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18184Re: [Meditation Society of America] Question about the Eightfold Path and "catharsis"

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Feb 25, 2012
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      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "walto" <calhorn@...> wrote:
      >
      > Thanks again, guys!
      >
      > But...Bob--I'm curious. What has made you guess that these angry/negative thoughts that need releasing are...my own??
      >
      > ;>}
      >
      > W
      >
      Yo W,

      The ancient teachings of the Kabbalah has a sort of
      "answer" found in Sefer Yetsirah that goes:

      "If your mind races, return to the place," IE: return
      to where you were before the thought. Return to the
      site of oneness.

      And the Kabbalah teaching of the concept of Aloneness
      points to you, me, everyone,...everything... as Alone,
      One, not two, just as all Religions/Realizations do.
      So....if my mind has "...these angry/negative thoughts
      that need releasing"...so does yours....as we are truly
      Alone.
      Peace and blessings,
      Bob
      PS: That's why the Rasta's never say "you and me", but
      rather "I and I", and usually "I and I and I", with the
      I in the middle being Jah.
      > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "meditationsource" <cameron@> wrote:
      > >
      > > W, why don't you try abreaction or sublimation and do it as mindfully as possible to see what benefits it might bring? Then you can know what approach is most suitable based on your own experience. Observing negative thoughts without acting on them is the purist approach, but if it's not leading to their subsiding, maybe there's some bad karma associated with acting them out that needs to be addressed. Good luck.
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "walto" <calhorn@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Thanks again, Aideen. That's really interesting--if you could suggest some literature on Buddhist takes regarding the unconscious, I'd be interested. The two things I've come across are a book by de Silva on Buddhism and Freudianism and _Contexts and Dialogue_, by Tao Jiang.
      > > >
      > > > Best,
      > > >
      > > > W
      > > >
      > > > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Aideen Mckenna" <aideenmck@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > One acknowledges the feeling but does not act on it. On one occasion, the
      > > > > Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh was giving a lecture in the US during the
      > > > > Viet Nam war. The spiritual leader had gone through extremely difficult
      > > > > years during the war in Viet Nam, where he founded a relief organization.
      > > > > With that group, he rebuilt bombed villages, resettled the families made
      > > > > homeless by the bombings, set up schools & medical centres, etc. Then he
      > > > > went to the US where he met with Dr. Martin Luther King & urged him to ask
      > > > > the American people to influence their government to stop the destruction &
      > > > > carnage. During the lecture's question period, someone spoke very angrily,
      > > > > saying, in effect: "If you care so much about your country, what are you
      > > > > doing here in the safety of the US while your people are suffering & dying?"
      > > > > Apparently the monk was silent for a few moments, after which he answered
      > > > > calmly, without anger. When asked later about whether the question hadn't
      > > > > angered him, he said it had enraged him. During the brief silence, he had
      > > > > had to do the hardest work he'd ever done in his life calming himself with
      > > > > a breathing exercise. He said he had nearly passed out during that pause.
      > > > > He hadn't suppressed it, he confronted the feeling & dealt with it, leaving
      > > > > no residue, no impulse to scream at the questioner.
      > > > >
      > > > > According to Buddhism, the "kleshas" (negative afflictions) cannot be
      > > > > overcome by acting them out. Although they are never displayed, they are
      > > > > patiently rooted out by painstakingly thorough mental observation as they
      > > > > arise from the unconscious. It requires great discipline to completely
      > > > > purify the mind, but it can be done. The internal work involves a deep
      > > > > understanding of "anatta" (no-self) & "anicca" (impermanence). I guess one
      > > > > can say there is a catharsis, but it's a gradual one, & it's final. Or that
      > > > > there are many catharses, as layer after layer of the poisons (another
      > > > > translation of kleshas) arises from deeper & deeper levels of the
      > > > > unconscious & are removed entirely.
      > > > >
      > > > > That's my understanding, at any rate.
      > > > >
      > > > > Aideen
      > > > >
      > > > > From: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > [mailto:meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of walto
      > > > > Sent: February-24-12 10:25 AM
      > > > > To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > Subject: Re: [Meditation Society of America] Question about the Eightfold
      > > > > Path and "catharsis"
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Thanks, Sean!
