Is it possible to always be in the 'PRESENT' ?

#1 Feb 4th, 2018, 09:54
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#1
Hi friends.

A lot is said about the ability of always being in the 'PRESENT' as a very high spiritually evolved state.

Is it possible to always be in the 'PRESENT' without thinking of the past or future?
#2 Feb 4th, 2018, 10:55
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Hi Rajeev
Nice to read you again.

It is possible to be like that; but if it is really so spiritually evolved is a different question. If we assume that we are talking about people like you and me and every other IMer, non-meditators and meditators alike, it can be said that applying mindfulness to the present moment involves effort which in this case is motivated by the desire to succeed. This a kind of greed which is a kilesha, in other words something that nourishes the already existing veil of not-knowing aka ignorance.

This process can lead into deep states of absorption and quietness of mind (the latter is actually achieveable quite easily by anyone following a given procedure like counting breaths and the like), but it remains all within the area of unenlightening ignorance. To say it bluntly: the person doing that is not a better person because of it. It is only a form of suppression because during the time of absorption the kileshas are in an inactive state but still there. They reawaken if the person comes out of that state.

Now, it is also possible to apply that mindfulness without the absorption, in a kind of daily life kind of way e.g. by applying the awareness to whatever sensation (contact of the mind with a given sensual object) arises at each moment. But this practice also uses desire, albeit ever so subtle it may be, as its basis, which is counterproductive to spiritual insight and purification of the mind.

The middle way here is to not intend, to not DO, but allow awareness to happen on its own accord. It is a relaxed kind of way like the great Zen-master Lin Zi (also spelled Rinzai etc) taught: don't do anything special... The difference from ordinary life that does not lead anywhere lies in what? That is not easy to decide or discern.
#3 Feb 4th, 2018, 11:16
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Originally Posted by atala View Post The middle way here is to not intend, to not DO, but allow awareness to happen on its own accord. It is a relaxed kind of way like the great Zen-master Lin Zi (also spelled Rinzai etc) taught: don't do anything special... The difference from ordinary life that does not lead anywhere lies in what? That is not easy to decide or discern.
Thanks Atala. Can you please be kind to explain how "awareness can happen on its own accord" without any efforts. Awareness is not a natural state that it would happen on its own?
#4 Feb 4th, 2018, 12:00
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#4
One is always in present when busy in work, or sex etc, the only thing required is sincerity and passion for what you are doing. For the rest, it is important to ponder over past events and what future may hold, that is the basis of many decisions of 'present'.

Of course, anything in excess is bad, same goes with wandering into past or future too often, but I doubt that is bad spiritually, I think such people are more enlightened to be able to remove themselves from the reality of present
If you find my posts confrontationist, please bear, I am an old frustrated guy who has nothing better to do than sit on rocking chair and curse the world whole day
#5 Feb 4th, 2018, 13:59
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Originally Posted by Rajeev Sethi View Post Thanks Atala. Can you please be kind to explain how "awareness can happen on its own accord" without any efforts. Awareness is not a natural state that it would happen on its own?
Awareness on its own accord, that is without the intention of creating or producing it, is natural awareness as we have it all the time in ordinary life. It touches its object only slightly and casually, does not stick to them (doing that, i. e. sticking to the object would evoke a kind of stress and induce an artificial peace of mind i.e. momentary or lasting quietness aka samadhi which is an obstacle to insight in this particular "non-practice").

The process that you called thinking of past and future in your OP is technically called "wandering mind" and is a natural quality of the mind; it is neither good nor bad, it is just a naturally occuring process of the mind, which by meditators is normally judged as something negative, as undesirable, not liked, hated.

That negative reaction adds to the clouding of the mind and to the obstruction of the arising of wisdom, whereas just seeing it for what it is without judging it leads to a degree of understanding and insight.

Natural awareness will just see it when it happens, and the moment of seeing it actually stops it. Any mental phenomenon that arises, like hatred, jealousy, lust or joy, compassion etc can also be the object of natural momentary mindfulness, and therefore also an occasion to learn and understand.

As to Jitu's contribution, there is an important point: awareness is separate from thinking, so awareness can also be aware that thinking occurs while it happens. Awareness is like a silent watcher behind the scenes.

People who do a lot of formal meditation and have habituated their minds into the attitude of being consciously and forcefully aware, have overshadowed their natural mindfulness quality which occurs in flickers of moments rather than long durations.
#6 Jun 17th, 2018, 10:55
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I remember reading somewhere what JK had told. "Where I am not, beauty Is". He gives the example of a child looking intently out of the window forgetting everything, at a spider weaving its web. To him that is the only reality and even he is nonexistent, and that is the state of beauty and happiness of being entirely in the present.
#7 Jun 21st, 2018, 12:54
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I would imagine the average person would find it quite difficult to always stay in the present moment.
"Learn from the mistakes of others.You can't live long enough to make them all yourself" Eleanor Roosevelt.
#8 Jun 24th, 2018, 10:26
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Originally Posted by hippychick View Post I would imagine the average person would find it quite difficult to always stay in the present moment.
This is more than true; not for just an average person, but for most of us, I think. Only an extraordinary person can stay in the present moment all the time. May be we can all stay in the present sometimes, but how long? That is the question. Thoughts just take us to not only to the past but even to future also most of the time. Psychologists say that more than 50000 thoughts pass through our minds daily; more than 60% are just fleeting thoughts, but 40% are long enough taking us to our past or imaginary future. I wonder how much time goes for this! So only during the remaining time can we be in the present. So only when we can control our thoughts can we be in the present; control may not be the way, but to detach ourselves from the thought process, i.e the mind , the self
#9 Jun 24th, 2018, 12:55
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I get fleeting moments at home when alone,when its relatively easy to stay in the present moment.However if my husband is home,how is it possible?When I recall our conversations,yes some are in the present time,but alot of the time,we would discuss the past,or whats happening in the future.Work wise,yes I can practice some of the time,but in reality,I have co workers to consider,as well as thinking more ahead,scheduling work etc.I have found though by even practising some of the time,I've reaped the benefits of doing so.

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