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6 years ago  ::  Sep 08, 2008 - 7:53PM #1
mwhite
Posts: 4
Hello, I'm a Vipassana practitioner, and have recently gotten interested in the concept of sublimation. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sublimation_(psychology))  During Vipassana meditation, we're called to be present with our emotions, feelings, thoughts, sensations, etc. in an open, accepting, curious, /kind/ way. If you do Vipassana, you'll notice that after being with, for example, a negative emotion in this way for a while, it's possible to let it go (in a non-violent way), to just let it pass. If you do this, you're not getting caught up in the negative emotion; you're not identifying with it, and your experience isn't being dominated by it. Just to check though, this is a very different psychological process from sublimation, right? With sublimation, you redirect energies from desires or other mental states to healthier goals, but it seems that during Vipassana, you just wait for the desire or mental state--and its associated energy--to pass.

Also: Which approach is better?

Thank you!
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 16, 2008 - 3:38AM #2
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 861
[QUOTE=mwhite;751192]Hello, I'm a Vipassana practitioner, and have recently gotten interested in the concept of sublimation. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sublimation_(psychology))  During Vipassana meditation, we're called to be present with our emotions, feelings, thoughts, sensations, etc. in an open, accepting, curious, /kind/ way. If you do Vipassana, you'll notice that after being with, for example, a negative emotion in this way for a while, it's possible to let it go (in a non-violent way), to just let it pass. If you do this, you're not getting caught up in the negative emotion; you're not identifying with it, and your experience isn't being dominated by it. Just to check though, this is a very different psychological process from sublimation, right? With sublimation, you redirect energies from desires or other mental states to healthier goals, but it seems that during Vipassana, you just wait for the desire or mental state--and its associated energy--to pass.

Also: Which approach is better?

Thank you![/QUOTE]

I am always curious about the labels we create. I have been practising Theravada Buddhism since 1991. My Buddhist Teacher made me aware from Day One that there is this thing that we call Buddhism and then there is the Meditator whose personal experience arises from a far broader field. For those who must stick rigidly to the Doctrine, she refers to them as Shopping List Buddhists. It is as though one's experience in meditation has to conform to the Letter of the Doctrine, i.e. if you can't find it in the doctrine then it just doesn't exist. In this way the meditator produces a list of things to achieve, then crosses them off the Shopping List when the Thought of Achievement arises.

Reality is not like that.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 21, 2008 - 11:39AM #3
etoro
Posts: 572
The true essence  of Buddhism is not simply a set of principles and practices that are set up simply for their own sake. Buddhism is not devised so as to generate a distinct path leading to a distinct way of life that departs from ones apriori circumstances and conditions. Rather Buddhism is a teaching of wisdom that allows us to address our individual circumstances and conditions and to use these circumstances and conditions as the basis for our awakening.  To be sure, in order to practice correctly you will need to create a space somewhere where you can practice contemplation and insight, gather your thoughts and ponder their causes and conditions in the light of Buddha wisdom, reject the delusions associated with them and continue moving forward with renewed vigor, vitality, moral purity, courage and determination to clean up ones act. These manifestations in temporary self nature are the effect of embracing the Buddha's Law of innate Wisdom.

There is never such a thing as replacing something with nothing. One can not simply eject negative thoughts and expect to end up with no thought or inclination at all.. This is ridiculous.  Life is itself the Dharma and the Dharma is inclusive of "all phenomena". The mind itself is the cause and effect of "all phenomena" and "all phenomena" itself is the Dharma.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 21, 2008 - 10:20PM #4
brburl
Posts: 132
If you do this, you're not getting caught up in the negative emotion; you're not identifying with it, and your experience isn't being dominated by it. Just to check though, this is a very different psychological process from sublimation, right? With sublimation, you redirect energies from desires or other mental states to healthier goals, but it seems that during Vipassana, you just wait for the desire or mental state--and its associated energy--to pass.

Sublimation is a bit more complex of a notion than what you are presenting.

As for mindfulness of a "negative emotion," if you are truly mindful of it, seeing its rise and fall, what is the energy of it, where did it come from and where does it go?
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 21, 2008 - 10:20PM #5
brburl
Posts: 132
If you do this, you're not getting caught up in the negative emotion; you're not identifying with it, and your experience isn't being dominated by it. Just to check though, this is a very different psychological process from sublimation, right? With sublimation, you redirect energies from desires or other mental states to healthier goals, but it seems that during Vipassana, you just wait for the desire or mental state--and its associated energy--to pass.

Sublimation is a bit more complex of a notion than what you are presenting.

As for mindfulness of a "negative emotion," if you are truly mindful of it, seeing its rise and fall, what is the energy of it, where did it come from and where does it go?
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