I have been practicing seriously for a month now. I'm mindful a lot of the time but not 100% yet and whenever I'm not I start thinking about metaphysical questions or what could be after death or if it is nothing etc. How can I stop this? Or how to stop thinking about something in general when you don't want to? For some reason I can't be equanimous with metaphysical questions. They run through my head like there's no tomorrow and nothing more important than that. It's quite annoying. Would noting help?

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    buddhism.stackexchange.com/a/25630/8527 check that answer.
    – user8527
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 1:33
  • @116PYC thank you 🙏 Commented May 3, 2020 at 8:10
  • As a metaphysician I feel there's no reason not to think about such questions and much to be gained, just as long as its not an obsession and you don't expect to get any simple yes or no answers. After all, it would be necessary to think about metaphysics to see what Nagarjuna was getting at. The idea is not to allow such thinking to become a waste of your time, as it so easily can become.
    – user14119
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 11:21
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    @peterj it's become a waste of time for me. I wouldn't mind talking about it etc. but it's making me depressed thinking about it so much and it's overwhelming. I would rather stop the suffering for me around it. Commented May 3, 2020 at 13:48
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    @buddhismcuriousity - Whether you can gain from it would be entirely dependent on your circumstances and, more crucially, how you go about it. It's main value is to prove the plausibility and logical soundness of Buddhist doctrine, while for a practitioner it may be an effective guardian against error. But if it causes problems best to take the Buddha advice and wait to discover the answers in practice rather than theorise.
    – user14119
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 15:21

8 Answers 8


Practice Vipassana meditation using breath or walking. This will help you to contemplate on wholesome thought. If you want to stop Vitakka and Vicara you have to practice Samatha meditation. Vitakka and Vicara stop at second Jhana which is I have not experienced myself. Being aware that your mind is unrest alone is meditation. If you can increase this awareness, you will improve your meditation eventually.

  • I've been practicing vipassana now for around 4 months. Will check out the other mentioned methods though. Thanks 🙏 Commented May 3, 2020 at 7:35
  • My suggestion is to stay with Satipathana. Vitakka and Vicara (thoughts) are not such a bad thing as far as they are wholesome thoughts. It is pleasant to have wholesome thoughts and lead to Nibbana. The second Jhana is a temporary state. Air for a more permenanent state.
    – SarathW
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 22:12

Take a look at the suggestions in the Discourse on the Relaxation of Thoughts or also called the Discourse on the Removal of Distracting Thoughts.

Below, let me summarize the techniques found in that sutta or discourse. This is the recommended sequence. If the first one works, you don't need to go to the second one.

  • Think about something else, which is skillful
  • Scrutinize the drawbacks and unskillfulness of the distracting thoughts and see how they result in suffering
  • Pay no attention to those distracting thoughts
  • Force yourself to stop thinking about those distracting thoughts
  • With your teeth clenched and your tongue pressed against the roof of your mouth - you should beat down, constrain, and crush your mind with your awareness.

I can actually give you an answer...but would that satisfy you? Would you trust this stranger enough to trust her words?

"metaphysical questions or what could be after death or if it is nothing etc"

The answer is neither of those things happen. What happens is something that you cant imagine. Its impossible to imagine, it is unfathomable. If it could be experienced through a break down of the body (NDE), it would still be innefible (unexplainable or impossible to put into words.) This being the case, it is not a matter to think about but to experience. You can actually uncover this knowledge through deep meditation, the eightfold path, total purification of the heart and mind. This is what the buddah and thousands buddahs and thousands arhants have done; they have diligently practiced to the point of reaching this total wisdom about the fabric of reality. They could not think about it, it is inefficient to think about it...they practiced their way into it. The knowledge fell on their lap so to say, as inevitably will happen to an ascetic practicing meditation diligently and with loving compassion and luck.


Recite a mantra like Buddho each time you think of it. Then, you'll eventually break the habit

  • Don't you think metaphysics is only a grammar-playing with "transcendental" or "universalia" !? 💡🍐

  • You play with concepts when you ask about the border between the finite and infinite or about the place where the space is ... 🙏🏼

  1. Better paint something as a kind of vipassana ... 🙏🏼

  2. Better learn new language and you'll see new paradigms of metaphysics ... 🙏🏼


Metaphysics is rendering Language as Reality. Grammar as Physical Law. That's why The Buddha answered wth epoché to Metaphysical questions and added PRACTICE IN PHYSICAL LIFE and body's (Sati)patthana.



Yogi Berra


This typifies the Zen approach to koan practice, in which the master gives the student a koan which cannot be answered by conventional methods. This eventually causes the student to break down which in Zen is called The Great Doubt. This is seen as the breaking down of the intellect which can cause a myriad of unsettling symptoms - annoyance being one such symptom - but leads to a more refined and fluid version of mental processing.

In your particular case, the koan you unwittingly stumbled upon might be "what was your original face before your parents were born?"

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