How little of the present do we know

Collapse
X
 
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • JohnsonCM
    Member
    • Jan 2010
    • 549

    How little of the present do we know

    I was thinking the other day, how often do you find yourself thinking about other things in other times?

    I was walking somewhere, I don't remember where, maybe Walmart, and I was thinking about what I'd be doing later that night, about my work the next morning, about making dinner and when my wife would be home, what my bill priorities were when I got paid next week, etc. But no thought, at least not until I realized what I was doing, was spared for where I was when I was there.

    It makes me wonder, how much of our lives do we really, truly live, and how much do we spend watching the movie of what has already passed or what is yet to happen?
    Gassho,
    "Heitetsu"
    Christopher
    Sat today
  • Seiryu
    Member
    • Sep 2010
    • 620

    #2
    Re: How little of the present do we know

    I realize those moments as well. It is amazing isn't it just how much our minds don't want to be present to the present. But I think it is a good thing to come to see those moments of not being present. Most won't even come to be aware of there not being awareness....


    _/_

    Seiryu
    Humbly,
    清竜 Seiryu

    Comment

    • Jundo
      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
      • Apr 2006
      • 39474

      #3
      Re: How little of the present do we know

      Originally posted by JohnsonCM
      I was walking somewhere, I don't remember where, maybe Walmart, and I was thinking about what I'd be doing later that night, about my work the next morning, about making dinner and when my wife would be home, what my bill priorities were when I got paid next week, etc. But no thought, at least not until I realized what I was doing, was spared for where I was when I was there.
      What makes you think that that was not your present? Your "at Walmart thinking about making dinner and bill priorities" present? How did you want to be more in the present? Why were you rejecting this "walmart thinking about dinner present" to try to be somewhere else, in some other "more present than my present" present?

      There is a time to stop and smell the roses ... a time to think about "what's for dinner". If one only smells roses ... dinner plans are never made. If one only worries about dinner ... one may miss the roses.

      Sometimes this practice is not to be "leaving the present to be present with the present" ... but just to be presently present with what the present presents as a gift-wrapped present. 8)

      how much of our lives do we really, truly live

      Well, all of it, of course!

      Gassho, J
      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

      Comment

      • Jundo
        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
        • Apr 2006
        • 39474

        #4
        Re: How little of the present do we know

        Originally posted by Jundo
        Originally posted by JohnsonCM
        I was walking somewhere, I don't remember where, maybe Walmart, and I was thinking about what I'd be doing later that night, about my work the next morning, about making dinner and when my wife would be home, what my bill priorities were when I got paid next week, etc. But no thought, at least not until I realized what I was doing, was spared for where I was when I was there.
        What makes you think that that was not your present? Your "at Walmart thinking about making dinner and bill priorities" present? How did you want to be more in the present? Why were you rejecting this "walmart thinking about dinner present" to try to be somewhere else, in some other "more present than my present" present?

        There is a time to stop and smell the roses ... a time to think about "what's for dinner". If one only smells roses ... dinner plans are never made. If one only worries about dinner ... one may miss the roses.

        Sometimes this practice is not to be "leaving the present to be present with the present" ... but just to be presently present with what the present presents as a gift-wrapped present. 8)

        how much of our lives do we really, truly live

        Well, all of it, of course!

        Gassho, J
        The above post is important, I feel. So many folks try to be "in the present" so much they miss the present.

        There are times to be in the present experiencing just the present, and times to be in the present which is thinking about tomorrow or last Tuesday.

        So read it at least twice ... in the present, and then again in the present.

        Gassho, J
        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

        Comment

        • Ryumon
          Member
          • Apr 2007
          • 1706

          #5
          Re: How little of the present do we know

          Originally posted by Jundo
          So many folks try to be "in the present" so much they miss the present.
          This is one to frame...
          ---
          Ryūmon (Kirk)
          流文

          SAT/LAH

          I know nothing.

          Comment

          • Shokai
            Treeleaf Priest
            • Mar 2009
            • 6391

            #6
            Re: How little of the present do we know

            _/_
            合掌,生開
            gassho, Shokai

            仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

            "Open to life in a benevolent way"

            https://sarushinzendo.wordpress.com/

            Comment

            • Seiryu
              Member
              • Sep 2010
              • 620

              #7
              Re: How little of the present do we know

              There is a time to stop and smell the roses ... a time to think about "what's for dinner". If one only smells roses ... dinner plans are never made. If one only worries about dinner ... one may miss the roses.
              I agree with this, but at the same time I wonder what you mean by it...We can be doing one thing and thinking about dinner with full awareness...we are aware of walking around, and we are aware of our minds jumping back and forth. Awareness doesn't have to mean only focus at one thing at a time...but we can also be walking around and not at all be present to either our walking or our minds...everything just moves on auto-pilot...I think it is these moments this post was addressing...those moments when we are not at all present to anything at all....

