Welcome admin !

It is currently Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:04 pm
Pathway:  Board index Zen Discussion Forum Zen Practice & Philosophy Zen Buddhism Practical Buddhism

Being present, being in the moment

Discussion of Zen Buddhism-in-action, application in daily life.

Being present, being in the moment

Postby jordan_majel on Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:15 pm

What does it mean? Practicing zazen is quite clear for me, but when it comes to being present in everyday life, I have a really hard time understanding and doing this.
It's said one should be aware in his daily activities, but aware of what?
In my opinion there are two categories of things one can direct his/hers attention to in a particular moment:
1. One of five senses - "What do I hear/see/smell/taste/feel right now?"
2. Activity of the brain - thoughts, sounds, mental images etc.... everything going on in one's head.

Would you agree?

What is more, it's scientifically proven, that a person can focus on only one thing at a time. So, how do I know what's the most important
thing to direct my attention to?
jordan_majel
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:07 pm

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby macdougdoug on Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:28 pm

in zazen I get into the habit of remembering where I am and what I am doing - this can be carried through into everyday life.

Which of the myriad senses are more sollicited depends on the situation at hand, not some arbitrary scale of importance.
User avatar
macdougdoug
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 868
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:11 pm
Location: France

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby Sparkle on Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:57 pm

My default setting is to whizz-bang between tasks, my mind all over the place. Being present for me means slowing myself down and caring for each act as if it's super-important. In doing so I find my mind less likely to wander off. I combine this with focussing on my breath initially to quiet/centre myself. I do this again and again whenever I drift off in my head.

I JUST do what's before me THEN move onto the next thing. No big plans. I find when first get up in the
morning I can spend a good period of time like this. It's more difficult when others get up and I have to start communications.

Then it's just repeat as and when through the day.
User avatar
Sparkle
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:18 pm
Location: England

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby Guo Gu on Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:16 am

jordan_majel wrote:What does it mean? Practicing zazen is quite clear for me, but when it comes to being present in everyday life, I have a really hard time understanding and doing this.
It's said one should be aware in his daily activities, but aware of what?
In my opinion there are two categories of things one can direct his/hers attention to in a particular moment:
1. One of five senses - "What do I hear/see/smell/taste/feel right now?"
2. Activity of the brain - thoughts, sounds, mental images etc.... everything going on in one's head.

Would you agree?

What is more, it's scientifically proven, that a person can focus on only one thing at a time. So, how do I know what's the most important
thing to direct my attention to?


jordan,
you're over analyzing this, which itself is the source of your vexations. whatever the task at hand, whoever you're with, whatever you're supposed to be doing, just be there! instead of elsewhere. there's no gap btn zazen and daily life--the former is on zazen, your method of sitting; the latter is on experiences arise. they're the same. if you chop up zazen and life as separate (or chop up your six senses into separate things) then you will never be integrated, congruent.
be well, be whole,
guo gu
Founder and teacher of Tallahassee Chan Center of the Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism
http://www.tallahasseechan.com/
Received inka from Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) in 1995
User avatar
Guo Gu
Teacher
 
Posts: 1312
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:52 pm
Location: Tallahassee, FL USA

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby bubuyaya on Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:24 am

jordan_majel wrote:What does it mean?
Practicing zazen is quite clear for me, but when it comes to being present in everyday life, I have a really hard time understanding and doing this.
It's said one should be aware in his daily activities, but aware of what?
In my opinion there are two categories of things one can direct his/hers attention to in a particular moment:
1. One of five senses - "What do I hear/see/smell/taste/feel right now?"
2. Activity of the brain - thoughts, sounds, mental images etc.... everything going on in one's head.

Would you agree?
What is more, it's scientifically proven, that a person can focus on only one thing at a time. So, how do I know what's the most important
thing to direct my attention to?


When zen people say,
that you must be now, or you must be always at this moment,
mosr zen people also don't do that their being at present always, so don't worry about your don't knowing.
Be frank to yourself is the most important faculty needed for yourself's being present.

When people aware only their own being at this contineous moment, then they are the so called enlightened.
The awakened is always the same awakened self during day time through sleeping time
so the enlightened is capable of the same awakened liberated self at her(his) own deathing procedure.

