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2 questions about living in the moment

Discussion in 'Mind, Body & Spirit' started by RunBananaRun, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. RunBananaRun

    RunBananaRun Member

    Hey guys!

    If I live conscious and try to understand more and more of the world, this all are thoughts. How can I stay in the presence if I am thinking about things and how they fit together?

    What about good memories? I cant stay in the moment when I have those, but can I let them go?

    Thanks for answer


  2. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    This is a common misconception.

    First, I have to explain something to you that seems quite obvious, but I have to say it to make you see things differently.

    You see, we are always in the Now. There is no escaping it. We can't live even one second in the future, or one second in the past. Our Being and the Now are one. You could even debate about wether we are racing along a timeline, or that there is no time, only the Now, and the timeline moves through us instead.

    What you are referring to of course is not if we are able to live in the future, but what we have our attention on, our focus.
    Focusing completely on thoughts or memories, which may give the illusion that we are completely immersed in them, according to for instance Eckhart Tolle, is not living in the Now.
    Of course he as well is referring to attention.

    Eckhart knows that we are always in the Now ( he is the last person who needs to have this explained ;)).

    We have to realise that memories are also things that seem to pass by us as part of that seeming timeline that moves through us, while we stay in the Now watching the train of thoughts and feelings come by.

    Now if this were true, that would mean that guys like Eckhart Tolle wouldn't be able to remember a thing, as he always knows that he lives in the Now.
    It's always possible to remember something, as the memory is just another thing happening while you are in the Now.
    All that you need to focus on, is the fact that you are in the now, and let everything that happens, being it memories, thoughts, feelings, or everything in the world as we know it, pass through you.
    You see, when you focus on the Now ( which essentially means focusing on your Self, your Being ) you don't feel immersed in your thoughts and feelings anymore, and that will change the perspective you have on things.

    If what I said interests you, I would like to suggest you look into Advaita Vedanta.
    You can find a lot of information about it on the internet. Google it and see if it interests you !
  3. GilesC

    GilesC Member

    Hi David (good username :D)

    True understanding comes from experience. Whilst we can try and understand through logical interpretation and piecing together experience from the past to get and idea of what may be true, it is only when we put things into practice that we can really find out the truth. Your idea of thinging about things and how they fit together can only be based on your preconceived ideas of how things 'may be', not how they actually are.

    Being present is not about removing logical thought altogether, it's about detaching from ideas of the past when presented with the present.

    Imagine you meet up with a person you know who perhaps upset you the last time you saw them. If you're not in the present moment, you will bring up the memories of that past and let it control you in the present moment i.e. the mind is controlling you rather than you controlling the mind. This will bring up the feelings and emotions and memories from that time and you may get a sense of disliking that person again. However, in the present moment, that person, at the time you meet them, may be meeting you with all good intentions and there is no reason for you to have any ill feeling. This is why the wise tell us "Meet everyone as if for the first time".

    The difference is that you should act on what is in front of you and not on preconceived ideas based on the past. We all know that we spend too much time, trying to plan for a situation in the future (e.g. rehearsing a presentation and getting nervous about it), but when that situation actually arises, it never follows exactly what we expected. So why waste time planning for it? Why base our ideas of the future (near future or far) on what we believe may happen, which is really based on experience from the past? There is no point.

    Fair enough, experience will give us the skills we need to deal with different situations in life, but being present and acting in the moment rather than pre-empting or having wild thoughts about things, will allow us to bring those skills forward to use as and when we need them.

    A valuable exercise to practice is to simply observe the working surface. This means, for example, if you are washing the dishes, observe the hands holding the dishes and the feel of the water on the skin and the action of moving and cleaning. Another example is if writing something, observe where the pen touches the paper and the ink flowing out as you write. This focus on the senses, keeps us in the present moment. The task at hand itself will naturally flow, and you will actually find when you look back that the task seemed simpler and completed more quickly than 'normal'.

    As for memories, we all have memories, good and bad. There's nothing wrong with recalling memories, but we only need to recall them when the present moment requires it. Is it a good idea to recall good memories whilst your driving your car down the road? No of course not, as your focus should be on the road. It may be a good memory, but it should only be sought to come to mind when the present moment requires it to. ;)


  4. RunBananaRun

    RunBananaRun Member

    Hey Guys !

    Thanks a lot for those very long answers ! :)

    I have read Eckart Tolle and some other things to this point, so I get what you are talking about to some point.
    The questions I have are some points I didnt get until now, but I need to stay focused.
    I get some new stuff out of your posts, thank you very much. So there is nothing bad about good memories, as long as I sit on the couch and remember "the good old times" without missing them, and then I have to move on without thinking about them for now, right?
    Is it the same as reading a siencefiction novel or is it an unconscious way to escape?

