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truin
12 Nov 12, 13:45
Hi, I am new in this forum. I find mindulfulness meditation which emphasises on awareness of reality as it is, very interesting. Recently I am trying to inculcate in this in my life. As I try to remain more in the present and more with fact than fiction I find living becomes just a little bit clearer and calmer...

However from childhood I have been bit of a day dreamer, have always enjoyed flights of imagination. These may be imagining some ideal state involving myself in future and as I understand this is not a healthy practice as long our aim is to know the truth. (Clarification will be helpful)
However my imagination is not restricted to my 'self' alone, it can be with regards to diverse things and ideas. So how is imagination seen from the perspective of mindful meditation/ zen meditation...
As I ask this question I am thinking being mindful of imagination can also be mindful meditation! But being almost an absolute novice I guess I should ask!
Thank You!

Aloka
12 Nov 12, 16:58
However from childhood I have been bit of a day dreamer, have always enjoyed flights of imagination....


Welcome truin,

I think most people have had flights of imagination at some time or another. If you notice that this is happening, just gently bring your awareness back to the here and now and the breath.

This booklet "Mindfulness" might possibly be of some help to you:

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/deathless.pdf


With kind wishes,

Aloka :hands:

Goofaholix
12 Nov 12, 17:58
To be mindful of imagination all you need to dso is be aware that thinking is taking place, don't get involved in the subject of the imagination beyond that, don't feed it.

To determine whether it's worth continuing with this habit ask yourself what productive use has it been, have you imagined new products and brought them to market for example? or is it just an escape from the present?

If the latter then best to unlearn it by just noticing when it arises when it passes away and not get involved in the content.

truin
13 Nov 12, 08:45
Thanks Aloka. I will read the book.

Goofaholix, as you said, 'don't get involved' is probably the key. May be the idea is not to let the ego weave stories and allow imagination to flow as it will.

Has it being productive? Creating imaginary realm and placing characters, things or ideas in it has both helped me and done me some spiritual harm, I would say. It has helped me in changing, modifying and deepening thoughts. Allowed me to look at things in a novel way and made me introspective. I will take that as productive.

But often it has been also accompanied by pleasure seeking. Pleasure which comes when certain fulfillment is achieved having pleased the intellect or the ego. Also certain false ideas of superiority may linger after such thoughts. Clearly I would like to get rid of that.

May be without trying to 'kill' the habit I will try to be a simple observer of it and see how it works. Your suggestions made me reflect, that's a big help indeed. Also I will need to think more on what you said...Thanks indeed.

caffeina
13 Nov 12, 16:14
Sometimes our imagination can make up stories that are good and bad, depending on what you focus on. These stories can create a lot of negativity in our life, rehashing the past or projecting in the future. And although, as a lay person, I think it's good to an extent to learn from the past and have some notion of 'goals' for the future - getting attached to these pasts and futures can obviously create headache and hardship in the now.

But, without imagination we wouldn't have been able to create the entire world of civilizations, cities, cultures, etc. And it's quite enjoyable to write stories, share stories, come up with dreams and goals - as long as we don't let ourselves get so focused on it that we no longer focus on the now.

I think it's good to practice mindfulness with imagination/creativity, just like you try to in your daily life. Am I being present? Am I practicing right-speech, right-view, etc.?

truin
13 Nov 12, 16:46
But, without imagination we wouldn't have been able to create the entire world of civilizations, cities, cultures, etc. And it's quite enjoyable to write stories, share stories, come up with dreams and goals - as long as we don't let ourselves get so focused on it that we no longer focus on the now.



Einestein's famous quote comes to mind, "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research. "