Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 02/24/2020

Sending Thoughts Out

My Post (16)

“Hecato says, ‘cease to hope and you will cease to fear.’ . . . The primary cause of both these ills is that instead of adapting ourselves to present circumstances we send out thoughts too far ahead.”

— Seneca

I don’t know why but the Seneca quote above got me thinking about all of the times I have read or heard the Thai Forest masters speak about not “sending the mind out” to harass or disturb the world. Looking for some good quotes from the ajahns I found this passage from Ajahn Lee Dhammadaro’s Keeping the Breath in Mind:

Now you can stop counting the breaths, and simply think bud- with the in-breath and dho with the out. Let the breath be relaxed and natural. Keep your mind perfectly still, focused on the breath as it comes in and out of the nostrils. When the breath goes out, don’t send the mind out after it. When the breath comes in, don’t let the mind follow it in. Let your awareness be broad, cheerful, and open. Don’t force the mind too much. Relax. Pretend that you’re breathing out in the wide open air. Keep the mind still, like a post at the edge of the sea. When the water rises, the post doesn’t rise with it; when the water ebbs, the post doesn’t sink.

Keeping the Breath in Mind

So, whether it be in meditation or daily life, may we endeavor to collect the mind and redirect it to our present task.

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.