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Thread: Dealing with Negative Thoughts

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    Dealing with Negative Thoughts

    So, in addition to my course of purgation, I have been thinking a lot about the issue of anger and negative thought-patterns. I sort of want to get a dialogue going comparing and contrasting Western and Eastern ways (if not "Christian" and "Hindu" ways) of tackling the same basic issues.

    If I am not mistaken in the Christian tradition harboring various thoughts (lust, hatred towards one's enemies, etc) is a bad thing and should be avoided - in fact, it is sin. This is in spite of the fact that I could never follow this dictum blithely and have always, almost always, harbored a lot of negative, sometimes violent thoughts that I could not ignore or do away with. Nowadays I am better, but I feel that I may really just be repressing or supressing thoughts instead of really dealing with them fully and letting go.

    So, is it more healthy to harbor some negative thoughts (as in, if they help you relieve stress) or should it be the case that you should never fight fire with fire but constantly pursue positive thoughts, habits, patterns, etc. In all honesty I sort of feel that I do need to experience those negative thought tendencies or I'm just pretending that I'm getting past them. I'm very curious to see what sorts of opinions I'll get with this thread.

    Shanti. Aum.
    How can I put this in a sentence? Try next time.

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    Re: Dealing with Negative Thoughts

    Actually it would be a very bad way to solve the problem of negative thoughts to think of them as a stress reliever.

    The aim is not to demonize and negate these negative thoughts or to repress them as sins, but you should understand that any negative thought as anger, lust, etc, is the problem of flow of certain subtle energies, subtle energies that exist in the mind-body complex.

    Yesterday I attended to a lecture of a Shaiva Tantra scholar and he was asked the usual question, if Shaiva Tantra understand that everything is just consciousness and we are all emerged in it, nothing exists outside it, how should we see good and bad according to this world view? The answer was that even these particular negative thoughts are like cramps in our muscles, a clog in the flow of these energies, however there's still the understanding of skillful and unskillful action, i.e. action based on truth and action based on ignorance.

    These particular world views, IMO, are the ones that truly have the potency to change us, it reminds us of our true nature and does not comden us it just dooms ignorance with the proper knowledge.

    And, as I see it, it doesn't even have to do with monism or dualism, it's more about if you think this world is the energy of God and if you think it is, there cannot be the absence of God around and inside of each and one of us.

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    Re: Dealing with Negative Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Kismet View Post
    So, in addition to my course of purgation, I have been thinking a lot about the issue of anger and negative thought-patterns. I sort of want to get a dialogue going comparing and contrasting Western and Eastern ways (if not "Christian" and "Hindu" ways) of tackling the same basic issues.

    If I am not mistaken in the Christian tradition harboring various thoughts (lust, hatred towards one's enemies, etc) is a bad thing and should be avoided - in fact, it is sin. This is in spite of the fact that I could never follow this dictum blithely and have always, almost always, harbored a lot of negative, sometimes violent thoughts that I could not ignore or do away with. Nowadays I am better, but I feel that I may really just be repressing or supressing thoughts instead of really dealing with them fully and letting go.

    So, is it more healthy to harbor some negative thoughts (as in, if they help you relieve stress) or should it be the case that you should never fight fire with fire but constantly pursue positive thoughts, habits, patterns, etc. In all honesty I sort of feel that I do need to experience those negative thought tendencies or I'm just pretending that I'm getting past them. I'm very curious to see what sorts of opinions I'll get with this thread.

    Shanti. Aum.
    Vannakkam Kismet: I agree with PI that its never healthy (spiritually) to harbour negative thoughts. Of course it is human to do so, and even the greatest saint's have walked this path before us and at one time or another harboured negative thoughts. So in the grand scheme of things, it's perfectly normal, part of the process. Just because a road has bumps in it doesn't mean you can't drive across.

    There are at least three specific sadhanas I can think of offhand to aid in this. (Its here on HDF somewhere but where beats me)

    The first is to write the thought on a piece of paper and burn it, but not anywhere auspiciously, like in your home shrine. Do it in a fireplace, or on an empty road. As it burns, let it go. This discarding is exactly that.

    A second is to sit by a stream or a river, mentally place the thought on a flower or a leaf, and toss it in the river, then watch it float away. This is basically, in my opinion, a more intense, concentrated version of the first one.

    Another method is to go to temple and give it to God. For He is all things, no? So that portion of him who is the great eraser, or cleanser, or whatever you want to call it will just do it for you. This needs legitimate faith I think.