              So many folks try to be "in the present" so much they miss the present.
              _/_ I like this!!



              Seiryu
              Humbly,
              清竜 Seiryu

              Comment

              • Rich
                Member
                • Apr 2009
                • 2603

                #8
                Re: How little of the present do we know

                Breath in and hold your breath
                Eventually you have to let go or lungs will explode
                Its the same with thinking
                hold onto it too tight or too long
                And your mind will explode

                The diamond sutra says
                as thoughts arise do not attach to them

                But there is nothing wrong with breathing or thinking
                _/_
                Rich
                MUHYO
                無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                Comment

                • ghop
                  Member
                  • Jan 2010
                  • 438

                  #9
                  Re: How little of the present do we know

                  Originally posted by Jundo
                  So many folks try to be "in the present" so much they miss the present.
                  I agree. As an avid reader of Thich Nhat Hanh I tried for years to be "present." I made so many mistakes it is ridiculous. Once, at work, I almost ran over another worker with a forklift because I was focusing so intensely on being present with the sound of the machine and the feel of the wheels on the concrete and so on. Stupid! Another time I almost wrecked a car by trying so hard to be present with the act of driving. Heck with all that! I'm present at all times. My thoughts might be going this way and that way, but my body is always just right here, right now. This whole "NOW" thingy seems a bit New Age. You don't have to be enlightened to be present. You just have to be alive. :shock:

                  gassho
                  Greg

                  Comment

                  • JohnsonCM
                    Member
                    • Jan 2010
                    • 549

                    #10
                    Re: How little of the present do we know

                    But I wonder, not to say that we should be walking around thinking, "I must be mindful of each step I take....I just stepped on that blade of grass...and that one......now a wind is blowing and my left sock has slipped down my ankle again...."

                    But shouldn't we allocate a time and place for things, and remember to be where we are while we are there, to be aware of the situation and place which we find ourselves in? I don't mean to say we should be so focused on being mindful that we loose touch with the experience of our lives, but I don't think we should spend as much time as we do, mentally, somewhere, somewhen else.
                    Gassho,
                    "Heitetsu"
                    Christopher
                    Sat today

                    Comment

                    • Jundo
                      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                      • Apr 2006
                      • 39474

                      #11
                      Re: How little of the present do we know

                      Originally posted by JohnsonCM
                      But I wonder, not to say that we should be walking around thinking, "I must be mindful of each step I take....I just stepped on that blade of grass...and that one......now a wind is blowing and my left sock has slipped down my ankle again...."

                      But shouldn't we allocate a time and place for things, and remember to be where we are while we are there, to be aware of the situation and place which we find ourselves in? I don't mean to say we should be so focused on being mindful that we loose touch with the experience of our lives, but I don't think we should spend as much time as we do, mentally, somewhere, somewhen else.
                      Hi Chris,

                      I feel that, after a time in this practice, I found a kind of inner switch that I can push to be "IN THE NOW" when appropriate, when I want to be.

                      I recall when I was a teenager, getting up before dawn one morning to drive to the beach and "experience the sunrise".

                      I recall sitting on the beach, trying so hard to be "One with the Sun" and to "just be here" and "have a perfect experience" and find the "meaning of the sunrise" ... Well, you can imagine what a mess it was, and what separations I was creating between me and the whole experience.

                      Then, some years later I learned to just let sunrises be sunrises, not thinking about whether they were "perfect" sunrises or not, not thinking of before or after or anything at all. Ahhhhh ... Just this, no place else in need of goin' ... no me, no horizon ... Just One Rising Sun ... Cool.

                      And that is a switch I click many times during my little day ... in all kinds of moments (especially when my mind starts jumping with thoughts like "I wish this experience were more better" or "I wish I were somewhere else, living a life like in the magazines" or "life is racing by ... where is life?")

                      But it is not a switch to push constantly, I feel ... like a morphine drip ... because then this life can be missed in another way.

                      So, if one is standing in "Wal-Mart thinking about paying bills" but feeling dis-ease because one is standing there hoping for a "more authentic experience" or wondering "where is life, where is the present?" ... one is truly missing life and being in the present.

                      Flip that switch for a moment ... not thinking "before" or "after" or any place else to be, seeing the wondrous wonder of where one stands ...

                      and One Rising Sun Stands in Wal-Mart Thinking About Paying Bills! Ahhhh.

                      Something like that.