    There are just a few things I dont get. Tolle says there is nothing bad about changing your life situation or more specific your job as long as you accept that you are in a "bad, not wanted" job right now and do not suffer pain while changing situation. Just try, dont try to hard, because you will suffer if you do and
    If you cant get out, just accept.
    But whats the better way, to get out if possible, or to master yourself and stay in a stupid job, so that you can accept everything and become like Diogenes in the rubbish container. Because if you still want to get out, you are still adhereing to some things.
    What about a long sexual partnership, where you are not satisfied with sexually, get another partner or try to accept, that you wont get much more sex in the long run?
    I could just stop thinking and just do and live in the present moment, without changing anything but accept facts.
    I just dont get the accept everything approach, if I could accept everything I would just sit down and die, because it doesnt matter, does it?
    Maybe I got the wrong view of it, and I understand your answers, to some point, and Eckhart Tolle book transformed my knowledge about all this, but I just could not get everything out of it till now.

    It is simply very tough to apply it to some examples for me.

    I also am reading different stuff right know, also something about Advaita Vedanta :), I try to understand more about buddhism right now.

    thanks for the nickname compliment btw :)

    Thank you guys, you are helping me !

    Best regards

  5. GilesC

    GilesC Member

    Short answer this time... ;)

    You don't have to accept anything, especially if it is hurtful to yourself or anyone else.
    The point is that you should avoid reacting to things.

    Look at the word "reacting"... Re ... Acting ... thus taking actions from our past experience and performing them again in the present. i.e. acting in the present moment based on how we acted in the past to another similar (but in truth different) situation. To ReAct is not to take action in the present based on the facts that are in front of us.

    The acceptance that is talked about is to act on the facts in front of you, so in terms of a job, don't go to work and start the day all miserable and unhappy because something happened that was considered bad on a previous day. There may be nothing wrong with the job in the present, so why ruin your own day and waste your energy by basing it on the past?



  6. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    In addition to what Giles said, a lot of people seem to think that accepting everything means that you can't take action anymore.

    but its quite the opposite.

    Going back to the example of driving your car into a tree:
    A lot of people who drive into a tree refuse to accept what they see with their mind. The fact that the situation is as it is ( i.e. your Consciousness has allready accepted the dent in your car ) is what the mind is resisting.

    That is why some people can be found looking with a goofy expression on their face towards the dent, shaking their head, sometimes rubbing their hands across the dented door ( as if that would help ).
    All typical behaviour of a mind that is resisting to accept what you allready know.

    If however the mind is acknowledged as a tool in your favour, which it is, this is easily seen and accepted, and you can immediately put the mind to work with more useful thoughts like : 'what is the best way to fix this'.

    And then you take action to fix the dent.

    Simple !

    So, what you see is what you get, accept it, and if the situation can be improved by reacting to it, go for it with a 120 % effort.
  7. RunBananaRun

    RunBananaRun Member

    Thanks again guys

    There is just so much to think about. Great stuff once again, I think I am getting an idea of it.

    1 seeing the things as they are, not as I am
    2 living in the presence all the time
    3 accept what I see
    4 change what I can change if I want to, -> if not possible to change -> go back to step 3 :)

    Anyways I am not sure if I am able to apply this to my examples.

    Is it ok if you go more into detail, specified to my examples?

    Thanks in advance

    Best regards

  8. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    I will adress the examples in my next post.

    But if there were exceptions to the rule, it would be a system, not reality.

    There are no exceptions. It is as it is.
    So, it will always apply to your examples.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  9. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    A "better way" is a form of judgement created by your mind. Nothing wrong with that, it's what it is supposed to do. Now it is your task to judge the judgement. Is that judgement really what you need at this time ?
    So, coming back to your example, a job that your mind judges as "stupid".
    Is it ok to switch jobs so you have more fun working ? Sure !
    Does it matter ? No !
    You can do or not do whatever is needed or desired, as long as you don't identify with either job, boring or not.
    "in the long run"...
    How long ? Are you planning how long you and your partner will have problems with sex ? How can you even know if you will still be alive tomorrow ?

    Focus on the now. Are you having sexual problems right now ?
    No, you are reading this forum. I sincerely hope you are doing that without doing anything sexual at the same time ;)
    That is what identification is all about ! You are having sexual problems with your partner... that is pure nonsense ! You are reading the PM-forum right now.

