Whats the Point of being in Present

Whats the Point of being in Present Mathew Poskus 6/8/23 8:54 AM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present shargrol 6/8/23 10:41 AM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present Adi Vader 6/8/23 11:29 AM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present Pawel K 6/8/23 12:06 PM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present shargrol 6/8/23 12:23 PM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present Pawel K 6/8/23 2:36 PM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present T DC 6/8/23 1:43 PM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present Chris M 6/8/23 2:38 PM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present Jim Smith 6/10/23 6:48 AM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present Mathew Poskus 6/30/23 10:44 AM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present Mathew Poskus 8/5/23 6:38 PM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/4/23 5:12 AM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present Mathew Poskus 8/6/23 5:54 AM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present David M 9/6/23 9:06 PM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present Papa Che Dusko 9/7/23 5:24 AM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present terry 9/7/23 2:58 PM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present David M 9/7/23 8:06 AM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present Papa Che Dusko 9/7/23 9:36 AM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present David M 9/7/23 10:00 AM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present Papa Che Dusko 9/7/23 11:31 AM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present Pawel K 9/7/23 2:32 PM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present Pepe · 9/7/23 11:12 AM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present David M 9/7/23 11:32 AM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present David M 9/7/23 11:42 AM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present Todo 9/8/23 5:56 AM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present terry 9/8/23 3:12 PM
RE: Whats the Point of being in Present terry 9/8/23 4:08 PM
Mathew Poskus, modified 1 Year ago at 6/8/23 8:54 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/8/23 8:48 AM

Whats the Point of being in Present

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Can someone explain whats the point being present ?it doesnt do anything just suffering in present moment.How to use present moment to deal with suffering .Ajahn thanissaro says present moment its not the goal ...
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago at 6/8/23 10:41 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/8/23 10:41 AM

RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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Could you say more on what you are trying to figure out?

A big part of sanity is changing your attitude to the present moment and not feeling greed, aversion, and indifference in the face of pleasure, pain, and neutralness. And part of this is not suffering in the midst of emotions. You might like this article: https://arobuddhism.org/articles/embracing-emotions-as-the-path.html
Adi Vader, modified 1 Year ago at 6/8/23 11:29 AM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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I like this article on this topic.

https://tricycle.org/magazine/whats-so-great-about-now/
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Pawel K, modified 1 Year ago at 6/8/23 12:06 PM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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As a general rule if there is suffering you are doing it wrong and should spend more effort on figuring how to do it without suffering rather than forcing yourself to endure suffering.

If being present feels hopelessly like suffering and it doesn't feel like it can be fixed then do something else: become deliberately as not present as necessary to not experience suffering and then very slowly and carefully become more present without ever compromising on suffering (not letting oneself suffer) tweaking being present itself until you arrive at being present without suffering.

That said while it might be at times necessary you should not rely too much on that trick and just keep being present with at as smaller readjustments as is necessary.  Being present is about knowing what it means and its how you figure it out. In either way whatever author meant by being present I guess he didn't intent it to have suffering in it. Maybe he really meant person should be Christmas present? Who knows... certainly assuming you know on the first try is not valid way to do it even if it doesn't cause suffering, let alone when it does.
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago at 6/8/23 12:23 PM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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Well, I would say there is a good kind of suffering, the kind of suffering where you are learning how to avoid future suffering. 

Sort of like there is a good kind of exercise, the kind that makes you temporarily tired but eventually stronger. The bad kind of exercise just makes you exhaused and injured.

The point of being present is to experience the ways that greed, aversion, and indifference create future suffering. If they can't be experienced, they can't be dropped. The problem is that many people mis-interprete meditation practice to be thinking about the ways that greed, aversion, and indifference creates suffering. But thinking about stuff is always looking backwards into the past. Thinking never fixes things deeply. It's too slow, it can never keep up with the flow of living.  Thinking about it just leaves the bad taste of guilt and shame and doesn't change much else...

But when you truly experience greed, aversion, and indifference and the suffering it creates, you just don't want to do it anymore.  Unfortunately, it takes a lot of sitting and investigating to really see it clearly. Kinda sucks, but that just seems to be the way it is.
T DC, modified 1 Year ago at 6/8/23 1:43 PM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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It's somewhat of a through-the-fire approach.  Only through being present with out suffering can we work with it / through it.