      > > > >
      > > > > W
      > > > >
      > > > > --- Ints, sean tremblay <bethjams9@> wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I am reminded of some of the teachings of Islam, when they mention not to
      > > > > supress your feelings, but simply do not act on them, just allow them to
      > > > > pass though you.
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > ________________________________
      > > > > > From: walto <calhorn@>
      > > > > > To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > <mailto:meditationsocietyofamerica%40yahoogroups.com>
      > > > > > Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2012 9:52 PM
      > > > > > Subject: Re: [Meditation Society of America] Question about the Eightfold
      > > > > Path and "catharsis"
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Â
      > > > > > Thanks, Aideen.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > One of the things I was wondering about was the apparently very large gulf
      > > > > between giving something "bare attention" and really living/working through
      > > > > it (perhaps for purposes 'abreaction' or 'sublimation'). I mean, is there a
      > > > > Buddhist notion of catharsis?
      > > > > >
      > > > > > W
      > > > > >
      > > > > > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > <mailto:meditationsocietyofamerica%40yahoogroups.com> , "Aideen Mckenna"
      > > > > <aideenmck@> wrote:
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > The way I understand Buddhism, there is never repression. The Buddha
      > > > > > > understood how the human mind worked. Driving an unwelcome emotion
      > > > > deeper
      > > > > > > into the unconscious only results in giving the troublesome thing more
      > > > > > > strength. When practicing Vipassana (insight meditation), one observes
      > > > > the
      > > > > > > thought, giving it "bare attention"(i.e. touching the mind as lightly as
      > > > > a
      > > > > > > bubble on the observed thought), then moving on. There's never any
      > > > > pushing
      > > > > > > away - that only empowers the thought. Bhante Henepola Gunaratana's
      > > > > classic
      > > > > > > Mindfulness in Plain English is helpful here.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > As for the concept of dependent origination - can one agree with it
      > > > > without
      > > > > > > accepting all of the Eightfold Path? I don't think so - at least not
      > > > > from
      > > > > > > the point of view of Theravada Buddhism. If I were asking that question,
      > > > > > > I'd go to the excellent Barbara O'Brien - she can be contacted here:
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > http://buddhism.about.com/bio/Barbara-O-Brien-38125.htm
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > With metta,
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Aideen
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > From: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > <mailto:meditationsocietyofamerica%40yahoogroups.com>
      > > > > > > [mailto:meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > <mailto:meditationsocietyofamerica%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf Of walto
      > > > > > > Sent: February-23-12 7:17 AM
      > > > > > > To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > <mailto:meditationsocietyofamerica%40yahoogroups.com>
      > > > > > > Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Question about the Eightfold
      > > > > Path
      > > > > > > and "catharsis"
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Hi, folks.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I was wondering if any of the mavens here would be willing to provide
      > > > > their
      > > > > > > thoughts on whether they think there's any conflict between the "Right
      > > > > > > Thinking/Right Action/Right Speech" portions of the Eightfold Path and
      > > > > > > conventional views according to which it is healthy for unconscious
      > > > > thoughts
      > > > > > > (even angry or mean ones) to be brought to consciousness and perhaps
      > > > > even
      > > > > > > expressed. If some anger is being repressed, can it be conducive to
      > > > > > > well-being to "keep it bottled up"? (I take it a Primal Scream isn't
      > > > > Right
      > > > > > > Speech.)
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Also, is this an empirical question, do you think, so that the best way
      > > > > of
      > > > > > > answering it is to see what works (or what has been shown to work in
      > > > > > > properly designed studies), or do you take it rather to be something
      > > > > that is
      > > > > > > deducible from one's view of the mind? For example, do you think that
      > > > > the
      > > > > > > benefits of following the Eightfold Path are simply deducible from the
      > > > > > > concept of dependent origination? That is, can one agree with the latter
      > > > > > > without accepting all of the former?
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Any thoughts on these matters are welcome. Thanks!
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Best,
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > W
      > > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
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