Try free for 7 days.

Mindfulness.com
Meditation
See all Meditation

Browse

Top articles

How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Mindful LivingSleep
Community

Already have an account?

Sign in

00:00

00:00

Mental Proliferation

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, we're going to talk about the word papancha. Now this is a word from the Pali language and it means the countless generation of pointless thoughts, mental proliferation. When one thought leads to another, then another, then another then another. This is papancha.

I first learned about this word while practicing meditation in Burma. It's used to describe the mental proliferation that can get activated by a single sense experience such as a sight, a sound, a smell, taste, sensation. And we've all experienced it. I'm sure you already had that recognition when hearing the definition. Just one thought triggers another thought, which triggers another thought and triggers another thought until several minutes have gone by and you're completely lost in some trail of thinking that no longer has anything to do with the original experience that arose.

That's papancha. And I, I love the word, papancha, because the way it sounds is, at least for me, how the experience of mental proliferation feels. All that ping ponging of this thought, this thought, this thought, this thought. It just feels like how the word papancha sounds. So how can we use this? Well, in your meditation practice, when you notice this mental proliferation arise, one, recognize that there's a word for this, papancha.

And because there's a word for it, it means every other human has experienced it. So you're in good company. It's normal. And you can use it to label the experience so that it doesn't become so personal. A lot of times when the thoughts are going in all these different directions, we can feel like, you know, what's wrong with me? What's wrong with my mind? Why is it doing this? Why I won't to stop thinking? But instead, if we just go, Oh, that's papancha.

Right? It kind of depersonalizes the experience and puts a name on something in a way that allows us to just recognize it for what it is,ah mental proliferation, papancha. So I invite you to, to start to bring that into your meditation practice and even throughout your day, when you notice that mental proliferation and setting, instead of getting caught up in judgment or self-berating, just say, Oh, there's papancha. There's papancha. And bring the attention back to the present moment. Mind goes off again, there's papancha.

And have some fun with it. At the heart of it. I think that's the biggest thing we really want to cultivate in our practice, little bit more playfulness, a little bit more understanding and a little bit more ease in relationship to our mind, especially our papancha mind. So enjoy adding this to your practice. Thank you for your practice and let's settle in for today's meditation.

Cory Muscara

4.8

Mental Proliferation

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, we're going to talk about the word papancha. Now this is a word from the Pali language and it means the countless generation of pointless thoughts, mental proliferation. When one thought leads to another, then another, then another then another. This is papancha.

I first learned about this word while practicing meditation in Burma. It's used to describe the mental proliferation that can get activated by a single sense experience such as a sight, a sound, a smell, taste, sensation. And we've all experienced it. I'm sure you already had that recognition when hearing the definition. Just one thought triggers another thought, which triggers another thought and triggers another thought until several minutes have gone by and you're completely lost in some trail of thinking that no longer has anything to do with the original experience that arose.

That's papancha. And I, I love the word, papancha, because the way it sounds is, at least for me, how the experience of mental proliferation feels. All that ping ponging of this thought, this thought, this thought, this thought. It just feels like how the word papancha sounds. So how can we use this? Well, in your meditation practice, when you notice this mental proliferation arise, one, recognize that there's a word for this, papancha.

And because there's a word for it, it means every other human has experienced it. So you're in good company. It's normal. And you can use it to label the experience so that it doesn't become so personal. A lot of times when the thoughts are going in all these different directions, we can feel like, you know, what's wrong with me? What's wrong with my mind? Why is it doing this? Why I won't to stop thinking? But instead, if we just go, Oh, that's papancha.

Right? It kind of depersonalizes the experience and puts a name on something in a way that allows us to just recognize it for what it is,ah mental proliferation, papancha. So I invite you to, to start to bring that into your meditation practice and even throughout your day, when you notice that mental proliferation and setting, instead of getting caught up in judgment or self-berating, just say, Oh, there's papancha. There's papancha. And bring the attention back to the present moment. Mind goes off again, there's papancha.

And have some fun with it. At the heart of it. I think that's the biggest thing we really want to cultivate in our practice, little bit more playfulness, a little bit more understanding and a little bit more ease in relationship to our mind, especially our papancha mind. So enjoy adding this to your practice. Thank you for your practice and let's settle in for today's meditation.

Cory Muscara

4.8

Duration

Play in-app

Scan the following QR code with your camera app to open it on our mobile app

Recommended for you

Get Unlimited Access

Start your mindfulness journey today.

A Mindfulness Plus+ subscription gives you unlimited access to a world of premium mindfulness content.

  • Over 1,800 meditations, sleep, calm music, naturescapes and more
  • Daily mindfulness video meditations 365 days a year
  • 100s of courses and tools to help manage anxiety, sleep and stress

Join our free newsletter

Discover exclusive events, first access to new features, community stories, and a monthly curation of our best mindfulness insights.

By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Email Missing

We couldn’t detect your email with the SSO provider you have selected.
or

Mindfulness Guarantee

We are here to make a positive impact on the world. We never want to sell you something that hasn’t helped you live a better life. That’s why if you’re unhappy with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to get a full refund and your money back.

If you subscribed to Mindfulness Plus+ and are unhappy with your purchase, please get in contact with us within the 30-day period and we’ll refund your purchase.


Learn more about our Mindfulness Guarantee.

Mindfulness

Bring balance into your everyday life.

We believe in a world where everybody has access to the life-changing skills of mindfulness.

  • 2,000+ Guided Meditations
  • Daily Coaching
  • Sleep Content
  • Mindful Exercises
  • Mindful Radio
  • 10+ Courses from world-class teachers

Private Browsing

Added to your cart!

Checkout

Thank you for joining us

Congratulations on your subscription! Dive into the full library and enjoy all it has to offer.

Claim your free access

Create a mindfulness account and we’ll unlock this premium session in your account forever.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Start a free trial to play this session

7-Days free trial, cancel anytime.

Finish personalizing your account

Complete a few quick questions to make your own personalized mindfulness plan.

Sign up or login to your mindfulness account to proceed.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Mindfulness

One membership to gain access to a world of premium mindfulness content created to help you live happier and stress less.

  • 2000+ Guided Meditations
  • Courses from world-class teachers
  • Resources for Stress + Anxiety
  • Breathing exercises, gratitude practices, relaxation techniques
  • Sleep meditations, playlists, stories
  • Mindful talks, podcasts, music, nature sounds