Thread: Not Thinking About Thinking

  1. #1

    Not Thinking About Thinking

    A talk from Ajahn Sumedho (now 86), in which he mentiones the coronavirus. (Approx.37 mins)




    Any thoughts about what he said?



  2. #2
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    A good talk with a lot to unpick, even to the level of what Buddhism is to someone brought up in the West as a Christian, as he answers a number of questions put to him. He starts off at the deep end too, talking about awakening as awakening to reality, not what what we have been conditioned to believe. he sees a lot of suffering being tied into worrying about the future, what might happen with coronavirus, and such thoughts. We should see awakening as knowing that reality is not knowing what is going to happen, that the future will always be unexpected.

    So what about thinking itself? He sees awareness as empty of thought, but not found in the sense of not thinking, but in the spaces between the thoughts. There we can find an emptiness which is not 'dead' but which reflects reality. If we look at a new born baby, there is nothing that we can identify as thought patterns, which are acquired as we grow. The baby could be said to be living in the empty space, a sort of bardo of the kind. I think, mentioned in a Tricycle article 'Awakening to the Bardo', https://tricycle.org/magazine/awakening-bardo/.

    The questioning moves to suffering and the difference between Buddhist views between 'life is suffering' and 'there is suffering in life', where awareness of suffering is liberation, rather than removal of all suffering being liberation. For those interested, he also talks about Buddhism and cosmology (doesn't accept it as such) and universal consciousness (ditto, although in a roundabout way). He ends with talking about intuitive awareness as a product of insight and his thoughts about his life as a Therevadan monk.

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