Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Making decisions using the thinking process

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Making decisions using the thinking process

    Dear Venerable Ajahn Brahmali,

    How do we make decisions in life using this thing called thinking? since one moment the mind looks at one thing in one way and another moment it looks at it in another way, in the end we think endlessly this way and that and go nowhere. I remember Ajahn Brahm speaking about this in one talk it doesn't matter what decisions you make in your life, in the end what happens you don't know because the future is uncertain. But you still need to exercise some control and take life in the right direction? How is this done?

    We are told to watch the thinking as thinking, but this is more of a meditation technique rather than something useful in daily life. Atleast this is what I feel. Ofcourse the spiritual practice makes the thinking process more organized and subtle so that the thinking causes less suffering and helps in producing insights, but when the time to take decisions come, all the thinking the went behind is gone to waste and we end up following what people in society is following or following something out of faith or some deep seated view which is most probably due to some defilement.

    Or is it the case that someone thinks so much, that they end up forming a view and then they act on that view? if this is the case then do we let the mind proliferate as much as it wants so that the view is formed and then we act and how much thinking does it require for a view to get formed in the mind.

    But when the view is not strongly formed, the mind just keeps going back and forth in thinking in wasted thinking and confusion.

    Hope I've not overwhelmed you with too much information.

    With metta.

  • #2
    Dear Abhishek,

    How do we make decisions in life using this thing called thinking?
    From a Buddhist point of view, life is only about one thing: making an end to suffering. This is done by purifying the mind. So when you make a decision, the question should always be which choice will lead to an improvement in wholesome qualities and a decline in unwholesome ones. In other words, which choice is more likely to lead better virtue, to improved mindfulness, to less anger, to less desire, etc. This guideline is found in a number of places in the suttas (e.g. MN17 and MN114) and in my experience this is extremely useful advice - almost any decision in life can be made on this basis. But you need to be brutally honest with yourself and sometimes you will have to go against what craving tells you to do. It takes a lot of commitment to follow this advice consistently.

    Or is it the case that someone thinks so much, that they end up forming a view and then they act on that view?
    Yes, thinking and views go together, and of course they can lead you astray. The trick it to know which thoughts and views to follow. Generally speaking, the fewer the defilements in the mind, the more reliable the thoughts and views are going to be at that time. But since we are normally swayed by defilements at least to some extent, it is useful to have some general spiritual guidelines such as the one above.

    With metta.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you for the answer Venerable Ajahn Brahmali. That was a very good answer, I had heard this before but forgot about it afterwards. So how do we go about improving our memory? Awareness in the present moment, mindfulness and interest in what someone wants to learn are factors for memory, is there anything else that one can focus on?

      With metta.

      Comment


      • #4
        Dear Abhishek,

        This is why it is so useful to read the suttas again and again and otherwise listen to inspiring Dhamma talks. You will always forget things. In any case, the understanding of the Dhamma is not just about memory but about how deep the understanding is. When you hear something often, from many different angles, it will make a more profound impact. After a while it almost becomes part of who you are, and you then act accordingly almost unconsciously.

        About memory: according to the suttas it is the five hindrances that obstruct us from memorizing things and also from recalling them later on.

        With metta.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank You Venerable Ajahn Brahmali for the reply. Well, I am reading as much as possible and listening to talks as much as possible, but there is so much in the Dhamma that we're bound to forget the things that doesn't make a significant impression on the mind and the teachings which are difficult to follow like this one.

          Comment

          Working...
          X

          Debug Information