1 2 3 > 
 
   
 

Why do people overlook and brush aside the here and now?

 
unsmoked
 
Avatar
 
 
unsmoked
Total Posts:  9024
Joined  20-02-2006
 
 
 
03 November 2011 16:35
 

Why do people overlook and brush aside the here and now?

About a thousand years ago Zen master Yuanwu wrote to someone:

“The wonders of the Path are as simple and easy as can be.”  How true these words are!  But those who have not reached the source think that the Path is extremely abstruse and mysterious.  They think that the ultimate reality of the Path lies before the empty aeon, before the differentiation of the primeval chaos, before heaven and earth were formed.  They think it is something silent and dark and vague, something impossible to fully fathom or investigate or probe, and that only the sages can experience or know it.  Thus they know the words of the sages, but they do not know their meaning.  How can we talk to them about this matter?

“People who think like this are far from realizing that the Path is perfect and complete right under everyone’s feet, that it is pure and naked in the midst of everyday activities.  It encompasses all mental moments and is omnipresent in all places.  There is no dark place it does not illuminate and no time it is not in operation.

“It is just that people have been running off in the opposite direction for a long time, branching off in aberrant ways, unwilling to believe in their own buddha nature, always seeking externally - that is why the more they seek, the further away they get from the Path.”

(quoted from the book ‘ZEN LETTERS - Teachings of Yuanwu’ - translated by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary)

 
 
MARTIN_UK
 
Avatar
 
 
MARTIN_UK
Total Posts:  4946
Joined  19-08-2010
 
 
 
03 November 2011 18:06
 

Our minds have been programmed to work in certain ways, to constantly process in the way they have evolved to, how society family and peers have told us to evaluate and care about the superficial and place value on it.
To put all this aside and live in the moment is hard to do, to do less and think less sounds like bliss to me but the struggle goes on.
I suppose it must be the struggle itself that is the obstacle for me, give up that struggle and I’ve cracked it,  sounds easy but the reality of it is currently unattainable to me.

 
burt
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  16025
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
03 November 2011 19:24
 

Here, Now
There, Then,
Always looking,
Where, When?

 
hannahtoo
 
Avatar
 
 
hannahtoo
Total Posts:  7176
Joined  15-05-2009
 
 
 
03 November 2011 21:20
 

I don’t think it is that mysterious to see truth or truths.  I love discussing ideas like this with you all while I relax in my home.  But since I have a job that is continuously handing me new complicated problems to solve, I have to juggle the past, present, and future during most of the day.  When I have time off, it’s much easier to be peaceful in the moment.

Maybe I really don’t understand what “the Path” is.  Certainly we don’t want to be frazzled and anxious all the time.  But can we be Buddha all the time?  When life throws you a complex new dilemma with a time constraint, you gotta scramble…I think?

 
burt
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  16025
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
03 November 2011 23:39
 
hannahfriend - 03 November 2011 08:20 PM

I don’t think it is that mysterious to see truth or truths.  I love discussing ideas like this with you all while I relax in my home.  But since I have a job that is continuously handing me new complicated problems to solve, I have to juggle the past, present, and future during most of the day.  When I have time off, it’s much easier to be peaceful in the moment.

Maybe I really don’t understand what “the Path” is.  Certainly we don’t want to be frazzled and anxious all the time.  But can we be Buddha all the time?  When life throws you a complex new dilemma with a time constraint, you gotta scramble…I think?

It ain’t the external conditions, it’s your internal attitude as you plow through them.

Sometimes, a scramble
can seem like an amble
a joyful gambol

 
saralynn
 
Avatar
 
 
saralynn
Total Posts:  9287
Joined  29-01-2010
 
 
 
04 November 2011 12:14
 

I struggle very hard to be spontaneous.
tongue rolleye

 
burt
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  16025
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
04 November 2011 19:07
 
saralynn - 04 November 2011 11:14 AM

I struggle very hard to be spontaneous.
tongue rolleye

I suggest J. Yodar Puddingwort Quitz’s workshop: The 111 steps to spontaneity and how to implement them in your life by making long lists.

 
hannahtoo
 
Avatar
 
 
hannahtoo
Total Posts:  7176
Joined  15-05-2009
 
 
 
05 November 2011 11:13
 
burt - 03 November 2011 10:39 PM
hannahfriend - 03 November 2011 08:20 PM

I don’t think it is that mysterious to see truth or truths.  I love discussing ideas like this with you all while I relax in my home.  But since I have a job that is continuously handing me new complicated problems to solve, I have to juggle the past, present, and future during most of the day.  When I have time off, it’s much easier to be peaceful in the moment.

Maybe I really don’t understand what “the Path” is.  Certainly we don’t want to be frazzled and anxious all the time.  But can we be Buddha all the time?  When life throws you a complex new dilemma with a time constraint, you gotta scramble…I think?

