Bhathen

Being in the present moment?

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How do we practice being in the present moment?

 

Like when doing daily activities, how to remain aware...

Sometimes when I try to do it intensely it feels more like a meditation.

If it is done lightly, the mind is always filled with thoughts.

 

Maybe the meaning of 'being aware in the present moment' is something I misunderstood?

 

 

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How do you currently do it?

How do you remain aware?

What does it mean to do it intensely vs lightly?

Can you describe your approach in more detail?

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11 hours ago, steve said:

How do you currently do it?

How do you remain aware?

What does it mean to do it intensely vs lightly?

Can you describe your approach in more detail?

For example: when eating, I'm able to just be eating with no thoughts, no concentration....just the act of eating.

 

When I do the dishes, 

Esp. things related to flowing water, it is very difficult to just be just doing the dishes. It requires a greater concentration to focus on just the act of doing the work.

If I'm not focussed on the work, then a lot of thoughts just keep flowing.

 

Some activities are easier,like when exercising or eating am just doing it. I am with the act. No 'I' also...just the act.

 

It just feels am not able to be with the 'present moment' at times.

 

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I guess I'm trying to understand what your current practice is... mindfulness?

Do you do formal meditation practice?

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I was taught by a mindfulness teacher for a year and attended Vipassana of the Goenka tradition. Practiced it for sometime before going back to mantra meditation and anapana meditation(doing these currently).

 

Also trying to work on Master Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings.

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It’s a matter of familiarity and devotion.

You need to first precisely recognize the state of mind you seek. There are different approaches - eg. mindfulness, dzogchen, and others. Then you need to cultivate familiarity and stability. That is best done with minimal distractions at first - on the cushion.

 

When you can stay with that continuously in your formal practice without distraction, only then can you expect to find and maintain it during activity of body, speech, or mind. Best to start with simple and familiar activity, especially virtuous activity like prostrations and circumambulation. Then neutral activity like eating, cleaning, etc... Then more challenging activities.

First you rest into the proper state of attention and awareness. Then you gradually engage in the chosen activity without losing the meditative presence. You notice when you have strayed and come back to the task at hand and continue. If you can’t maintain it you need more quality time on the cushion.

 

You relentlessly return your full attention to whatever is happening in this very moment over and over until it becomes more habitual than the tendency to follow the thoughts and senses. There is no shortcut.

 

Edited by steve
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On 5/22/2020 at 7:33 PM, Bhathen said:

How do we practice being in the present moment?

 

Like when doing daily activities, how to remain aware...

Sometimes when I try to do it intensely it feels more like a meditation.

If it is done lightly, the mind is always filled with thoughts.

 

Maybe the meaning of 'being aware in the present moment' is something I misunderstood?

 

Being in the present moment means attending to that which is actually affecting you right now and ignoring the rest. Note that this does not imply you are only affected by things occurring at this moment in time. For instance, the need to travel to be somewhere else for an appointment affects you before the time of the appointment.

 

When you are not quiet internally, trying to do this can be a chore. It can feel mechanical and never ending. One way to deal with this is to set up a timer (like on your cell phone) to beep every so often.When you hear the beep, look around and see if you are thinking or doing something on a situation that is not actually affecting you now. If you still feel over burdened, increase the interval between chimes.

 

Mediation is one method to reduce the internal commotion which leads to more internal quiet and reducing the effort to be present.

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23 hours ago, steve said:

It’s a matter of familiarity and devotion.

You need to first precisely recognize the state of mind you seek. There are different approaches - eg. mindfulness, dzogchen, and others. Then you need to cultivate familiarity and stability. That is best done with minimal distractions at first - on the cushion.

 

 

I am trying to develop an equilibrium mind for the emotions (anger, love, hate, aversion....any kind) and to be more accepting.

Due to some back issues, my sitting practice was reduced, ...that's when the thought of putting my awareness into the activities of the day to extend my practice came to be. Know just mindfulness and getting to know new practices through this forum (99.9% of the practices mentioned here are unknown to me).

 

 
 
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23 hours ago, steve said:

When you can stay with that continuously in your formal practice without distraction, only then can you expect to find and maintain it during activity of body, speech, or mind. Best to start with simple and familiar activity, especially virtuous activity like prostrations and circumambulation. Then neutral activity like eating, cleaning, etc... Then more challenging activities.

First you rest into the proper state of attention and awareness. Then you gradually engage in the chosen activity without losing the meditative presence. You notice when you have strayed and come back to the task at hand and continue. If you can’t maintain it you need more quality time on the cushion.

 

You relentlessly return your full attention to whatever is happening in this very moment over and over until it becomes more habitual than the tendency to follow the thoughts and senses. There is no shortcut.