    Of course we try to see God in all things, or see the positive in everything. But just as you suggest, it isn't always that easy. Personally I find the idea of replacement works well for me. Find an activity you enjoy, and go to that spot. For anger, I will just start chanting or singing a bhajan sometimes. Sometimes its also necessary to give yourself a bit of a break, or look at anger as more easily accessed when you're tired etc. Being hard on yourself isn't necessary or healthy. That too arises from a Western mindset that doesn't include reincarnation, which leads to a lack of patience.

    Best wishes on it.

    Aum Namasivaya
    Last edited by Eastern Mind; 20 August 2011 at 08:35 PM.

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    Re: Dealing with Negative Thoughts

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    A thought is a thought, a wave . It comes and goes. It is not the thought that is at issue but the impression , the vāsanā-s¹.

    Well what to do ? Add sattva, chose sattva, infuse sattva. This brings unfoldment, balance.

    praṇām

    words
    • vāsanā - the impression of anything remaining in the mind ; the present consciousness of past perceptions
    • sattva - the quality of purity regarded in the sāṃkhya view of reality as the highest of the three guṇa-s ;
      The highest purity is Being, the Supreme.
    Last edited by yajvan; 20 August 2011 at 08:43 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Dealing with Negative Thoughts

    Namaste,

    Nowadays I am better, but I feel that I may really just be repressing or supressing thoughts instead of really dealing with them fully and letting go.
    Suppressing/controlling these thoughts are not good. In future those may explode and the result may be bad. It is not about controlling those senses but about rooting them out.

    You can try as EM said or do some spiritual practice, like doing everyday namjapa, reading religious book, visiting temples more often, do not watch negative TVS or movies. Try to go on spiritual way. Have company of good people - Satsang - Company of Truth.
    Namaskar,

    AmIHindu ?

    यज्ञानां जपयज्ञोऽस्मि ।

    नाम्नोऽस्ति यावती शक्तिः पापनिर्हरणे हरेः । श्र्वपचोऽपि नरः कतुँ क्षमस्तावन्नकिल्विषम् ।।

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    Re: Dealing with Negative Thoughts

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    Well what to do ? Add sattva, chose sattva, infuse sattva. This brings unfoldment, balance.
    What ever one thinks , of that nature he/she becomes... maitrī upaniṣad

    praṇām
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Dealing with Negative Thoughts

    Namaste Kismet,

    Quote Originally Posted by Kismet View Post
    So, in addition to my course of purgation, I have been thinking a lot about the issue of anger and negative thought-patterns. I sort of want to get a dialogue going comparing and contrasting Western and Eastern ways (if not "Christian" and "Hindu" ways) of tackling the same basic issues.

    If I am not mistaken in the Christian tradition harboring various thoughts (lust, hatred towards one's enemies, etc) is a bad thing and should be avoided - in fact, it is sin. This is in spite of the fact that I could never follow this dictum blithely and have always, almost always, harbored a lot of negative, sometimes violent thoughts that I could not ignore or do away with. Nowadays I am better, but I feel that I may really just be repressing or supressing thoughts instead of really dealing with them fully and letting go.

    So, is it more healthy to harbor some negative thoughts (as in, if they help you relieve stress) or should it be the case that you should never fight fire with fire but constantly pursue positive thoughts, habits, patterns, etc. In all honesty I sort of feel that I do need to experience those negative thought tendencies or I'm just pretending that I'm getting past them. I'm very curious to see what sorts of opinions I'll get with this thread.
    First of all, start seeing yourself different from this body-mind entity. This body-mind that you have got is like this because of your past samskaars (deep impressions on mind due to our own Karma). The thoughts show to you the tendencies that you are carrying from your past lives. The best thing is not to own these thoughts ... detach yourself .... be a witness to all thoughts that are arising spontaneously without your conscious efforts. This will help you to be in control of the thoughts and stop you from being controlled by those thoughts.

    The thoughts which your conscience considers bad ... don't allow yourself to be a party to those thoughts. Please remember, your present karmas are more influential/powerful than your past karmas. You should indulge into thinking process by your choice & not by drifting into the waves of wild stray thoughts arising in the rough ocean of mind.