                      Then just get on with the shopping, cause there's milk and soup and plastic shoes to buy, and the disposable diapers are on sale. Something like that. 8)

                      Gassho, J
                      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                      Comment

                      • Jundo
                        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                        • Apr 2006
                        • 39474

                        #12
                        Re: How little of the present do we know

                        Originally posted by Seiryu
                        There is a time to stop and smell the roses ... a time to think about "what's for dinner". If one only smells roses ... dinner plans are never made. If one only worries about dinner ... one may miss the roses.
                        I agree with this, but at the same time I wonder what you mean by it...We can be doing one thing and thinking about dinner with full awareness...we are aware of walking around, and we are aware of our minds jumping back and forth. Awareness doesn't have to mean only focus at one thing at a time...but we can also be walking around and not at all be present to either our walking or our minds...everything just moves on auto-pilot...I think it is these moments this post was addressing...those moments when we are not at all present to anything at all....
                        My take on this might be ... there are times to switch off the auto-pilot, times to fly on auto-pilot. In any case, have a good flight!

                        When are you not on the flight? (In fact, from a Buddhist perspective ... when is the flight and the whole darn plane not you? Where is it all heading to anyway, on this flight? I once did a talk on that)

                        Flying Air Buddha
                        viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3036

                        So, in a nutshell ...

                        If one is on a beach watching a sunset, or in a Wal-Mart thinking about paying for the Insurance bills ... just be there. That is the present, that is life. Just be there.

                        Sometimes, one can push the "IN THE NOW" button and experience total awareness that "just this moment on the beach, or in the Wal-mart canned goods aisle" is "The Present, Life, Ahhhhhh.". That is the present, that is life. Just be there.

                        And sometimes one can just make a sand castle while thinking about this morning's fight with the ex-wife, or buy soup while rather worried about the insurance payments. It is okay even, once in awhile, to be so preoccupied with thinking of the insurance payments that on stumbles into and knocks over that pyramid of jelly jars that one didn't see! Don't try, and no need, to be particularly more aware of anything! ** When knocking over jelly jars, just do that. That is the present, that is life. Just be there.

                        ** (with the small proviso that, yes, through this practice one wants to develop an increasing awareness of, for example, when one is falling into the traps of "anger" toward the ex-wife, or excessive resistance and fear for the uninsured future, so as not to get so tangled in such mental traps!)

                        However, if one is in the Wal-Mart wishing they were somewhere else, perhaps on a
                        perfect" beach without the insurance and ex-wives where everything in life will be like in the magazines ...

                        Well, that is still "the present, and life" ... but you do not realize it, you are not "being there".

                        So, when on a beach ... be on the beach. When in Wal-Mart (apart from all the harmful economic, ecological and social considerations of shopping there ... but that is a subject for another day! :evil: ) ... just be in Wal-Mart.

                        The True Lovely Beach of our Way sweeps in both little sandy beaches in Tahiti and Wal-Marts.

                        Something like that.

                        Gassho, J
                        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                        Comment

                        • Taylor
                          Member
                          • May 2010
                          • 388

                          #13
                          Re: How little of the present do we know

                          Gassho, Jundo.

                          I catch myself often in that seemingly idyllic place. Watching the sunset over the mountains, listening to a thunderstorm; I try so hard to be there, that for some reason THIS IS IT! THIS IS THE MOMENT TO BE TRANQUIL! and the effort comes, forcing myself to try to be lost in the view or the sound, and it all tastes a little fake. Sweet like splenda but not quite like sugar.

                          Too much trying to do non-doing! A interesting conundrum :P

                          Gassho to all,
                          Taylor
                          Gassho,
                          Myoken
                          [url:r05q3pze]http://staresatwalls.blogspot.com/[/url:r05q3pze]

                          Comment

                          • Jundo
                            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                            • Apr 2006
                            • 39474

                            #14
                            Re: How little of the present do we know

                            Originally posted by Taylor
                            Gassho, Jundo.

                            I catch myself often in that seemingly idyllic place. Watching the sunset over the mountains, listening to a thunderstorm; I try so hard to be there, that for some reason THIS IS IT! THIS IS THE MOMENT TO BE TRANQUIL! and the effort comes, forcing myself to try to be lost in the view or the sound, and it all tastes a little fake. Sweet like splenda but not quite like sugar.

                            Too much trying to do non-doing! A interesting conundrum :P

                            Gassho to all,
                            Taylor
                            Sweet like splenda.

                            I am going to steal that line!

                            I hope you found some beautiful beaches (amid the industrial waste dumps you described too) of Madagascar.

                            From Taylor's blog ...

                            I mean, less than 10% of the rainforest remains and some of the officials I spoke to said it would all be gone in 25 years. Madagascar is very green, but most of the landscape is degraded, barren, and void of native species.
                            http://wallstarer.blogspot.com/2011/06/ ... frica.html

                            Yes, humankind needs to clean that up. That is where all the plastic junk from Wal-Mart goes.

                            Remember too that "being in the now" "at one with things as they are" and "just sitting" does not mean just sitting on our rump complacently accepting things as they are!

                            Gassho, J
                            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                            Comment

                            • disastermouse

                              #15
                              Re: How little of the present do we know

                              "What at this moment is missing?". - Lin Chi (Rinzai)

                              Comment

                              Working...