On an ultimate level our personal awareness is inseparable from present moment experience, so truly "being present" represents the peak of meditative realization. 
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Pawel K, modified 1 Year ago at 6/8/23 2:36 PM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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Why have to experience suffering and not drop causes for suffering right away?
If you manage to be present without suffering it means pretty much there is no greed or aversion because if as you assume being present makes suffering from greed and aversion experienced more directly then optimizing for being present without suffering will inevitably lead to dropping suffering and with it its causes so greed and aversion.

In fact I would say it is better to drop greed and aversion never thinking about dropping anything like greed and aversion. The moment you introduce morality to technicalities of experience is the moment you give yourself distraction in form of pleasant comforting thoughts "I dropped greed!", and "I dropped aversion!" and in fact rather than being present you pat yourself on the back. It is just pure conceit.

Also as a general rule: permitting suffering permits causes of said suffering.

All in all I conclude your recommendation to endure it is wrong. One should not compromise on suffering in that way.
One should not compromise on being present either. Having greed and aversion has however nothing to being present. The only way to be truly present is not have greed or aversion or for that matter conceit.

Also whether your method really leads to actually dropping greed and aversion is besides the point. It is just bad method, technically speaking. Rather than dropping anything you just learn to counter your bad traits before they have chance of happening. This works but to then truly resolve the root of the issue and not have to manically observe your mind for signs of 'future suffering' you still have to do it the right way which is possible right away.

That said is it possible to do right away? Imho one should just do it and ask no stupid questions or doubt it can be done. Again not dropping greed, aversion, etc. but doing whatever feels wrong to arrive at mind which feels right. Then doing whatever feels right to arrive at mind which could intercept seeds of future suffering - which itself should not feel like a chore but just feel right, right mindfulness. Nothing has to be done because meditation is not about doing anything but about effects. Brain will figure it out if you let it while you indicate "there is this slight dukkha, shouldn't it be optimized away?" while being mindful of mindfulness as to not let brain optimize away actually skillful traits away. Brain when it starts meditation is like computer doing machine learning. It has to be supervised. Much better to teach it to supervise itself but when it wasn't ever done it has to have minimal supervision. Minimal is the key - not less than necessary but also not more than absolutely necessary as to let brain figure how to do it by itself.
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Chris M, modified 1 Year ago at 6/8/23 2:38 PM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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Can someone explain whats the point being present ?

This is a geat question.

You can only be here, and now. We humans form habits of thought that mislead us into thinking there's somewhere, somewhen, else to be. The interesting thing that can happen through a meditation practice is that we come to de-actualize this. We can stop assuming that we can be over there, or back then, or tomorrow. We can realize that everything we think, everything we assume, literally everything there is, is right here, and right now.
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago at 6/10/23 6:48 AM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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Mathew Poskus Can someone explain whats the point being present ?it doesnt do anything just suffering in present moment.How to use present moment to deal with suffering .Ajahn thanissaro says present moment its not the goal ...


Being in the moment is meditating in daily life. It's not being lost in thought or trying to solve problems or worrying about the future or analyzing the past, or being carried away by your impulses and emotions. When you find your mind wandering you bring it back to the present.

There are many many different ways you can be in the present. The simplest is to just be aware of what you are doing as you are doing it. Or you can notice your breathing. Or notice or count your steps when walking. Or notice each movement when you are washing the dishes.

You can notice everything you see or hear or feel.

You can focus your attention on your emotions. That can be helpful, but overdoing it, dwelling on unpleasant emotions can be unhelpful.

The benefits include breaking the habit of believing the stories your thoughts, emotions and impulses tell you about reality, that you have to be afraid, or angry or jealous, or this or that. When you are free from those mental habits you can react to life with wisdom and compassion rather than out of control emotions.

I like to watch the activity of my mind (thoughts, emotions, impulses, sensory experience, and sense of self) and the feelings in my body that accompany emotions and impulses. I take note when dukkha arises and I observe it. I notice what causes it to arise and what causes it to fade. I see how the sense of self (the ego) is always changing and is often intimately involved in dukkha. In this way I observe the three characteristics: dukkha, impermanence (arising and fading), and anatta (there is no permanent unchanging self), and I learn to break the sequence of dependent origination by relaxing and letting go at the moment of dukkha arising. Being relaxed helps you notice when dukkha arises because you see how dukkha disturbs your relaxed state, and it help you notice when you let go because you return to the relaxed state.
Mathew Poskus, modified 11 Months ago at 6/30/23 10:44 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 6/30/23 10:42 AM

RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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Thanks all ,thnx Jim Smith ,very simple straight to point it explanation,got it(or I think so).
Mathew Poskus, modified 10 Months ago at 8/5/23 6:38 PM
Created 10 Months ago at 8/3/23 9:55 AM

RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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https://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/  Nobody mentioned approaching ,your whole expierence , present moment with warmth and kindness ,wich I think is crucial being happy in present and contented.So I want to share this .
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 10 Months ago at 8/4/23 5:12 AM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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You are definitely on to something there, with the warmth and kindness.