Therefore when people are awakened then at their every five sense experience they are there spontaneously.
Without themself being at that moment, how can there be their senses?

Alike, when you use your brains, spontaneously, you are there.
When you use your attention, also your being is.
But you don't know what you really are.

You to be you is zen.
Me(of each people) to be me is zen.

Without me(of each people) how can there be my any birth or any death?
Without me how can there be any sense thoughts object such as sky sun moon finger meaning dharma worlds or words?

People's habitual attention always go outwardly because they are devided from themself.
so they habitually assume themself to be their body- mind accumulated,
because they forget themself during long long kalpas.

Even though people don't know themself during innumerable kalpas,
they are always themself being at this moment.

People who rightly believe themself to be Thatagata
can be awakened by themself, Thatgata,
which is Partriach's pure zen.
bubuyaya
 
Posts: 659
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:50 am

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby jordan_majel on Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:19 pm

Thanks for your replies. I appreciate every one of them.
Guo Gu, I believe you have a point there. I have a great tendency to overintellectualize - I think too much.
I basically live inside my head... :( One of the main reasons I got into zen was to get out of it.
So, what you're suggesting is that I should approach my everyday activities the same way I approach my zazen (counting breaths
is my method)? Should I simply focus on current activity and bring that attention back if it drifts away?
jordan_majel
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:07 pm

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby macdougdoug on Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:39 pm

Hello

I must insist : true freedom/intelligence cannot come from dependance on a method - the fully realised human does not follow a method - understanding of mind is the key. realisation of who we are is the key.

So I reckon the best thing to do is to keep the method to zazen sessions - they should naturally have an effect on daily life -
Also the inquiring mind is also a blessing (you already have it) eg what are thoughts? what is I? Can I see reality? These are all interesting questions.

PS - focussing on current activity is of course usually a good thing
User avatar
macdougdoug
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 868
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:11 pm
Location: France

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby Guo Gu on Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:53 am

jordan_majel wrote:Thanks for your replies. I appreciate every one of them.
Guo Gu, I believe you have a point there. I have a great tendency to overintellectualize - I think too much.


i can see that from your original post; that's why i answered what i did.

jordan_majel wrote:I basically live inside my head... :( One of the main reasons I got into zen was to get out of it.
So, what you're suggesting is that I should approach my everyday activities the same way I approach my zazen (counting breaths
is my method)? Should I simply focus on current activity and bring that attention back if it drifts away?


yes. this is a start. the point of counting breath is to stay in the present with focus. so take this principle and live out your life this way--not necessarily doing one thing at a time, as if you can no longer multitask, but as a principle to be present.

once you're able to be more present, with whatever task at hand, you would be open to what's actually happening in the present personally.

be well,
guo gu
Founder and teacher of Tallahassee Chan Center of the Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism
http://www.tallahasseechan.com/
Received inka from Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) in 1995
User avatar
Guo Gu
Teacher
 
Posts: 1312
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:52 pm
Location: Tallahassee, FL USA

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby Pemako on Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:04 am

jordan_majel wrote:So, how do I know what's the most important thing to direct my attention to?


Whatever you happen to be doing or experiencing, when you are doing it and experiencing it.

The most important thing is to be in the moment in the sense that you do not allow the past or the future to intrude on your experience of the now. Understand that the now is the only thing that truly exists and you are short changing yourself if you allow something from the past or the present to detract from the gorgeous experience that you are having right now.

Do you ever notice people who walk around with a permanently sad face, as if they have been cheated or short changed. They have a good reason to look sour, because they are in fact cheating and short changing themselves by not allowing themselves to enjoy the beautiful moment that is now. They don't allow themselves to be present in the moment because they dwell on past wrongdoings or some apprehensions about the future.
"The victorious ones have said
That emptiness is the relinquishing of all views.
For whomever emptiness is a view,
That one has accomplished nothing."
User avatar
Pemako
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:45 am

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby anka on Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:37 pm

jordan_majel wrote:What does it mean? Practicing zazen is quite clear for me, but when it comes to being present in everyday life, I have a really hard time understanding and doing this.
It's said one should be aware in his daily activities, but aware of what?
In my opinion there are two categories of things one can direct his/hers attention to in a particular moment:
1. One of five senses - "What do I hear/see/smell/taste/feel right now?"
........