 

 

I understand now the need of quieting the mind with the sitting practice. You have shown me the problem....trying to be aware of each and every moment into all my activities suddenly. Need to take it step by step.

 

Thank you so much. If you can suggest anything else to look into, would be able to do that.

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21 hours ago, wstein said:

 

Being in the present moment means attending to that which is actually affecting you right now and ignoring the rest. Note that this does not imply you are only affected by things occurring at this moment in time. For instance, the need to travel to be somewhere else for an appointment affects you before the time of the appointment.

 

When you are not quiet internally, trying to do this can be a chore. It can feel mechanical and never ending. One way to deal with this is to set up a timer (like on your cell phone) to beep every so often.When you hear the beep, look around and see if you are thinking or doing something on a situation that is not actually affecting you now. If you still feel over burdened, increase the interval between chimes.

 

Mediation is one method to reduce the internal commotion which leads to more internal quiet and reducing the effort to be present.

 

Thanks @wstein. "This does not imply you are only affected by things occurring at this moment in time."

This makes perfect sense to me now.

 

There is usually no internal turmoil, it's mostly an exciting state of mind with train of thoughts related to the consciousness.

Internal quiet needs more practice. Even excitation and ecstasy has to be brought to equilibrium.

Will try the alarm method and see how it works, the alarm sound is a deep reminder.

 

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45 minutes ago, Bhathen said:

Can you explain it further?

 

It's much easier when you 'are' the present moment, instead of trying to be in the present moment.

 

In fact, the present moment is inescapable, so why expend effort trying to capture something you already are.

 

Again, the present moment is you, including everything.

 

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6 hours ago, idiot_stimpy said:

 

It's much easier when you 'are' the present moment, instead of trying to be in the present moment.

 

In fact, the present moment is inescapable, so why expend effort trying to capture something you already are.

 

Again, the present moment is you, including everything.

 

 

The reason, the awareness aspect was a starting point, is my observation that people around me who have been meditation practitioners for long, have been unable to bring out that quiet into their outer world.

 

Every word, thought and deed if done with more awareness has a very deep effect and I would like to understand that more.

This exercise itself maybe meaningless,...but one thing leads to another.

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our presence is the present moment...

powerful observation @idiot_stimpy thank you.

and the follow up... just gold mate.

thank you

 

5 hours ago, idiot_stimpy said:

It's much easier when you 'are' the present moment, instead of trying to be in the present moment.

 

In fact, the present moment is inescapable, so why expend effort trying to capture something you already are.

 

Again, the present moment is you, including everything.

Presence is what is and we are this.

Embodying presence versus manufacturing a mental state.

 

Reminds me of the realization that occured when through a mix of frustration, exhaustion and nihilism, I finally gave up all pursuits and seekings... and then quite unexpectedly experienced what i'd been seeking.

 

There within the resulting quiet and stillness of utter defeat and abandonment of intent, began my still unfolding encounter what had been there all along, under the din... my True Nature.

 

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On 5/24/2020 at 6:47 PM, Bhathen said:

 

I am trying to develop an equilibrium mind for the emotions (anger, love, hate, aversion....any kind) and to be more accepting.

Due to some back issues, my sitting practice was reduced, ...that's when the thought of putting my awareness into the activities of the day to extend my practice came to be. Know just mindfulness and getting to know new practices through this forum (99.9% of the practices mentioned here are unknown to me).

 

 

I understand now the need of quieting the mind with the sitting practice. You have shown me the problem....trying to be aware of each and every moment into all my activities suddenly. Need to take it step by step.

 

Thank you so much. If you can suggest anything else to look into, would be able to do that.

If sitting is a problem, standing and walking are also good options. Anything that is a little less stimulating so that it’s easy to notice when grasping and following thoughts, emotion, sensory experience,...

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14 hours ago, steve said:

If sitting is a problem, standing and walking are also good options. Anything that is a little less stimulating so that it’s easy to notice when grasping and following thoughts, emotion, sensory experience,...

I have started practicing walking meditation recently, haven't tried standing meditation yet.

Beginning to understand 'what the practice does' from a different perspective.

Thank you @steve

 

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My pleasure - I generally recommend standing meditation to people before sitting. 

It's a nice bridge. I have a good friend who has given up sitting altogether and just practices standing.

In fact, he has given up nearly all other practices other than a little qigong.

He finds standing meditation provides everything he needs.

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On 5/22/2020 at 7:33 PM, Bhathen said:

How do we practice being in the present moment?

 

Like when doing daily activities, how to remain aware...

Sometimes when I try to do it intensely it feels more like a meditation.

If it is done lightly, the mind is always filled with thoughts.

 

Maybe the meaning of 'being aware in the present moment' is something I misunderstood?

 

 

The way that worked for me very nicely is to describe/define who I am, without thinking :) 

 

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