Dan74 wrote:I think early on Robert made a disparaging remark about focusing on the here and now
Just to address this point: not sure what I said but maybe my point was that simply focussing on some object may not be as 'here and now' as we think.
According the ancient Commentaries in the time it takes for a flash of lightening billions of moments of mind have risen and completly fallen away: in essence when we try to catch a moment it has long gone.
This has implications for the way we see 'practice'.
My lifestyle is such that I months every year in diffrent countries, often living out of hotels. Much of the time I am alone but honestly I dont see the time alones being more special- Dhammawise- than the time i am with my wife or friends.
The elements, dhatus, realities are continually arising and passing away: and from my perspective whether they are ones with dosa(aversion) , lobha, (greed) or metta or whatever aren't more special than any other moment. They simply arise and pass away.
Sure, sitting in economy class for 10 hour stretches can condition more moments of impatience, but sometimes it conditions moments of patience that replace those moments. Anyway whatever state "MY" mind is in is of not much more concern than the current weather. That doesn't mean there is no awareness of mindstates: it means I know/feel/trust that there is no MIND as such, there are only elements that arise and pass away: I have as much wish to try to stop them or change them or bring them on than I would to change the weather. They are not me or mine.
Sometimes I read something by meditators that brings on a sense of compassion and wish to help. In fact it was this that started the topic and a related topic when I read about someone disturbed by what he thought having mindfulness meant(see first post). Satisampajanna is always accepting and never the least bit onerous or tiring. On this path the older one gets the younger you feel!
Yesterday I was struck again by a wish to help but really didnt have the words: anyway someone had been on a retreat and left early and now felt upset
With 1 more day to go. Once on the road I realized my mistake, and now I feel completely depressed and angry at myself for not finishing the course (a common theme in my life is getting distracted by fun, to a point where it's out of balance). I don't know what to turn to, s
I wanted to say to him that there is no 'mind' , that there are ony elements, that the fact that they are not behaving as you want them to is their nature, they are uncontrollable. I didn't because I think without a basis in the teachings of the Buddha he might not want to hear this.
But anyone who can understand this will see that their life has become deeply content and that they feel confident to face and accept anything in life, no matter how unwelcome it might be. This is because the moment is always exactly as it should be , as it was conditioned to be. And that means when lobha, even lust, or dosa, even anger, arise that they do not need to be shunned. They can be understood right at that moment, whether talking to our wife, eating a tuna sandwich, sitting in economy, or sitting in lotus position in the jungle.
So the way of vipassana is not the same as the way of samatha, it is seeing things as they are. And that means here and now, even right now as I drink my morning coffee in Costa Coffee shop with Justin Bieber playing in the background.