"Living in the Present Moment"

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

"Living in the Present Moment"

Postby danieLion » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:02 am

Can the idea of "living in the present moment" (or "living in the moment", "being present", "living in moment-to-moment experience", "being in the moment", "taking it one moment at a time", etc...) be supported by the suttas?
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:41 am

Hi Daniel
I think it might be one of the inferences in the repeated phrase in the Satipatthana: atapi sampajjano satima (ardently clearly and continuously aware and comprehending [the characteristic of anicca].
kind regards,

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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby Dan74 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:43 am

Advice to Bahiya?
_/|\_
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby Stephen K » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:42 am

Let one not trace back the past
Or yearn for the future-yet-to-come.
That which is past is left behind
Unattained is the "yet-to-come."
But that which is present he discerns —
With insight as and when it comes.



Bhaddekaratta Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nana.html
With metta,
Upāsaka Sumana
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby bodom » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:41 am

[Devata:]
Those who abide in the forest, Peaceful, living the holy life; Those who eat but a single meal; — why is it their face is so calm?

[The Buddha:]
They do not grieve over the past, Nor do they yearn for the future; They live only in the present — That is why their face is so calm. It's from yearning for the future, And from grieving over the past; This is how fools become withered — Like a fresh reed that's been hacked down.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .olen.html

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby vinasp » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:49 pm

Hi everyone,

Slightly off-topic, perhaps, because it is not about the present moment, but
this passage from SN 22.46 is most interesting:

"Bhikkhus, form is impermanent ... feeling is impermanent ... perception
is impermanent ... volitional formations are impermanent ... consciousness
is impermanent. What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is
nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct
wisdom thus: 'This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.'

"When one sees this thus as it really is with correct wisdom, one holds
no more views concerning the past. When one holds no more views concerning
the past, one holds no more views concerning the future. ............"

[Bhikkhu Bodhi, Connected Discourses, page 885 ]

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby danieLion » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:10 am

thanks to all...completely answers my Q
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby ground » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:06 am

danieLion wrote:Can the idea of "living in the present moment" (or "living in the moment", "being present", "living in moment-to-moment experience", "being in the moment", "taking it one moment at a time", etc...) be supported by the suttas?


The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:20 am

In the elaborations of the meaning of the verse part of this suttas (and the following suttas):
Stefan wrote:
Let one not trace back the past
Or yearn for the future-yet-to-come.
That which is past is left behind
Unattained is the "yet-to-come."
But that which is present he discerns —
With insight as and when it comes.

Bhaddekaratta Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nana.html

the key problem is in seeing a self in past, future, or present:
"And how, monks, does one trace back the past? He thinks: 'I was of such form in the past' and brings delight to bear on it. ...
"And how, monks, does one yearn for the future? He thinks: 'I may have such form in the future' and brings delight to bear on it. ...
"And how is one drawn into present things? ... an uninstructed ordinary man... looks upon form as self, ...

Not all statements about the past or future should be labelled as speculative. There are many teachings about causality and consequences.

:anjali:
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby Alex123 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:09 pm

mikenz66 wrote:the key problem is in seeing a self in past, future, or present:


Right. Another problem is clinging to past, future or present.

    Setting at Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, form is suffering, both of the past and future, not to speak of the present. Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple is indifferent towards form of the past; he does not seek delight in form of the future; and he is practising for disenchantment with form of the present, for its fading away and cessation. - SN22.(10) Suffering in the Three Times BB Trans


The problem, it seems, is not simply thoughts about past or future - but clinging, delight, and wrong views.
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby Sarva » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:51 pm

Alex123 wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:the key problem is in seeing a self in past, future, or present:


Right. Another problem is clinging to past, future or present.

    Setting at Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, form is suffering, both of the past and future, not to speak of the present. Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple is indifferent towards form of the past; he does not seek delight in form of the future; and he is practising for disenchantment with form of the present, for its fading away and cessation. - SN22.(10) Suffering in the Three Times BB Trans


The problem, it seems, is not simply thoughts about past or future - but clinging, delight, and wrong views.

Hi Alex
Wouldn't this mean that we should not express remorse or regret for our past action as by doing so we are clinging to the past? If so then how should we see karma?

