On Vaci Sankhara and pabbasara citta or purifying the mind

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    • #35884

      I have a question about what I’ve read in the yoga texts as the “5 categories of thought” and also a question related to my own current life meditations in terms of change and assa/passa-anapana.

      Context: Yoga lists 5 kinds of thought. 1. Affirmative and Conclusive 2. Uncertain/incorrect Hazy and Vague 3. Fantasy, Alternative or False Notions 4. Blank/”Void” Mind as in Sleep and 5. Memory — Thoughts of Past events or Imaginations. Patanjali, which given my research was basically a buddhist in a different form (influenced by buddha) calls these “thought waves” and says they are of dukkha or sukkha. Thought waves sound a lot like “vaci sankhara” to me?

      Question 1: Would these thought waves be vaci sankhara? Lal you’ve mentioned to me years back that it’s vaci sankhara that we perceive and mano sankhara is unperceivable. In my daily awareness I witness these thoughts(vaci sankhara) come and go both voluntarily and involuntarily.

      Question 2: A lot of times I have affirmative, fantastical, or even vague thoughts that are basically super negative. Hating some body/person/thing/place etc. Recently after a breakthrough, I can catch these “thought waves” before the mind continues the next thought cycle of them and I try to basically just do the opposite -> like think of loving kindness or even just shape the imagination or conclusive thought into something beneficial for sentient beings. Is this “correct” or useful? Is this Dhamma or just my musings? It feels right…

      Thank you. I didn’t put this in abhidhamma because it’s not really that profound but feel free to change the location because I wasn’t sure where to put it.

    • #35885

      I think it is best not to mix Buddha Dhamma with concepts in Yoga or other Vedic teachings. As I have mentioned before, such teachings are distorted versions of the Buddha Dhamma.
      – Even during Buddha Gotama’s time, such teachings were there coming from the Buddha Kassapa (the Buddha preceding Buddha Gotama). – A brief description of that at: “Arōgyā Paramā Lābhā..
      – As a reminder, there had been three Buddhas before Buddha Gotama on this Earth (i.e., during this Maha Kappa).

      Question 1: Mano sankhara arise automatically based on our gati and the particular sense-object (without conscious thinking.)
      – Then if we start consciously thinking or speaking about the subject matter, those involve vaci sankhara.
      – If we go further and take bodily actions, those involve kaya sankhara.
      – It is important to understand the types of sankhara; “Saṅkhāra – What It Really Means

      Question 2: What you are doing is exactly right. When negative/immoral thoughts come to the mind you need to shift the mind to the opposite of those (or at least to something different). That is the correct Anapanasati meditation.

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