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Thread: Thoughts and labels

  1. #1

    Thoughts and labels

    In the short time that I have been practicing Zazen I have come to realize the tremendous amount of time that my mind spends in day dreams. Even the minute amount of time I feel that I have gotten back with practice provides amazing clarity. I have been reading through the Treeleaf recommended readings, currently finishing up Nothing Special: Living Zen. As I have gone through Joko’s material I have begun labeling my thoughts and recognizing their association with ego, self-centeredness, etc. There are times when I can’t place a label or association on a thought. That tossed me into a bit of a loop in wondering if those thoughts did have an unrecognized association, or if they were simply there to take up space and fill the calm. I would be interested in everyone’s beliefs as to whether all of our thoughts have some association, even if the associations are not at first recognizable?



  2. #2
    Hi Jeff,

    I think some thoughts have some meaningful meaning and connection ... and some are just random stuff and babbling that the mind spits out. Also, all kinds of old memories, deep connections and understanding can come up in Zazen as the mind is still ... and also a lot of silliness (like the time the old Archies song "Sugar Sugar" got stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Did it mean anything? )

    By the way, we also encourage thought labeling around here ...

    ... although not during seated Zazen itself, when we Just Sit without getting tangled in or stirring up thoughts and emotions (whether meaningful or random babbling or any other kind).

    Here is a little more about Joko and her labeling ...

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-22-2013 at 04:24 AM.

  3. #3
    Thanks, Jundo! I will review both posts.

    Gassho, Jeff

  4. #4
    A view from the inside of my head ... What could it mean?

    Last edited by Jundo; 01-22-2013 at 05:32 AM.

  5. #5
    Silliness of the mind? I must be the king of that! My mind throws everything from Muppets skits to metal songs while sitting.

    The Archies have never came before, but now that I listened to the song they might

    Sometimes I engage and get lost, but at the end I get back to the present moment.


    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  6. #6
    Who knew that frog could dance??
    btw, I haven't had a song stick in my head for quite some time; kinda miss it in a way

    gassho, Shokai
    合掌 - gassho, Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way" URL=""][/URL]

  7. #7
    I tend to get whatever song my daughter is practicing for piano stuck in my head. At the moment that's Found a peanut: Seems an appropriate tune after listening to all the lyrics.

  8. #8
    I have thoughts with the only association of no association ("noise") which is an interesting label in itself.

  9. #9
    I often get pictures in quick sucession and quite unrelated to each other, like a random slideshow on my visual harddrive ... I think this is just a strategy to fill the void.

  10. #10
    I never have pictures in my mind while sitting, usually it's dialog of some type, coversations that i think may have happened or i think may happen. most times i cant even understand these conversations though, it's like they are "just below" the surface somehow. Kind of hard to explain....a pretty picture every now and then would be OK though......or not.
    Gassho, Jakudo
    Gassho, Shawn Jakudo Hinton
    It all begins when we say, “I”. Everything that follows is illusion.
    "Even to speak the word Buddha is dragging in the mud soaking wet; Even to say the word Zen is a total embarrassment."

  11. #11
    Lets face it. You haven't really lived until you've spent an entire zazen session listening to your own built in radio. Sometimes mine plays just one verse:

    who lives in a pineapple under the sea? spongebob square pants
    who lives in a pineapple under the sea? spongebob square pants
    who lives in a pineapple under the sea? spongebob square pants
    who lives in a pineapple under the sea? spongebob square pants

    I think it would make me crazy if I weren't already so
    If I'm already enlightened why the hell is this so hard?

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