I work in a high pace engineering company. I am in a room with 3 other guys all day everyday. Due to the nature of engineers egos run wild and can cause conflict which quickly distracts me from being in the moment. For me a cup of yerba mate and some nice ambient / folk / new age / blues music allows me to find center again, if only for a moment.

Nothing matches the natural smile I get when halfway through daily zazen and everything is perfectly quiet and still.

:heya:
Last edited by anka on Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
anka
 
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:08 pm

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:53 pm

Jordan,

If you're driving a car, then the driving is important to be attentive of. Climbing a ladder to adjust an antenna on the roof?: then, the climbing, and stepping off the ladder safely at the top is important. Shopping at the grocery, with a list of needed items you wrote at home? Then, seeking out the items on the list in turn is important. But, maybe also allow the buying of certain "impulse items" that strike your attention, or fancy.

I'd say that being present in the moment in daily life is a matter of flexibility (as things come up), and not a matter of performing prescribed actions that we may have set for ourselves in advance. "List items" of important things decided in the past must often take a back-seat to what's immediately before us. Things are never as we envisioned they would be.

The Present insinuates itself at every opportunity, and, if we are "present" to it, and not distracted by "plans", we can act wisely (and in harmony).

--Joe

jordan_majel wrote:So, how do I know what's the most important
thing to direct my attention to?
User avatar
desert_woodworker
 
Posts: 6509
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:09 am
Location: southern Arizona, USA

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby Avisitor on Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:06 pm

A presence of mind or attention focused upon the present activity is ...
what some call being in the moment or being present ...
Others call it mindfulness ...
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
User avatar
Avisitor
 
Posts: 1671
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:43 pm
Location: Albany, NY

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby Monk Rob on Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:15 am

jordan_majel wrote:Thanks for your replies. I appreciate every one of them.
Guo Gu, I believe you have a point there. I have a great tendency to overintellectualize - I think too much.
I basically live inside my head... :( One of the main reasons I got into zen was to get out of it.
So, what you're suggesting is that I should approach my everyday activities the same way I approach my zazen (counting breaths
is my method)? Should I simply focus on current activity and bring that attention back if it drifts away?



Life...Just this...Pay attention

Moment to moment, pay attention. Counting breaths, just counting breaths; someone talking to you, just listening; driving, just driving; drinking water, just drinking water; working, just working; sitting on the toilet, just sitting on the toilet...and so on. Just paying attention to whatever the moment presents. Not resisting what comes, not holding onto what comes (including thoughts haha).

Zen Master Bon Soeng sums up Zen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnTdY7QPpe0

Thank you


-Rob
Monk Rob
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:48 pm

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby Avisitor on Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:43 am

desert_woodworker wrote:The Present insinuates itself at every opportunity, and, if we are "present" to it, and not distracted by "plans", we can act wisely (and in harmony).

Don't we need plans??
Like what to buy at the grocery??
And saving money for what may happen tomorrow ... retirement is one possibility?? Fixing the car is another??

I think being present doesn't mean we can forget about the future or the past??
Just that we should not allow it to rule our thoughts and attention??

Of course, Buddha spent some of his time begging for food??
In today's world, it might be quite hard to survive on such a strategy??
But, it would bring the mind to the present .. especially if one has never had to beg for food??

Sorry, just a thought ... :coffee:
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
User avatar
Avisitor
 
Posts: 1671
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:43 pm
Location: Albany, NY

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:01 am

Av,

As you say, despite plans, and despite the grocery list, and retirement savings, you may still have to fix the car. Remain flexible.

My point, which you understand, is we should be mindful not to miss the needs of the present because of plans. Even very much more to the point in any moment, we are well to keep "the mind" free of self-chatter, so we don't miss the reality of the world in the present.

"A good traveler has no fixed itinerary, and is not intent on arriving". (Lao Tzu wrote that, for us)

I'd say, A path is made by walking -- not by following.

--Joe

Avisitor wrote:
desert_woodworker wrote:The Present insinuates itself at every opportunity, and, if we are "present" to it, and not distracted by "plans", we can act wisely (and in harmony).