    I-dentification with a problem is causing all this, that is the root of the problem, not those few times that you are feeling unfulfilled in your sexual desires.

    So does that mean that you can't do anything about the sexual problem itself ? No of course not, if it needs to be adressed, adress it. But for heaven's sake don't identify with the problem. Don't make it personal.
    If you were to adress the problem with your partner while you identify with it, chances are very big that your partner will feel hurt, attacked or sad when you adress it.
    Because you identify with the problem, think that the problem is part of you, of who you are, your judgement will be tainted with emotions.

    So my advice is: first make sure to dis-identify with the problem ( or better yet, realise that identification with a problem is impossible ), and only then adress the problem together with your partner.

    And BTW, I know what it's like. When I married my wife, we hadn't had sex for about 2 years.
    Things got better because I decided to give my wife time to overcome her depression in those days. Now we have 2 healthy kids and I am happily married. But please don't take that as advice. Judge your problem without your memories, don't make it a re-action as Giles told you.
    Is that acceptance or fatalism ?
  10. RunBananaRun

    RunBananaRun Member

    Wow thanks,

    I really appreciate that you are so open with your personal experiences, even the tough ones, more specially with that.
    Thanks a lot!

    So, We had sexual problems in the past. It made me sad, but I let it go right now, and dont put anymore emotion into that.
    I accept how our relationship is right now and define, what I want and that I have to work on that.
    I also define goals and how to reach them.
    I am happy that I can do something about it, because it will be better soon either way. On the one hand I can try to imrpove situation or if not possible, I become strong enough to let it go and move on.

    This has been our problem in the past, and it is ok to think about it in an analytical way to think with some logic about it to learn from it, but not to put any emotion into that because it absolutely has no value anymore.

    Ok with that? It is really hard to understand all that, so that I can use it in praxis. :)

    As I ask about in my other thread, what about cheating partner without having a bad conscience?
    Absolute fidelity without no sense can make very embittered and ultimately lead to thoughts of hate and beeing cheated by the partner in a different sort of way which leads to a justification. I felt like a victim, due to my tiny self-esteem (because I got it primary from my partner), I have been passive and unable to fight myself out of this situation. So I behaved like a coward, because I just didnt know how to excape from this situation. All this lead me to read books like Tolle and Co, because I drastically had the wish to improve myself.
    What do you think of that?

    Again thanks a lot for you help guys !

    Best regards

  11. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    Hehe that's how tricky the mind really works.
    What you described right here is just replacing one identification with the other.

    I will show you what I mean:
    At the time you were writing this, you probably weren't in the same room as your partner.

    So, while writing that you accept how your relationship is right now, you weren't in a relationship, you were writing in the PM forum ;)
    Giles described it so clearly, how the "person" we think we are tends to change with our surroundings, how the word is derived from the Greek word for "mask".
    We keep switching masks without noticing it.
    Enlightenment means you throw all your masks away and what is left underneath, that is the real You !
    Letting go of the masks doesn't mean that you stop being human, instead you become the most natural human alive !

    I married my wife because I loved her at that time ( still do haha ) and made her a promise to stay with her for the rest of my life. Keeping that promise has nothing to do with the promise made at that time, it has to do with how I feel for my wife at this time.

    So if you were to have broken that promise in the past, and now want to keep the promise again, what is the problem ?
    The only moment that you can actually do something about anything is Now !

    Things in the past are nothing more than memories, a tool in our brain/mind to keep us from making the same mistake twice.
    If however you are considering right Now to cheat on your partner, you deserve a good spanking.

    The same goes with your partner.
    If your partner cheated on you in the past, and now wants to keep the promise again, we tend to become more cautious. "What if she will do it again ?" " Why is she taking so long to come home from work ? Is she seeing someone else ?"

    Fact is, that we can't do anything to keep our partner's promise.
    Nothing at all ! That is your partner's work, not yours !

    Most people are not scared about getting hurt by the partner, they are afraid they will feel stupid because they trusted someone. "I feel so used" is a typical sentence you tend to hear.

    But trusting someone is something you can do right now.
    Why feel stupid afterwords if your partner cheated on you ?
    Don't you agree that it's rather childish behaviour to think "she cheated on me, now I have the right to cheat on her" ?
    If right now you feel that the relationship isn't working, and there is nothing you can do anymore, end it.
    But if you think you can do something for the relationship, do it and go for it 120%.

    It helps to ask yourself frequently " What can I do about it right now ?"
    If you can fix it, do it, and if you can't, why bother thinking about it ?

