"in the same way, if evil, unskillful thoughts — imbued with desire, aversion or delusion — still arise in the monk while he is scrutinizing the drawbacks of those thoughts, he should pay no mind and pay no attention to those thoughts. As he is paying no mind and paying no attention to them, those evil, unskillful thoughts are abandoned and subside. With their abandoning, he steadies his mind right within, settles it, unifies it, and concentrates it."

How does one pay no mind / no attention to thoughts? Diverting one's attention was the 1st method, but how is this meant to be?


When you watch a sad movie, you may feel sad at some points. But you won't carry the sadness with you and become depressed, would you? When you stop watching the movie, you immediately forget about it.

Similarly, you treat the evil unskillful thoughts here like they were some movie appearing in your mind, and ignore them.


The Pali here is asatiamanasikāro. Based on the translation of the monk Sujato, 'asati' (which often has a completely different meaning) means 'to forget' (i.e., non-mindful) and 'amanasikāro' naturally means 'non-attention' or 'to ignore'. Sujato translates:

Now, suppose that mendicant is examining the drawbacks of those thoughts; but bad unskillful thoughts connected with desire, hate and delusion keep coming up. They should try to ignore and forget about them.

While I cannot answer the question definitively, my guess is the practise is to ignore the thoughts, which could include some thinking, such as "go away", "I want nothing to do with you", "I'm not interested in you", etc.

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