Archive for April, 2009

How does thought arise?

April 28, 2009

This question, “How does thought arise?” is a classic koan. It comes in many forms, and I’ve met it in various ways, as I expect many of you have.

In the book I describe two encounters with this question. The first is on a Mahamudra retreat at John Crook’s farmhouse in Wales. Here the question was embedded in a longer series of similar questions concerning the difference between the mind moving in thought and the mind resting in tranquillity. I struggle painfully with the question, trying to find an answer, thinking I have found one, realising I haven’t and so on. I describe the interviews I had with John and other events on the retreat.

The second is many years later when I returned to the question sitting on my own in my garden shed at home. The question seems rather different all those years later.

Before you read the chapter you might like to have a go at this question yourself. Where do thoughts come from? So often in meditation we find ourselves in the midst of a great long chain of thoughts. Where did it start?

Maybe you’ve worked with this question before and can share your experiences with the rest of us.

You can Listen to my ramblings on this question.

Then you’ll find most of Chapter 5 on my TenZen site.

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