Thought and Meditation – Rob Burbea


Instructions for dealing with thought and meditation can be confusing. Are we supposed to stop thinking? It’s an important question. Thinking in a painful way, for some people, can lead to suicide. With misunderstandings and poor instruction, the practitioner of meditation has some hurdles to overcome. When the practitioner tries to stop thinking, they will find that the results are only temporary, and they’ve suffered a lot of strain in the attempt. At other times the practitioner gives up development and surfs on interesting thoughts and concepts. If thinking is allowed in meditation, what kind of thinking is good thinking?

A lot of the following material comes from one of my favourite masters Rob Burbea, so I would like to let the audience know, if they don’t know already, that he’s fighting pancreatic cancer. Yet despite that he’s still has the fortitude to teach, for example his new retreat teachings have been uploaded about Imaginal practice, and there are links below. Rob like the rest of us is impermanent and the gifts he provides and are not guaranteed. If you are in the position to do so you can donate via this link to help with his expenses: 

Intro – Harassed by thinking: 0:00
Rob Burbea 1:19
Working with thought and meditation 1:56
Experimentation 2:52
Ouroboros 4:33
Papañca 5:31
Complication 7:31
Cutting thought 8:32
Allowing 9:51
Rewards 11:44
Thinking with calm 12:08
Labeling 13:26
“I” as the source of papañca 14:25
Only impressions in awareness 16:48
Anger 19:07
Time and the emptiness of time 20:02
Deeper than thinking 22:12
Three characteristics 25:00

Rob Burbea

Working with thought in meditation:

Thoughts and Images in Meditation:

Approaching the Dharma: Part One – Unbinding the World:

Approaching the Dharma: Part Two – Liberating ways of looking:

Only impressions in awareness:

Time and the emptiness of time:

Maya and Nirvana (Beyond the Measure of Mind):

Seeing that Frees:

Rob’s recent retreat talks:

The Mirrored Gates:

Tending the Holy Fire:

Andrea Fella

Working with thoughts and thinking:

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

You can’t clone awakening: 

Your Landing Strip: 

Going in light: 

Other resources:

Compassionate Wrath – Robert Augustus Masters: 

Click to access masters.pdf

Dependent Co-arising – Various Authors:

Contemplative practice:


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