Don't we need plans??
Like what to buy at the grocery??
And saving money for what may happen tomorrow ... retirement is one possibility?? Fixing the car is another??
User avatar
desert_woodworker
 
Posts: 6509
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:09 am
Location: southern Arizona, USA

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby Avisitor on Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:18 am

desert_woodworker wrote:My point .... Even very much more to the point in any moment, we are well to keep "the mind" free of self-chatter, so we don't miss the reality of the world in the present.


So, the future and the past are but examples of the mind going on "self-chatter"??
When sitting, the practice allows for the mind to calm. One doesn't force silence upon oneself??
The task brings the attention to a focus and this, to me, is the beginning of clarity??
When this clarity carries through to daily life, one is being present??
It is not forced and not a condition made by constraints??

Forgive me, it is not my place to second guess you ... just wondering ... :coffee:
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
User avatar
Avisitor
 
Posts: 1671
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:43 pm
Location: Albany, NY

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:53 am

Av,

Here's what I wrote. Granted, not too clearly. I could have given each idea a paragraph. But, life is short, both for writers and for readers. So, I put it:

desert_woodworker wrote:"My point, which you understand, is we should be mindful not to miss the needs of the present because of plans. Even very much more to the point in any moment, we are well to keep "the mind" free of self-chatter, so we don't miss the reality of the world in the present."


To emphasize that there are two ideas there (you take them as one), I might have made a paragraph-break.

Now, for clarity in this second iteration, let me separate the different ideas numerically, and re-word them. See what you make of it:

(1.) planning is needed, but don't miss the life of the Present;

(2.) desist in talking to yourself constantly, or you'll miss the "voices" of the world, and of Beings.

This is good medicine. I submit, better than your "coffee".

:O:

--Joe

Avisitor wrote:
desert_woodworker wrote:My point .... Even very much more to the point in any moment, we are well to keep "the mind" free of self-chatter, so we don't miss the reality of the world in the present.


So, the future and the past are but examples of the mind going on "self-chatter"??
When sitting, the practice allows for the mind to calm. One doesn't force silence upon oneself??
The task brings the attention to a focus and this, to me, is the beginning of clarity??
When this clarity carries through to daily life, one is being present??
It is not forced and not a condition made by constraints??

Forgive me, it is not my place to second guess you ... just wondering ... :coffee:
User avatar
desert_woodworker
 
Posts: 6509
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:09 am
Location: southern Arizona, USA

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby fukasetsu on Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:48 am

Avisitor wrote:When this clarity carries through to daily life, one is being present??
It is not forced and not a condition made by constraints??


The sense of presence is just another word for consciousness, you're always being present when you wake up in the morning but it's totally absent when you're asleep (you're not conscious of it) so you're conscious of 'being present' in relation to not being conscious, hence it's dual and shows you're true nature isn't even (Universal) consciousness, let alone any fabrications of mind (the 3 times for instance)
It means you're true state is not dependent on consciousness, but consciousness cannot be without the true (natural) state,
that is called Awareness, just focus your attention on that, it has nothing to do with ideas about the past, present and future.
Whatever can be remembered or forget is transient, but there's one thing which cannot be gotten, broken or removed.
And it's right here and now, hence there's no question of reaching it.
Differences are never in opposition.
User avatar
fukasetsu
 
Posts: 6711
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:17 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Being present, being in the moment

Postby cam101+ on Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:16 am

"It's said one should be aware in his daily activities, but aware of what?"

An excellent question! This strikes at the very heart of practice. If you attempt to be aware, it will not work, and if you attempt not-trying to be aware, it will not work. Simply return to your breath as you go about your day, and reel your thoughts back to your breath when caught up in them. This activity itself is awareness. I understand that mindfulness is subtly different than the basic sitting awareness meditation that I described, and that the focus is a little different, but the subtlety is too difficult for me to grasp by thinking about it. Yet once I simply follow my breath when out and about, the focus does shift. I can't do it intentionally, it just happens.
cam101+
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 9:24 pm


Return to Practical Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest

 
RocketTheme Joomla Templates

Who is online

In total there are 2 users online :: 1 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 157 on Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:44 am

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest