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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Trouble Blocking Negative Thoughts during Meditation

M. wrote:

“Does anyone have trouble

blocking negative thoughts

during meditation, like I do?”

Dear M.,

I am delighted to read

that you have difficulty

blocking negative thoughts.

For that means

that your mindfulness

is vulnerable and sharp.

Well done!

For without mindfulness

there can be NO enlightenment.

Your confusion

is NOT your fault

for, over many, many centuries…

people have been obscuring

the Buddha’s teachings

of acquiescent matriarchy

with teachings of patriarchy:

rigid, and fearful, and controlling.

Often masquerading

as self-help teachers

or manifesting coaches

these guys tell folks

that some thoughts are bad

and must be pushed away…

and that some thoughts are good

and must me contrived,

reached after,

and held on to.

Which is the exact opposite

of what the Buddha taught.

It is as if

the Buddha’s teachings and techniques

were a beautiful ruby

dropped in a steaming pile

of doggie doo.

Come, let us return

to first principals.

A tale is told

that in the Buddha’s first discourse

he spoke of the four noble truths.

From a certain point of view:

FIRSTLY there is stress

and plenty of it.

SECONDLY we humans have the tragic talent

of taking whatever stress life throws at us

and making it much, much worse.

How do we do that?

By striving to shove

away from us,

that which we dread

and by neurotically reaching,

for that which we desire.

THIRDLY there is a state

where there is a cessation

(or Nirvana, if your prefer Sanskrit).

NOT of the presence of dread and desire

BUT merely of their tyranny.

And FOURTHLY the accomplishment of this freedom

is NOT dependent upon the caprice of celestial beings

(real or imagined)

BUT rather, the attainment of this liberation

depends merely upon mastering

the techniques of Buddha’s eight-fold path.

Oh sure,

any idiot can be happy

when they are experiencing pleasurable:

sensations, flavors, scents,

sounds, sights,

emotions, intentions, thoughts,

memories, and imaginings.

But it takes a real master

of the Buddha’s path

to find peace

in the midst of a shit show

as if they had slid

into the eye of a storm

rendering them:

lucid, perceptive, yet serene.

The Buddha’s set of techniques

are NOT terrible difficult

when properly taught.

FIRST there is the active contemplation of love,

SECOND there is the active contemplation of letting-go,

THIRD there is the passive practice of mindfulness,

and FOURTH there is the passive practice of meditation.

There are four variations of this cycle of practices,

one, for each of the four bases of mindfulness:

circumstance, body, relationships, and mind.

By applying the same four techniques

to all that we perceive

the duality of dread and desire

is quickly transcended

like a butterfly

shedding its chrysalis.

You could learn these sixteen variations

easily enough

in this livestream’s guided meditations

beginning momentarily.

Let us conclude

with a simple

call to action

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not by monasteries but by students

as such the production of these livestreams,

blogs, and class materials is supported

by the generosity of viewers, and listeners, and readers

just like you.

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