful it have it online

  2. I share and fully understand many of your experiences when you were a younger man. I battled with many similar things you mentioned. I have just recently written a book about it. By doing this it put all my bottled-up emotions and anger out for all to read and has kind of help me move on to what and where I am now and may go next. I have had praise from many, except mother, who controlled my life for many years until I broke free just over three years ago

  3. Thank you for this blog entry. I’ve read it a few times. I’m about to do today’s puja and will watch my mind. Also really looking forward to the workshop on the 18th.

  4. Great to hear a practioner not advocating drugs for the common and widespread state of depression Pandit. I know who Barry Crump is but there are no deserts in kiwiland!

  5. When I started reading the blog, I was wondering how you could know so much about my own story 😉

    Thanks for the words about the citta, it is inspiring for our practice and – sure – will help me trying to figure out my “current state of mind”

  6. Great Sunday morning read. As always your natural candor brings to light the reality of the human struggle. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Hi . .really enjoyed reading this 🙂 it is so much more inspirational when reading about personal experiences ..
    I loved the way the Buddha puts it … so very true 🙂
    Thanks again
    see u soon 🙂

  8. Dear Bhante,
    I have been thinking about this. Could you explain quickly what “range/sort” of state of mind are there? Once I heard about watching and labelling them as “greed, hatred, delusion”. I found it very easy to follow and very useful. Can I still use it?
    I ask this because the excerpt you put there has “constricted, scattered, surpassed.. etc”, wondering if those are the correct set that we have to stick to.

  9. I think depression should be talked about. People have blamed me actually, saying ‘why would he tell that?’, but it needs to be in the open. One 25 year old I knew became depressed, and friends/family and his Westerm Monk (not me) friend all laughed it off, because they a) were afraid b0) didn’t know what to do c) Couldn’t read the signs.
    Within 2 months he had shot himself and died.
    The list of ‘sorts’ of mind in the original sutta are given above. It can be useful if contemplating a particular teaching to use labels such as greed/hate/delusion etc.. But mostly, if you ask the question, the mind tends to stop. You don’t need to think anything or analyse it – the mind is as it is, and you are with it right there.

    • 100% agree depression should be talked about, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, or to avoid. I was depressed for a period of time, it even translated into physical pain. Oh how busy and cluttered my mind was that time! Right now I have a young friend 26 years old who I think is depressed without knowing it, he always thinks everyone is disgusted of him, he’s too afraid to go out and try anything. He said a few years ago he even raised hands to his parents but now he is better, still he is at home doing nothing but playing games and watching anime. Nothing I can do but to keep him company by chatting from far.

      Actually when I heard about labelling the thoughts, the monk who taught us said the point of that exercise was to stop the thoughts — and yes, it works wonderfully. But apparently it’s a different exercise / purpose from what you describe here, Bhante. Sorry, I just realised I mixed it up.

    • This ‘the mind just seems to stop’ and then thinking ‘strange… where is my mind… where is my mind… wheeeeeere… hmm, is my mind the feeling in my solar plexus, is it the tension in the forehead or the shoulders, the tingling under my left foot, and what, then, do they signify?’ is what I found too – but as described by the following thoughts, it threw me off somehow, I thought the fact that I was not finding a specific mind state meant I was just very ignorant and not discerning enough (which is probably true, as I’ve experienced moments/periods of greater mindfulness and know that discernment can be greatly improved from baseline), but still, it’s nice to know that my practice was not just complete fumbling in the dark.

      I also agree depression needs to be talked about. Why should it not? There is a chance somebody can be helped, and what could be more important? If one’s aspiration is to be compassionate to others, then surely sharing one’s experiences, including difficulties (and if one has found them, any solutions) is the right thing to do. Full support from me.