One way of being kind to yourself can be to take in the bigger space rather than the contracted personal stuff that likes to convince us that it's so important (I imagine it to be like a sockpuppet sitting on one shoulder shouting with an annoying sockpuppet voice "But this is important!"). Maybe there is a gentle wind caressing your skin, or a soft blanket? Maybe the trees over there are actually quite beautiful and maybe the leaves rustle pleasantly in the wind? Maybe there are children laughing with joy outside your window, or a happy dog wagging its tail? In moments of personal misery I find relief when I see that there is at least some joy in the world. If I can be happy for others, there is so much more to be happy about. 
Mathew Poskus, modified 10 Months ago at 8/6/23 5:54 AM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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https://www.skepticspath.org/podcast/guided-meditation-on-pleasure/ Also this i found really helpfull .
David M, modified 9 Months ago at 9/6/23 9:06 PM
Created 9 Months ago at 9/6/23 9:06 PM

RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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​​​​Ajahn Brahm in Mindfulness Bliss and Beyond says that you need jhāna to abandon, temporarily, the five hindrances, and develop superpower mindfulness.

I think I'm in the beginning stages, in that I can "pump up" the piti enough to decrease distractions during meditation.

Has anyone else experienced this? It seems to make being present a whole lot easier.

​​​​​​​Thanks
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 9 Months ago at 9/7/23 5:24 AM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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That to me sounds like avoidance. I can do that with wine and dope too, or good sex. 

Edit to add; 
yes that happened to me too, as you described. However then came the time it didn't work any longer and all was just pure shitter land of suffering. No matter how much I tried to go back to trying to pump up Piti. 
David M, modified 9 Months ago at 9/7/23 8:06 AM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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From MCTB page 284 Kindle:

​​​​​​​concentration states cultivate deep clarity and stability on content, albeit very refined content, they are very useful for promoting deep healing and psychological insights. In other words, if you want to become aware of your stuff, do concentration practices.

concentration states can be a welcome and valid vacation from stress. They temporarily suppress the hindrances, all of which are stressful. The Buddha highly praised those who had mastery of the concentration states, and this should serve as a reminder to those who dismiss or underestimate their great value or mistakenly feel that enjoying our life is somehow “unspiritual”.

I have seen literally hundreds of examples of those who simply ran too dry too hard for too long and completely fried themselves.

​​​​​​​concentration practices can help insight practitioners maintain powerful mental stability as old habitual concepts about themselves and all existence are dismantled and razed by insight practice.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 9 Months ago at 9/7/23 9:36 AM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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Is that from MCTB 2 ? 

Btw I'm not saying to run away from concentration if it arises. Nor did I say that concentration is not helpful. Khanika Samadhi was and still can be very powerful in my experience. Even off cushion. It's fine. 

On cushion Jhanic states can arise ... AND pass away hence ... emoticon unsatisfactory, not-self, impermanent. Just like an arisen itch, emoticon unsatisfactory, not-self, impermanent. 

Concentration is good if coupled with matter of fact noticing. Concentration is bad if I try to cultivate it to run away from my miserable life/fear/pain/suffering ... 
David M, modified 9 Months ago at 9/7/23 10:00 AM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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Yeah, MCTB 2,

I'm reminded of Dan Harris in 10% Happier having the "door opened" by Eckard Tolle's The Power of Now, but eventually figuring out that you need meditation. It's a great book.

Rob Burbea also was explicit about samadhi as a means to escape. 

As I'm sure you know, IMS started with dry practice. I'm looking forward finding out what Joseph Goldstein says about this when he talks to Guy Armstrong on the 10th.

Daniel Ingram IMHO hints that he was too dry, and went through some wild and wooly times. But he says he doesn't regret it.

