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Thread: Experiencing the past and getting into the present moment.

  1. #1

    Experiencing the past and getting into the present moment.

    I am trying to find out if I understand this correctly. So ajahn brahm talks about the statement, I think therefore I am, being incorrect. It should be I thought therefore I was. When. I apply this to the Buddha's teaching I come up thinking that all of our senses are essentially experiencing the past, though to a very very very short degree. When we touch something a fraction of a moment later we feel it. When we see something we see it as it was, so on for all the senses. so in meditation if you experience deeper meditations you are giving up your interaction and experience with the past to get closer to the present moment. so is it right to say when you reach the last of the rupa jahnas neither perception nor non perception is when you experience the true present moment, therefore one can conclude that in the present there isn't really anything there? thank you.

  2. #2
    Administrator/ 5 Precept Keeper Senior Member Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
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    It is precisely the thinking about a phenomena that is in the past. Most of us are habitual thinkers and not experiencers. We think about what we just saw, touched, smelled, heard... making opinions about it rather than just taking it in. We watch a beautiful sunset and think about how we "like it" more than we actually see it. The eyes glaze over, no longer seeing it all, as the brain diverts power to thinking about what we're seeing.
    Regarding deep jhanas, my view is that deep meditation is anything but experiencing anything. It is great training for learning to experience without adding thought, but it is a tool or a road, not the end product or final destination. Also contemplate the word, anything. Say it slowly, any-thing. One day you may realize that there are, in truth, no things anywhere. There are processes, some so slow to us as to appear solid. Do things cease to exist, or does the mistaken belief in things cease to exist?
    Be well.

  3. #3
    I feel as though nothing ever exists in the true now moment, maybe not even the now moment itself exists. kind of like in geometry the 1 dimensional concept of a point. the smallest unit of size obviously all things are made of these points but if you try to find it it doesn't exist. all things are just a combination of all of its past, staying in the past, even if it's just for the smallest fraction of a second. I'm not sure how well I'm describing what it is I feel but i imagine trying to quantify the moment of now is well beyond any words. Nothing exists right now only once now has passed is something a thing but only because of its past.

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    Administrator/ 5 Precept Keeper Senior Member Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
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    I think I see what you're getting at, but I disagree about NOW never existing. NOW, the existence of a moment in truth, is not dependent upon our perception of it. What we are talking about here really is perception, not existence. Can we ever perceive a single moment? Doubtful. Really, though, and more importantly to me is, why does it matter?

  5. #5
    yes I agree we can't experience a single now under normal circumstances. However in deep meditations, when the mind is at the highest one pointedness, could someone be experiencing the now moment Then?

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    Administrator/ 5 Precept Keeper Senior Member Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
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    I have the view that we can observe processes nearly as they happen. I don't hold a view that time is real in and of itself, that it is an abstract human construct used to describe all sorts of processes. Getting rid of colored perceptions that cover what is actually happening is key to seeing what is. In essence, there is in my view, no now moment. The simple answer then is no. Though better still, we can see beyond time and all of its divisions and increments to what really goes on.

  7. #7
    I think this is an interesting discussion. I wish I had more insight to properly to address this question as I would like to know the answer too. The Thought therefore I am I think goes back to the point that there really isn't a you underneath, just reactions from previous encounters (anatta). If there is a single point, wouldn't there still be something there even if it was infinitesimally small? It is amazing how many secular websites come up when I tried to search this topic on Google. Being in the present moment is something that is taught at the beginning levels of meditation, and I thought the further you go from the sense of you (anatta) the deeper the meditation goes. I still feel like a beginner though and I've only have really gotten into the nimitta levels of meditation.

  8. #8
    I think I just allowed philosophy to cloud my mind. at the end of the day I feel all the best thinking misses the point. however I made it, not so much a goal to achieve, but rather something to inspire towards in my meditation. so far things are going well. When I do good acts and when I get inspired by some dhama related topic is when things just naturally go deeper. I was having previous issues in my meditation because I was trying to force happiness and force inspiration. so to possibly help others in the future it only works if you naturally do good and when listening or reading the dhama gives you that deep inspiration to go deeper in meditation. One just can't do letting go do inspiration just has to be allowed to happen ed. If I ever penetrate into the knowledge of deep meditation in regards to the quantified present moment I'll be sure to let you all know.

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    Administrator/ 5 Precept Keeper Senior Member Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
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    Sounds like you've uncovered some insight after all, Dustin. Good for you! I love it when a little of the dust comes out of someone's eyes. Very exciting indeed. I look forward to your revelations on the nature of time. With sincerity, mudita...

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