    Again, no thought is bad in itself. Anger is a very powerful emotion and can be used effectively sometimes to control the situation. Anger is good if you are in command of the anger. Any emotion/thought becomes bad when you start getting controlled by them. YOU MUST MAINTAIN YOUR SUPREMACY OVER ALL YOUR THOUGHTS.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Dealing with Negative Thoughts

    I agree with all the above opinions. However, I digress and bring in the cultural dichotomy that is obvious between the industrialized west and hindu (and Buddhist) lands. The reaction of westerners appears way too vocal, restless and even loudmouthed whenever they face any potential or real adharma. They protest and change the course of future events. On the other hand the easterners are way too laid back, too tolerant or even frankly paralyzed (sorry Anna Hazare not you, you are good, you are fine) even in the face of unpardonable adharma. The latter often ignore the paap (sin)and forgive the evildoers, as a result adharma prevails.

    It is ironic that the hindus have forgotten how Krishna inspired Arjuna in BG citing a case for righteousness when adharmic Kauravas grabbed the lands of good people. None other than Krishna himself advocated that good people ought to rise against the bad people, not in the interest of their material gains but because they may accrue good karma by upholding dharma.

    So Kismetji, by moving away is anyone getting hurt, any adharma is prevailing here, these questions must be answered first. And having analyzed that then one can choose between a perfect satvic path or a steadfast karma yogi path. Namaste.

  9. #9

    Re: Dealing with Negative Thoughts

    Namaste Kismet,

    Great advice has been given. I think Yajvanji sums it up, "What ever one thinks, of that nature he/she becomes". My advice is whenever you have these negative thoughts you should do some japa and concentrate on God. It is also important to think about what the cause of these thoughts are. Root out the cause and then eliminate it.


    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    Again, no thought is bad in itself. Anger is a very powerful emotion and can be used effectively sometimes to control the situation. Anger is good if you are in command of the anger. Any emotion/thought becomes bad when you start getting controlled by them. YOU MUST MAINTAIN YOUR SUPREMACY OVER ALL YOUR THOUGHTS.
    Namaste Devoteeji,

    I completely agree with the last part about the importance to maintain supremacy over all thoughts. In the Gita, Lord Krishna talks about the need to not let our thoughts and senses control us.

    But can you expand on this idea of anger being good in certain situations? In Bhagavad Gita 2.56, Lord Krishna says "One whose mind is undisturbed by distress, without desires for happiness, free from attachment, fear, and anger; that sage is known as steadfast in consciousness." Also, in 2.63, Lord Krishna explains that anger leads to delusion, which leads to bewilderment, which leads to loss of spiritual intelligence, which leads to destruction.

    From one perspective, I can see how anger can be good in certain situations, such as when Sanatana Dharma is disparaged of attacked, or being angry at injustices around the world or whenever truth, justice, and dharma are under attack. This type of anger in defense of the truth can lead one to rise up and defend truth and dharma.

    However from another perspective, I see all anger as bad and capable of leading to what Lord Krishna explains in the Gita: delusion, bewilderment, and destruction.

    I am interested in your thoughts as well as others' on this.

    Jai Sri Ram
    Sanatana Dharma ki Jai!
    Jai Hanuman

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    Re: Dealing with Negative Thoughts

    Namaste Ramkrishna,

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramakrishna View Post
    But can you expand on this idea of anger being good in certain situations?
    When dealing with staff in the office, if there is some gross indiscipline noticed in staff, by you and you want to end it immediately, you can use a controlled anger to get immediate results. Similarly, if there is completely unacceptable behaviour noticed by you by anyone in your family which if not immediately controlled can lead to some ugly scenario ... at that time you can very effectively use the controlled anger to control it immediately. Anger is for getting immediate results .... but it needs a strong backing of unquestionable love and even-headedness from you.

    In Bhagavad Gita 2.56, Lord Krishna says "One whose mind is undisturbed by distress, without desires for happiness, free from attachment, fear, and anger; that sage is known as steadfast in consciousness." Also, in 2.63, Lord Krishna explains that anger leads to delusion, which leads to bewilderment, which leads to loss of spiritual intelligence, which leads to destruction.
    The term used in the verse is Krodha which we also use for anger but here this Krodha is not anger (at least not controlled anger) ... it is actually "kshobha" which is arising out of non-fulfillment of the desires (please mark the earlier verses). See, non-fulfillment of desires doesn't produce anger immediately ... it is Kshobha first which becomes anger.

    The anger that I am talking about is not arising due to non-fulfillment of desires. It is due to benevolent reasons.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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