​​​​​​​It seems every time I check in with DharmaOverground someone is being hospitalized. With the state of our healthcare system in the US, I wouldn't like to join them.
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Pepe ·, modified 9 Months ago at 9/7/23 11:12 AM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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Papa Che Dusko, modified 9 Months ago at 9/7/23 11:31 AM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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Thanks! It did ring to me as something Ingram would say in the second edition of MCTB. It's good to soften the "border" between those for vipassana and those for Samantha. 

I initially came to Noting from 4 years of daily concentration practice. One year Ki-breathing (thought in Aikido) and then 3 years of Calm abiding Shamatha (whole body breathing and calming the body). Lots of insight, and lovely states and totally tranquilized off cushion. emoticon walking around with a loving smile and calmness. People sure commented on how calm and spiritual I seemed to be emoticon 

Until one day all shit broke loose and I lost the breath and the concentration, as well as Piti. I was not sure what happened to my lovely ability to feel so piti-full or full of Piti emoticon 

Then luckily a friend pointed to this book of Ingrams and I've got a chance to look at my experience from a different vantage point. Noting (aka blowing up stuff in a rappid succession) emoticon 

Concenteation is great in showing certain flavour of experience. So is Vipassana. So is Tonglen. So is Mahamudra. So is inquiry into Who Am I etc ... 

I think it helps to see the mind as different planes and realms to awaken to. 
At one stage we awaken to a godly realm and at some to the animal or hungry ghost realm etc ... 

Its not enough to awaken in only one of these strata/realms/stages/paths ... 

I guess what it's taking me long to say, we awaken to the nature of all phenomena, both the concentration and vipassana experiences. 

It's good to be open to both and to a lot of extra which might arise. 

Look! Look! Look!

emoticon please disregard any and all I say if of no interest. 

​​​​​​​Best wishes David! 
David M, modified 9 Months ago at 9/7/23 11:32 AM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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Thanks, that's great stuff.

​​​​​​I've been amazed at the  energizing affects of piti! Meditation is a blast.

​​​​​​​Daniel doesn't talk much about Piti/Sukha in his book, I've been wondering why...
David M, modified 9 Months ago at 9/7/23 11:42 AM
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And I should say that Daniel has been working very hard to bring awareness to the dark side. For example this article:

"Think of cessation…as voluntarily inducing the effects of general anesthesia. Consciousness switches off without a trace.

Daniel Ingram…cautioned, “there’s basically a long, slow trainwreck happening between people getting into these experiences and the clinical mainstream just not understanding them.”
​​​​​​​
https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/23836358/meditation-mindfulness-enlightenment-science-contemplative-buddhism-spirituality
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Pawel K, modified 9 Months ago at 9/7/23 2:32 PM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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Non-jhanic mind has this nasty tendency to induce hindrances and these break jhana and once jhana doesn't happen hindrances are much easier to happen still.

Some time ago I remembered that in the past experience was not always so crystal clear and stable and pleasant so stated digging my memories and dig up non-jhanic mind. Once I entered it by having my body/mind do actions with these qualities it quickly broke my whole few years long jhanic arc and I even got so some serious jhana hangover. Like one minute I could do everything jhanic, move hands and all and the next it felt pretty unattainable in the kind of timeframes I could before shift between jhanas - instantly.

I managed to climb back up to mount jhana the same day but still I gained new respect for power of hindrances. Also to normal non-janic minds used to this noise - as I remember from the past someone I was able to distract myself enough it didn't bother me. One has to work on concentration and skillfulness of mind and not be conceited enough to feel its something given - one wrong move and these things can break like soap bubble.

On the other hand gven stability of jhanic mind once it takes hold and that only thing which managed to break it is using hindrance-ridden mind it makes zero sense to even bother using it. Like sit on cushion, enter jhana and never ever again attempt to give in to even single hindrance. If it feels like moving hand require this kind of non-jhanic mind then just wait until hand moves by itself jhanic. This is exactly my realization many years ago - and after it I did experience periods of jhanas in waking experience. That many years ago it would too break and I would be perplexed what happened.

Apparently these things as stable as they seem to be are actually very fragile.
Then again no one forces person to give in to hindrances emoticon
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terry, modified 9 Months ago at 9/7/23 2:58 PM
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Papa Che Dusko
That to me sounds like avoidance. I can do that with wine and dope too, or good sex. 



