The past is mental accumulated content. The future is mental imagination.
If there was no thought, now is the only time. “Now” implies other times that are not now, but for lack of better word there is only the timeless “now.” Time is purely a mental construct and a story we tell ourselves based on perceived motion (particularly repeating patterns) and memory/future imaginations. For example, let’s say I see a cat walking. I remember the cat being there a minute ago, but now it is here, and at the rate it is walking in its current direction – it will be there in a minute. This is all in the mind. There is simply a cat walking…now. Mentally we tell a story about where it has been and where it will be. Continue reading What do you mean there is no time but Now?
Sitting and being present (as I described in my prior post – What do you mean when you say “be present”?) is not the only option. You can mow the lawn while being present, wash the dishes while being present, eat supper while being present, etc. You can even do work while being present. There is no reason why you could not do things (even work) and not also be present.
Sitting and doing nothing (i.e. meditation) for periods of time can be done too, but you can eat while being present, shower while being present, get dressed while being present…and continue on the whole day being present while doing things. Continue reading How do you “be present” while doing things?
No, nothing leads to spiritual awakening…including meditation.
There is a famous Zen story of a monk sitting all day in meditation. The master comes along one day and asks, “What are doing?” The monk replies, “I’m meditating so I can become a Buddha” (i.e. awakened one). The master sits down nearby, picks up a brick laying on the ground, and starts rubbing it. The monk is confused and asks, “master, what are you doing?” The master replies, “I’m polishing this brick to make it into a mirror.” The monk laughs and says, “no amount of rubbing a brick can turn it into a mirror.” To which the master replies, “And no amount of meditation will turn you into a Buddha.” Continue reading Can regular meditation lead to spiritual awakening?
To be present means to cease doing things that take your awareness away from now. If you did nothing at all, you would automatically be present. We are present, because our bodies are in the present and our experience is of the present. There is no when or where else we can truly be than here and now.
And yet, mentally we do things that pull our awareness from the experience of now into imaging some future and digging up the past. If we are future seeking, we turn the present moment into a stepping stone. If we are past dwelling, we similarly turn the present moment into something less important. The past and future, for many, is an entertainment we use to distract ourselves from the present. To be present…the here and now must be the priority. Continue reading What do you mean when you say “be present”?