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The 5 hindrances and forgetfulness

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The 5 hindrances and forgetfulness
Answer
9/3/19 12:51 PM
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[size=3]You are probably familiar with the 5 hindrances.  If not do a google
and you will find plenty of info.

I experience all of the 5 hindrances on a regular basis, but they
don't list what for me is the biggest hindrance, which is
forgetfulness. 

When I sit in meditation I notice two types of wondering mind.  In
the first type I notice a thought and let it go.  In the second type
I am sitting serenely, following my breath, noticing thoughts and
letting them go, following my breath, and then suddenly I realize
that for the last 5 minutes I have been thinking about home repairs
and have totally forgotten I am meditating.  Then I come back to the
breath, and then notice that for the last several minutes I have
been thinking about how my mind wonders and have totally forgotten I
am meditating.  And so on and so on.  If I am sitting for longer
periods of time the forgetfulness declines but never stops.  I would
say that usually in the first hour of meditation at least half the
time I am in a state of forgetfulness that I am even meditating.  In
the second hour I still may be forgetting more than half the time,
but still at least 1/4 or 1/3 of the time.  On retreats I become
more concentrated, but still am regularly forgetting that I am
meditating.

Talking to friends, this is pretty common.

I wonder why forgetfulness is not listed as one of the 5 hindrances?
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RE: The 5 hindrances and forgetfulness
Answer
9/3/19 4:55 PM as a reply to Tom Smith.
It sounds to me like you are experiencing two of the hindrances here: doubt and aversion.

You doubt that you are meditating correctly. Personally, I don't see forgetfulness as being a problem. You eventually notice when the mind has left your meditation, and you bring it back. Sounds like you're doing it right! That's the point of the practice. If the mind never wandered, you wouldn't need to practice.

Aversion might be harder to track down, but I suspect it is the cause of your forgetfulness. If you were completely fascinated by what was going on in your meditation, your mind would not be wandering. So, I imagine that there is something showing up in meditation that is distasteful to you, and so you start thinking about home repairs as a distraction. But again, the more you keep bringing the mind back to the meditation, the more awareness you'll develop around that matter.

RE: The 5 hindrances and forgetfulness
Answer
9/3/19 10:13 PM as a reply to spatial.
Useful thoughts.  Thanks.

RE: The 5 hindrances and forgetfulness
Answer
9/4/19 1:46 AM as a reply to Tom Smith.
I always took for granted that forgetfulness was included in dullness (sloth or torpor).

RE: The 5 hindrances and forgetfulness
Answer
9/5/19 5:48 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
After some thinking, it might as well occur as a result of restlessness, because it is easy to get lost in the content of thoughts that pop up. So maybe it’s a mix of different hindrances that leads to forgetfulness. Unless of course one has a memory problem with biological causes.

RE: The 5 hindrances and forgetfulness
Answer
9/5/19 8:14 AM as a reply to Tom Smith.
I think as everything Dharma related - their are multiple causes and courses of action. My advice would be;

Getting lost in thought is usually a sign you are identified with the content of the thought - and take more pleasure from that, then from observing the breath.

1) Gain insight into the imaginary, illusive, voidness & ultimate unsatissfactory of all thought
2) Following the previous contemplate where thought comes from and why it manifests - casuality & dependant co-arising
3) Following from above - with an understanding that things are arising on there own dependant on the past and present conditions - let go of any idea of there being a 'you' or anything controlling the thoughts - they arise on their own and are worthless
4) Clearly seeing the worthless casually arising thoughts - learn to cultivate the joy in letting go of everything and how good it is to follow something so simple and pure and real as the breath. - Learn to cherish the breathe as an object that brings you into the present, a life giver, and a great teacher

Hope this helps