    Everything you are doing to someone else you are doing to your Self.
  12. RunBananaRun

    RunBananaRun Member

    Hello !

    Great post once again. I am getting an idea.
    But before I will ask more questions I will read the whole thread again. Thx again !

    Pure gold

    Thank you once again

    Best regards

  13. GilesC

    GilesC Member

    Thomas? David? Ok, now I'm confused.

    But apart from that, Edwin has done a sterling job of answering just as I would have done myself. Wise words indeed. :)


  14. RunBananaRun

    RunBananaRun Member

    omg lol, i am so sorry, ye I felt so ashamed about my life, I didnt even wnat to use my real name on the internet :(

    I am thomas

    best regards

    Thomas ;)
  15. GilesC

    GilesC Member

    LOL!, well there's nothing to be ashamed of, and I don't think anyone will recognise you from just your first name, so you're secrets (?) are safe. ;)
  16. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    Feeling ashamed about "your situation" is pure nonsense again.
    Why feel ashamed about things that can and will change ? In 100 years, who will care ?

    Even if you don't want to, the situation you are in now will change. Change is the only thing that is a constant actually :p

    You can only think that every day is the same.
    People judging you on your situation are the real losers.
    They will never get in contact with you, and miss out on a possible great friendhip with a great guy ( yes you ).

    How can your situation say anything about who you are ?

    Focus your attention on where you are looking from. Where does your real feeling of "me" come from ? I don't just mean looking with your eyes, your sense of Self will still work when you close your eyes.
    It is the feeling of being here, existing. You can't deny the fact that you exist. But if you go looking inside for where that feeling of Being is coming from, can you locate it anywhere in your body ? Does it exist outside your body as well ?

    Focus on that feeling during your meditation, and from that point watch your thoughts and emotions drift by without really touching you.
  17. olmate

    olmate Member

    Hi RunBananaRun,

    Love that Forum name!!

    In the clarity of my run this morning (just as the sun started to creep over the horizon in the East, I recalled four contexts for my day as recommended by my Teacher. Your post and ensuing discussion came to mind, so I thought I would share this with you. The contexts are:

    1. Celebration - of the fresh new day, the people who touch my life and those that I will encounter today.

    2. Remembrance - of those who are no longer here (in a physical sense) and honour their memory.

    3. Gratitude - making sure I share a moment of appreciation for those I love who are still here today.

    4. Awakening - remembering the miracle of who I really am.

    My Teacher also recommends facing a different direction (i.e. North, South, East and West) as I call each of these contexts to mind.

    Maybe it might assist put all of the other noise in your life into context as each new day arises. Have a great day.

  18. jada

    jada Member

    i have read with great interest this post, i am new to this way of thinking and living, meditation, thinking positive etc, i have one question, i had a little accident while go cart racing, ( it was my brother's way to celebrate his bachelors party, i m not a carting enthusiast) i got hit from behind, and its been six weeeks of nausea and diziness, worries of not knowing exactly what i have etc...how can i not think on the tomorrow? i really try but sometimes worries win.

  19. RunBananaRun

    RunBananaRun Member

    Hello guys

    sorry for not replaying for so long, I had to do some stuff. Sometimes I think I am getting lived by all the things around me.

    First of all, thanks guys for sharing all this with me!

    @ Edwin, is it possible you close one of my other threads? I marked this one, thanks a lot !

    @olmate thx for compliment:)

    The problem is, I simply dont know where to start. It is all one big mess. How can i start arranging things?
    What about lifeflow btw, do you use it or do you use other meditation techniques?

    I guess meditaion is perfect for the start right?
    I have a very strong suspicion that I have adhd but I will get to know in the next weeks. It is one big mess arround me. This is no sort of excuse, it is just that you understand how confused I am. I simply cant find my way in life and follow it. I am in my midtwenties and still dont know where to go with my life.
    I drift away from my normal life all the time, thats why I dodnt replay for a few days, because I was not conscious enough and I did some stupid stuff, like videogames, and watching stupid shows on Tv and whatever. I simply lost myself once again and try to break out now again.
    Thanks for help!

    Best regards

  20. GilesC

    GilesC Member

    Hi Thomas,

    Have you considered visiting a life coach? They can help you to look at where you are and what you want in life and how you can achieve those things, and also help you to decide how you want to prioritise stuff so you're not trying to do everything all at once, and you can actually allocate your time wisely to each thing.

    From what you're saying I think that would be a very good avenue for you to explore.



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