It ain’t the external conditions, it’s your internal attitude as you plow through them.

Sometimes, a scramble
can seem like an amble
a joyful gambol

I am very far from this.  Though I actually enjoy working things out in many situations, in others, its just stressful.  (Very glad you wrote “sometimes” because I can agree with the qualifier.)  I am reminded of a quote from Paul, which I’ve always thought is easier said than done:

Romans 5:3
...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;

 
burt
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  16025
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
05 November 2011 20:12
 
hannahfriend - 05 November 2011 10:13 AM
burt - 03 November 2011 10:39 PM
hannahfriend - 03 November 2011 08:20 PM

I don’t think it is that mysterious to see truth or truths.  I love discussing ideas like this with you all while I relax in my home.  But since I have a job that is continuously handing me new complicated problems to solve, I have to juggle the past, present, and future during most of the day.  When I have time off, it’s much easier to be peaceful in the moment.

Maybe I really don’t understand what “the Path” is.  Certainly we don’t want to be frazzled and anxious all the time.  But can we be Buddha all the time?  When life throws you a complex new dilemma with a time constraint, you gotta scramble…I think?

It ain’t the external conditions, it’s your internal attitude as you plow through them.

Sometimes, a scramble
can seem like an amble
a joyful gambol

I am very far from this.  Though I actually enjoy working things out in many situations, in others, its just stressful.  (Very glad you wrote “sometimes” because I can agree with the qualifier.)  I am reminded of a quote from Paul, which I’ve always thought is easier said than done:

Romans 5:3
...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;

Even when it’s totally stressful, it’s a question of whether one is caught up in the stress, or operating with it.  Or, as the saying goes, Don’t lose your cool.  wink

 
hannahtoo
 
Avatar
 
 
hannahtoo
Total Posts:  7176
Joined  15-05-2009
 
 
 
05 November 2011 21:50
 

Are you able to handle the stress without being caught up in it, or is that an ideal goal?

 
burt
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  16025
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
06 November 2011 03:42
 
hannahfriend - 05 November 2011 08:50 PM

Are you able to handle the stress without being caught up in it, or is that an ideal goal?

Stress, from a different point of view, is just free energy for motivation.  On the other hand, it’s more of progressing towards 100% and being forgiving of myself when I don’t get there.

 
MARTIN_UK
 
Avatar
 
 
MARTIN_UK
Total Posts:  4946
Joined  19-08-2010
 
 
 
06 November 2011 07:44
 
burt - 06 November 2011 02:42 AM
hannahfriend - 05 November 2011 08:50 PM

Are you able to handle the stress without being caught up in it, or is that an ideal goal?

Stress, from a different point of view, is just free energy for motivation.  On the other hand, it’s more of progressing towards 100% and being forgiving of myself when I don’t get there.

Stress from a different point of view, puts most of my colleagues on Prozac .

Another bloke I work with told me, “I just woke up one day and decided it’s just not worth stressing about…” .  Still wishing I had that kind of control…

 
unsmoked
 
Avatar
 
 
unsmoked
Total Posts:  9024
Joined  20-02-2006
 
 
 
06 November 2011 16:53
 
MARTIN UK - 06 November 2011 06:44 AM
burt - 06 November 2011 02:42 AM
hannahfriend - 05 November 2011 08:50 PM

Are you able to handle the stress without being caught up in it, or is that an ideal goal?

Stress, from a different point of view, is just free energy for motivation.  On the other hand, it’s more of progressing towards 100% and being forgiving of myself when I don’t get there.

Stress from a different point of view, puts most of my colleagues on Prozac .

Another bloke I work with told me, “I just woke up one day and decided it’s just not worth stressing about…” .  Still wishing I had that kind of control…

I’m not sure what kind of stresses Yuanwu had to deal with.  Maybe things like Genghis Khan invading his country.  He writes to a student, “Those who are determined to practice the Way practice self-awareness and self-understanding twenty-four hours a day.  They think of this and focus on this.  They know that the one Great Cause is there right where they stand, that it is in sages without being augmented and in ordinary people without being diminished.  They know that it stands alone free of senses and sense objects, and that it far transcends material things . . .

“. . . You should just be empty and quiet, transcending everything . . . Right before your eyes, it has always been there.  Facing the situation, why don’t you speak?  If you don’t know it in your daily life, where then will you look for it?”  (end quote)

Sometimes when a doctor tells a patient that if they don’t quit smoking they are going to die soon, the patient, who previously couldn’t kick the habit no matter how hard they tried, quits cold turkey and never smokes again.  Suppose a doctor said to us, “If you allow yourself to get stressed in the least degree you are going to have a seizure and die.” 