Metta
“Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby Alex123 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:30 am

Sarva wrote:Hi Alex
Wouldn't this mean that we should not express remorse or regret for our past action as by doing so we are clinging to the past? If so then how should we see karma?
Metta


My understanding is that: Learn the lesson from your mistake, forgive, forget, and move on. No need to add additional remorse and regret over things that you cannot alter any more.
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby daverupa » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:45 am

Alex123 wrote:
Sarva wrote:Hi Alex
Wouldn't this mean that we should not express remorse or regret for our past action as by doing so we are clinging to the past? If so then how should we see karma?
Metta


My understanding is that: Learn the lesson from your mistake, forgive, forget, and move on. No need to add additional remorse and regret over things that you cannot alter any more.


:thumbsup:

SN 42.8 wrote:"There is the case, headman, where a Tathagata appears in the world, worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in clear knowing & conduct, well-gone, a knower of the cosmos, unexcelled trainer of those to be tamed, teacher of human & divine beings, awakened, blessed. He, in various ways, criticizes & censures the taking of life, and says, 'Abstain from taking life.' He criticizes & censures stealing, and says, 'Abstain from stealing.' He criticizes & censures indulging in illicit sex, and says, 'Abstain from indulging in illicit sex.' He criticizes & censures the telling of lies, and says, 'Abstain from the telling of lies.'

"A disciple has faith in that teacher and reflects: 'The Blessed One in a variety of ways criticizes & censures the taking of life, and says, "Abstain from taking life." There are living beings that I have killed, to a greater or lesser extent. That was not right. That was not good. But if I become remorseful for that reason, that evil deed of mine will not be undone.' So, reflecting thus, he abandons right then the taking of life, and in the future refrains from taking life. This is how there comes to be the abandoning of that evil deed. This is how there comes to be the transcending of that evil deed.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby Buckwheat » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:31 am

Alex123 wrote:
Sarva wrote:Hi Alex
Wouldn't this mean that we should not express remorse or regret for our past action as by doing so we are clinging to the past? If so then how should we see karma?
Metta


My understanding is that: Learn the lesson from your mistake, forgive, forget, and move on. No need to add additional remorse and regret over things that you cannot alter any more.


I am only starting to discern this, but there is a difference between the shame that encourages one to avoid shameful actions in the future, and the pointless guilt of just beating oneself up for something that's already done is done. The difference between skillful and unskillful is often subtle and difficult to discern for those of us with lots of dust in our eyes.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby ground » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:20 am

There may be a lot of aversions against memories of a past and hopes or fears regarding a future.

Kind regards
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby Sarva » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:06 am

Thank you all for the replies regarding remorse/regret.
It seems clear to me then that remorse must be let go to be undone: "But if I become remorseful for that reason, that evil deed of mine will not be undone."

This makes sense because if there is no self (anatta) then there is no entity to cling to remorse.

Metta
“Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:21 am

Sarva wrote:This makes sense because if there is no self (anatta) then there is no entity to cling to remorse.
Just becuase "there is no entity to cling to remorse" that does mean there will not be clinging to remorse.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby Sarva » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:24 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Sarva wrote:This makes sense because if there is no self (anatta) then there is no entity to cling to remorse.
Just becuase "there is no entity to cling to remorse" that does mean there will not be clinging to remorse.

That's interesting Tiltbillings. Would you elaborate on the reason, please?
“Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby daverupa » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:38 am

Sarva wrote:That's interesting Tiltbillings. Would you elaborate on the reason, please?


I hope this isn't out of line, since I wasn't asked;

SN 23.2 wrote:"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'


There is no enduring entity 'Self', but when one clings, one can be reckoned according to that clinging, which means one is reckoned a being. With the cessation of craving, there is the cessation of reckoning.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: "Living in the Present Moment"

Postby Sarva » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:57 am

Thank you Daverupa, I am always grateful for replies :)
So it seems a being is formed through craving itself. This seems clear to me as isn't craving the root for rebirth, to put it broadly?

So to recap; even after the self conceit is diminished there can be the arising of thoughts of remorse and it is these thoughts which can be clung to, thus the arising of being. It seems that awakening is in stages, where clinging can arise and fall, gradually becoming less until full awakening.

Please feel free to let me know if this sounds correct?

:)
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