​​​​


​​​​​​​not to mention rock and roll
Todo, modified 9 Months ago at 9/8/23 5:56 AM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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Mathew Poskus
Can someone explain whats the point being present ?
-
Why don't you try to be somewhere else? 
But try to really 'be' not just 'think'. 
I tried just now & failed miserably. 
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terry, modified 9 Months ago at 9/8/23 3:12 PM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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Mathew Poskus
Can someone explain whats the point being present ?it doesnt do anything just suffering in present moment.How to use present moment to deal with suffering .Ajahn thanissaro says present moment its not the goal ...




   I think this question is not really about the present as such but is asking why practice? Why cultivate mindfulness? Why be conscious and make being conscious conscious? If to experience life is to experience suffering, why do we want to experience more consciously, won’t that simply exacerbate suffering? 

And then we might ask, Why not seek cessation instead, daniel’s “anesthetic”?



   Let’s deconstruct our notions of suffering a little bit. And our notions of dukkha, the lack of sweetness, the sourness and bitterness of life so commonly encountered even in the global north. Perhaps especially in the global north, as the poor often show more kindness and love than those with something to protect.

   The two poles of karmic life are action and passion, taking and giving, dominating and serving, pleasure and pain, delight and suffering. We need both to live a healthy balanced life, as a plant needs now sunshine, now rain.

   It was greek philosophy, which still permeates western thinking, that gave us a preference for all things masculine. To the greeks, a woman was “a regrettable necessity for the production of male heirs.” Greeks saw action, power, and will as the fulfillment of human destiny and neglected the feminine virtues of kindness, compassion, respect, service, nurturing and so forth. The passive, the weak, the meek and enduring held no value.

   So to suffer, a verb which really means to endure, to tolerate, to put up with, becomes an intolerable suppression of the human (male) spirit. Jesus said, “suffer the little children to come unto me,” asking that it be allowed, as a kindness and tolerance and nurturing of the human spirit (ungendered).


   The other side of the notion of suffering is the self, the experiencer, the sufferer. The buddha is saying that there is suffering, but no sufferer. You can anesthetize the sufferer, but the suffering doesn’t go away.

   Now, my friend, think about the way anesthetics work. Sodium pentathol, you suffer as the technicians can tell you but since you don’t remember it, you are perfectly willing to go through such suffering again because it was painless as far as the self is concerned as the self doesn’t remember it.

   Now, we are always living in the present, it’s obvious when you think of it. But we frequently are aware of fantasies, memories, projections, plans, regrets and so forth, all of which displace our conscious awareness from the sensation of being here now. 

   The things that bring us pleasure also bring us pain. The buddha was told, “it is wives and sons which bring a man happiness,” and he replied, “it is wives and sons that bring a man suffering.”


   When we meditate, having understood that pain brings suffering and that pleasure brings pain, we seek neither pleasure nor pain avoidance. We dwell in the present moment in the sense that we dismiss as they arise all of the displacements of consciousness that our reveries supply, all the worry, the obsessing, the desiring fantasies, the habitual thoughts that tend to proliferate unless checked. Steady practice at doing this gives us the extraordinary spiritual power to dismiss fears and cares and toxic thoughts, the ability to take a time out and just chill.

   Suffering is ongoing, and it affects all sentient being, so even if by some scheme you manage to achieve some personal degree of detachment, we’re all still attached to each other and everything else. There is no liberation until all are liberated, any bodhisattva will tell you. Your karma my karma everyone’s karma is one karma.


   So, with practice we can learn to not remember pain. This cuts a great deal of personal suffering out of the picture. We face everything as if new as a child does. We roll with the changes not regretting the past.

   Being in the present. Still suffering what pain the present moment brings but not suffering unnecessarily.
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terry, modified 9 Months ago at 9/8/23 4:08 PM
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RE: Whats the Point of being in Present

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from

The Wisdom of Zhuang Zi
on Daoism
Translated with Annotations
and Commentaries by
Chung Wu



One of the Daoist practices is to sit still in deep introspection, so that a state of abstractedness is attained in which the person’s self and the rest of the world merge into oneness. The Daoist refers to this state as zuo wang, or roughly “sitting to forget.” This is close to the entry into the contemplative state practiced by the Buddhist. One apparent effect of the zuo wang is: “I have lost Me.” “I” is the person’s true self, devoid of prejudices. “Me” is the remainder of the person with prejudices and other worldly ills. In deep introspection, these two entities can be separated, allowing “I” to be united with nature, while “Me” remains as the visible shell.

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