For some reason we think that we have no control over stress the way we have control over lighting a cigarette.  Do you think that’s true?  Can we be in the hurly-burly of daily life (uproar, tumult) and not get swept away by it, not become part of the agitation?  What if it’s a matter of life or death that we remain calm and unperturbed?  In ‘Leaves of Grass’ Walt Whitman called it, “Aplomb in the midst of irrational things.”

(Yuanwu quoted from the book, ‘ZEN LETTERS - Teachings of Yuanwu’ - translated by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary)

[ Edited: 06 November 2011 16:56 by unsmoked]
 
 
hannahtoo
 
Avatar
 
 
hannahtoo
Total Posts:  7176
Joined  15-05-2009
 
 
 
06 November 2011 21:55
 
unsmoked - 06 November 2011 03:53 PM
MARTIN UK - 06 November 2011 06:44 AM
burt - 06 November 2011 02:42 AM
hannahfriend - 05 November 2011 08:50 PM

Are you able to handle the stress without being caught up in it, or is that an ideal goal?

Stress, from a different point of view, is just free energy for motivation.  On the other hand, it’s more of progressing towards 100% and being forgiving of myself when I don’t get there.

Stress from a different point of view, puts most of my colleagues on Prozac .

Another bloke I work with told me, “I just woke up one day and decided it’s just not worth stressing about…” .  Still wishing I had that kind of control…

I’m not sure what kind of stresses Yuanwu had to deal with.  Maybe things like Genghis Khan invading his country.  He writes to a student, “Those who are determined to practice the Way practice self-awareness and self-understanding twenty-four hours a day.  They think of this and focus on this.  They know that the one Great Cause is there right where they stand, that it is in sages without being augmented and in ordinary people without being diminished.  They know that it stands alone free of senses and sense objects, and that it far transcends material things . . .

“. . . You should just be empty and quiet, transcending everything . . . Right before your eyes, it has always been there.  Facing the situation, why don’t you speak?  If you don’t know it in your daily life, where then will you look for it?”  (end quote)

Sometimes when a doctor tells a patient that if they don’t quit smoking they are going to die soon, the patient, who previously couldn’t kick the habit no matter how hard they tried, quits cold turkey and never smokes again.  Suppose a doctor said to us, “If you allow yourself to get stressed in the least degree you are going to have a seizure and die.” 

For some reason we think that we have no control over stress the way we have control over lighting a cigarette.  Do you think that’s true?  Can we be in the hurly-burly of daily life (uproar, tumult) and not get swept away by it, not become part of the agitation?  What if it’s a matter of life or death that we remain calm and unperturbed?  In ‘Leaves of Grass’ Walt Whitman called it, “Aplomb in the midst of irrational things.”

(Yuanwu quoted from the book, ‘ZEN LETTERS - Teachings of Yuanwu’ - translated by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary)

I understand what you are saying.  However, I see a distinction (perhaps in error?) between a physical action and a mental state.  A person could crave a cigarette, but resolutely refuse to pick one up and smoke it.  They could clear the house of cigarettes and stay away from environments where others smoke.  Very gradually, the craving would fade.  Still the craving thoughts would continue much longer than the actual smoking.

And stress is also a pattern of thought, so I see it as more difficult to manage than stopping an action.  I’m not sure if I could refuse to get stressed, as you suggest.  This is like saying, I refuse to be amused, even if a joke is funny.  When I feel stress building, I literally find myself reminding myself, “Just calm down now; you know it’s going to be OK.”  I would like to be able to calm my mind, especially when it starts running in circles at 2 am.  Probably I am just being lazy in not taking time to learn to meditate.  It is more of a practice than an insight, am I right?

 
burt
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  16025
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
06 November 2011 23:05
 
hannahfriend - 06 November 2011 08:55 PM
unsmoked - 06 November 2011 03:53 PM
MARTIN UK - 06 November 2011 06:44 AM
burt - 06 November 2011 02:42 AM
hannahfriend - 05 November 2011 08:50 PM

Are you able to handle the stress without being caught up in it, or is that an ideal goal?

Stress, from a different point of view, is just free energy for motivation.  On the other hand, it’s more of progressing towards 100% and being forgiving of myself when I don’t get there.

Stress from a different point of view, puts most of my colleagues on Prozac .

Another bloke I work with told me, “I just woke up one day and decided it’s just not worth stressing about…” .  Still wishing I had that kind of control…

I’m not sure what kind of stresses Yuanwu had to deal with.  Maybe things like Genghis Khan invading his country.  He writes to a student, “Those who are determined to practice the Way practice self-awareness and self-understanding twenty-four hours a day.  They think of this and focus on this.  They know that the one Great Cause is there right where they stand, that it is in sages without being augmented and in ordinary people without being diminished.  They know that it stands alone free of senses and sense objects, and that it far transcends material things . . .

