Sunday, May 1, 2011

Positive Thoughts aka wholesome thoughts

Hi All,

It has been a long time since I blogged here. Work got the best of me! I sure hope it never becomes like that again. I am starving..starving for meditation, starving for reading, starving for just sitting. Had to miss the last retreat at my zendo also, which was painful. I do have two consecutive retreat weekends coming up, and sure hope that circumstances will allow me to attend.

Been through interesting times..right when I am getting totally amazed by the flawless functioning of this universe, I would see something so out of balance that I would have tears in my eyes. Still have not figured out this whole flawless vs problem thing.

Now, there is nothing in Zen that explicitly talks about positive thoughts, a little surprising, eh? But the dissection of thoughts ultimately leads to refining of thoughts because one observes what kind of thoughts one is getting and if they have positive or negative impact on him. Actually, as I am writing this, I am thinking that Zen does talk about wholesome thoughts, one of the things about right effort is to give rise to wholesome thoughts. None the less, I am noticing a shift in my thought pattern, does it help a lot - don't know..but I would take any slight shift to positive thinking over my anxious neurotic thinking. It is very difficult to change the habit energy, I am very jealous of optimists! and I would like to become one! Anyhow, just realizing that my thought pattern tends to take a pessimistic approach was something for me. Till I started sitting, I did not observe my thought patters. Would have I known it at this stage in life, whether I meditated or not, who knows? But I am thankful that I have at least observed it. Now to the most daunting task - to get rid of unwholesome thoughts and keep replacing them with wholesome ones! I am telling you - it is quite an undertaking! Wish me good luck!


  1. MyoChi,

    Your post brings to mind Suzuki Roshi's advice (poorly recalled) that your job is to be exactly who you are. I hope you "get rid of" unwholesome thoughts by simply accepting them.

    I think thoughts are a result of other things, not something you can chose like socks or shoes. "Unwholesome" thoughts may be striving to protect you because of underlying fears, anger, etc...

    I think there are many people who are so distressed on experiencing unwholesome thoughts that they fake wholesomeness in their outward communication.

    Though you may have a completely fine plan in mind, I am anxious to ask you to accept your thoughts without picking or choosing. Be interested in them but not judgmental. Be careful of your actions, your words, your deeds, but let your thoughts be free. You may find in applying much deserved compassion to your thoughts, they change.

    (Sorry if this comes across too preachy. I'm really talking to myself).


  2. Hmmm..interesting perspective, Lauren..I am going to think about it..

  3. Hi MyoChi...

    While I'm not exclusively into Zen, I feel that I an understand why there is no such thing as "positive thoughts" in Zen. Because, just like in any other spiritual tradition, Zen emphasizes on acceptance of the wholeness. "Positive" and "negative" are simply our judgement and usually arise when we accept some things (positive) and deny/reject/evoid others (negative).

    When there is no "positive" and "negative", there is just is. Marriage, new baby born, death of loved one, natural disaster, financial breakdown, birthday party, leaves falling from the tree, flower blossoms... they all just come and go.

  4. I hope I can truly accept things as they are someday and achieve true equanimity..I am not there yet, and till then I will need to continue practising..:)

  5. Hi MyoChi,

    Yesterday I started reading the book titled with "ZEN EXPERIENCE". I read about the history of Masters like.. Buddha, Nagarjun etc... In that book they describes about Rational and Intuitive mind.!

    I would like to explore about it and want to know more about Zen Experience" So can you help me to suggest the way to understand what actually it is...!

    I don't get what you are experience but I wish you good luck.! :)

    Thank You.!

  6. Hi Kelvin,

    I also don't know what really Zen experience is, I have been chronicling what I came across in journey (and I have not written for a long time). I am in search of understanding life, and Zen has come closest to giving me some answers, not all, but at least some. I want to keep exploring this path as my life situation allows. Of course, like most others, it is the constant sense of dissatisfaction with life that prompted me to look for answers. The never ending stream of desire, the needy mind that always wants more, this all made me wonder if there is an end to it, if there is a place where satisfaction really does arrive. I guess once one is enlightened, they do get ultimate satisfaction and quench of thirst, however I am not there yet..:)

  7. I'd love to see this your blog with recent posts. It is really very interesting. I share the sense of his reflections. All the luck to you.