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Experience "No thoughts" at all in the mind?


#1

Is it possible to experience No thoughts at all during meditation? If so how? What would Buddha say? Thankyou


#2

I can measure breakfast oatmeal without thinking/counting scoops, but that’s not jhana. Yet it is an important practice. It is mushin in everyday life, which for me is echoed in the following verse that can be understood as describing stages towards no thought:

DN33:1.10.120: Three kinds of immersion.
DN33:1.10.121: Immersion with placing the mind and keeping it connected. Immersion without placing the mind, but just keeping it connected. Immersion without placing the mind or keeping it connected.

This practice was important to me because as a climber the thing I was most terrified about was heedlessly following random thoughts such as, “What if I just jump?” I learned about mushin in Aikido and Zen, then applied it to climbing peacefully with mindfulness. As described with Satipaṭṭhānasutta, the practice involves mindfulness of breathing and more…

MN10:4.3: Just mindful, they breathe in. Mindful, they breathe out.


#3

Hi Abhinav,

It sounds like you had a really pleasant experience that has now become an object of craving.
As a friendly suggestion, it might be helpful to contemplate this in the framework of the 4 Noble Truths.


#4

Hi Abinhev, Nice to see you back on the forum.

I’m sorry to sound discouraging , but on this Forum we don’t share details of personal practice. It’s for general and scholarly discussion of Early Buddhist Texts. What you could do is rephrase your question in general and non-personal terms , or send a personal message to a few people you believe might help you, or go to one of the websites that do host discussions of personal practice.

With meta


#5

Fortuitously I have just been reading MN20. Hope it helps.


#6

@Abhinav, I don’t know what country you live in, but attending one of Ajahn Brahms or Ajahn Brahmalis meditation retreats could be useful :slightly_smiling_face: They both teach overseas regularly as well.

And of course Bhante sujato is on a teaching tour at the moment.

The Bodhinyana meditation retreats are about gentle, happy and joyful meditation. Letting go, and letting the mind abide in stillness. The Stiller, the Emptier, the more happy and content - :relieved: and :blush:

You can also access guided meditation from Bodhinyana website here. Look under teachings :slightly_smiling_face:


#7

Yes, I think that chasing after a pleasant experience will lead to dukkha and away from the Noble Eightfold Path.


#8

Thankyou


#9

I have reframed the question. Thanks.


#10

What one calls mind and thinking is activity of the body. Mind is not entity, its subjective experience of activity of the body / nervous system. If you calm the mind and relax the body to a supernormal extent the thinking will eventually stop as long as one remains like that. Realistically one would need to go on a sort of retreat or lead a lifestyle of a recluse to accomplish that because if one just meditates here and there and then again engages in activities which agitate the mind whatever calm one has accomplished diminishes again.

So in short what you want to do is not doing anything for extended period of time relaxing the body and calming the mind.

Because there is another pleasure that is finer than that…


#11

Thank you so much.


#12

When the mind is full of rapture, the body and mind become tranquil.
Pītimanassa kāyopi passambhati, cittampi passambhati.
At such a time, a mendicant has activated the awakening factor of tranquility; they develop it and perfect it (MN118).

When the body and mind tranquilize, the mental distractions, reflections and thoughts abate. Therefore when the awakening factor of tranquillity arises the hindrance of restlessnessand-worry goes away.
Interpretatively to calmness it is the awakening factor of tranquillity (upasamaṭṭhena passaddhisambojjhaṅgaṃ).

Someone might feel this as a stage of no thoughts. I cannot claim the stage you are explaining is this without proper explaination. But this is the closest characteristic of meditation to your discription.
Also this happens ealy stages of meditation, that cannot be considered as passaddhisambojjhaṅga. But those are some sort of calming of the body and mind.

Ex: losing of tactile feel in breathing meditation. When the body calms down the breath become subtle to a level that you cannot feel the breath anymore. When you keep your attention to the place that you felt the touch (of breath) it starts to feel again(in a more subtle manner). This happens for a number of times in breathing meditation.