“. . . You should just be empty and quiet, transcending everything . . . Right before your eyes, it has always been there.  Facing the situation, why don’t you speak?  If you don’t know it in your daily life, where then will you look for it?”  (end quote)

Sometimes when a doctor tells a patient that if they don’t quit smoking they are going to die soon, the patient, who previously couldn’t kick the habit no matter how hard they tried, quits cold turkey and never smokes again.  Suppose a doctor said to us, “If you allow yourself to get stressed in the least degree you are going to have a seizure and die.” 

For some reason we think that we have no control over stress the way we have control over lighting a cigarette.  Do you think that’s true?  Can we be in the hurly-burly of daily life (uproar, tumult) and not get swept away by it, not become part of the agitation?  What if it’s a matter of life or death that we remain calm and unperturbed?  In ‘Leaves of Grass’ Walt Whitman called it, “Aplomb in the midst of irrational things.”

(Yuanwu quoted from the book, ‘ZEN LETTERS - Teachings of Yuanwu’ - translated by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary)

I understand what you are saying.  However, I see a distinction (perhaps in error?) between a physical action and a mental state.  A person could crave a cigarette, but resolutely refuse to pick one up and smoke it.  They could clear the house of cigarettes and stay away from environments where others smoke.  Very gradually, the craving would fade.  Still the craving thoughts would continue much longer than the actual smoking.

And stress is also a pattern of thought, so I see it as more difficult to manage than stopping an action.  I’m not sure if I could refuse to get stressed, as you suggest.  This is like saying, I refuse to be amused, even if a joke is funny.  When I feel stress building, I literally find myself reminding myself, “Just calm down now; you know it’s going to be OK.”  I would like to be able to calm my mind, especially when it starts running in circles at 2 am.  Probably I am just being lazy in not taking time to learn to meditate.  It is more of a practice than an insight, am I right?

On the other hand, the person could light up a fag, inhale deeply, feel the warm smoke entering their lungs, feel the little alveoli shrivel up and die, feel the tars coat their airways, and try to be fully aware of the entire effect (including the deadening of sensation and emotion produced by the nicotine).  After a while they probably wouldn’t smoke any more.

 
Gia Cát L??ng
 
Avatar
 
 
Gia Cát L??ng
Total Posts:  109
Joined  04-06-2011
 
 
 
07 November 2011 18:21
 
hannahfriend - 05 November 2011 08:50 PM

I understand what you are saying.  However, I see a distinction (perhaps in error?) between a physical action and a mental state.  A person could crave a cigarette, but resolutely refuse to pick one up and smoke it.  They could clear the house of cigarettes and stay away from environments where others smoke.  Very gradually, the craving would fade.  Still the craving thoughts would continue much longer than the actual smoking.

Cravings are arising, defiled mental impulses that are influenced by, triggered and or withdrawn from past compounded actions (vipaka or possible results from volitional, speech and or body actions) along with current volitional actions and favorable current set of conditions.

Generally speaking, if the weight of the cravings is strong, then the more likely speech and or body action will result following. Likewise, if the weight of the cravings is weak, then the less likely speech and or body action will result.

If one’s defilements are weak, then the opportunity to make an intelligent or skillful action (kusula) is easier over defilements that are strong which may result in an unintelligent or unskillful action (akusula). For simple clarification, an intelligent or skillful action can be considered as a “wise decision” or conversely, “unwise decision”.

All defilements lies dormant deep within the mind (anusaya) then manifested and become active within the cognitive process such as thoughts and emotions (pariyutthana) when stimulated by sensory experience from sense organs (or bases/gates proper) contacting sense objects which later being expressed by speech and or body action (vitikkama).

And stress is also a pattern of thought, so I see it as more difficult to manage than stopping an action.  I’m not sure if I could refuse to get stressed, as you suggest.  This is like saying, I refuse to be amused, even if a joke is funny.  When I feel stress building, I literally find myself reminding myself, “Just calm down now; you know it’s going to be OK.”  I would like to be able to calm my mind, especially when it starts running in circles at 2 am.  Probably I am just being lazy in not taking time to learn to meditate.  It is more of a practice than an insight, am I right?

With practice (methodological; linearity), insight (conceptual; non linearity) will arise. With insight gained, less practice is required. Practice isn’t exclusive only to meditation. All repetitive actions can be said to be a practice of sort. As you are analysing all of these content in context (the smaller parts of the whole; unrefined) and eventually understand them conceptually (the sum of the whole; refined), every letter, word, sentence, paragraph and such can eventually be let go in due time, as they (objects) are no longer needed (to be attached to).

 
 1 2 3 >