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Thread: The here and the now.

  1. #1

    The here and the now.

    A lovely video featuring Samuel Harris. Mr. Harris penned the NY Times best seller, "The End of Faith". A Ph.D in neuroscience, he is openly criticizing of organized religions (to the effect that we must have an open dialogue and not be afraid to dissect religions that promote harm & war from within their scriptures). This is not a promotion of Mr. Harris' beliefs, only the words contained in the video.

    I think it elegantly highlights key points of Zen.

    Gassho,

    Lu

    Shinjin datsuraku, datsuraku shinjin..Body-mind drop off, mind-body drop off..

  2. #2
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing this, Lu. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Sam Harris.

    Gassho,
    Treena

  3. #3
    I feel that expressions such as "be just in the present moment" can be a bit misunderstood. Some people feel it means to just live thinking about the present, forgetting completely the past and future. That sounds quite silly and unworkable to me. Even Sam Harris must plan his next book or speaking engagement while making sure his life insurance premiums are up to date for his kids, even the Buddha decided to get up from under the Bodhi Tree and walk from town to town offering Teachings, avoiding tigers or places where there may be poison snakes.

    (in fact, I recently heard a radio science show about someone with brain injury that causes him to live without thought of past or future. He is bound to a hospital room).
    http://www.radiolab.org/story/91578-clive/

    Rather, I feel it is better expressed as being "at home and totally allowing and present with life as it is now" ... at one with this life-world-self as it is ... even as we recall and seek to learn from the past, even feeling happiness and sadness for events of the past ... even as we might plan for the future, trying to avoid pitfalls as possible (stick to you diet, quit smoking now!), seeking to make better what needs fixing now. Even when we remember the past or dream of the future ... that remembering or dreaming is just how things are now. When in life are we never not in the "now"?

    On the other hand, I completely agree with Sam Harris' point about people who are just disconnected from their life now, living only for the "pot of gold, I will be happy then" future, wallowing in the past, their priorities all screwed up. They are not "at home and totally allowing and present with life as it is now"

    So, this expression "Just Be In The Now" can be a little misleading.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-13-2013 at 03:14 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Thank you.


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajña from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  5. #5
    I also want to point folks again to these two radio interviews with Jill Bolte Taylor, the noted neurologist who suffered a massive stroke which resulted in the parts of her brain connected to thoughts, judgments, time and such shutting down.

    She speaks of blue sky, clouds, past present and future, judgments, like and dislikes, names dropped away ... If she ain't talking about something like Shikantaza, I will eat my Buddha-hat ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...l=1#post115025

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Good stuff. And so true. thanks for sharing, Lu.
    Dave _/\_

  7. #7
    Jundo,

    Thank you for your thoughts, they certainly a much needed context.

    Gassho,

    Lu
    Shinjin datsuraku, datsuraku shinjin..Body-mind drop off, mind-body drop off..

  8. #8
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    I too thank you for your thoughts here, Jundo, they are very helpful.

    Gassho,
    Treena

  9. #9
    Yes, another misunderstand sometimes is that many folks hear "be in the now", and they think it means some kind of "live for today and to hell with tomorrow" attitude. That is not it either.

    For me it is more "be one with the now" and "enjoy and embrace today ... both the happy and the sad ... even as we plan for tomorrow".

    The final chapter of Dogen's Shobogenzo ends with this note by Dogen's student and secretary Ejo ...

    ... This was the last draft [written by] the late master [Dogen], in his sickness. I remember him saying that he would rewrite all of the kana Shōbōgenzō and so on that he had completed before, and also include new drafts so as to be able to compile [the Shōbōgenzō] in altogether one hundred chapters. ... After this, the master’s sickness grew more and more serious so that his work on original drafts and suchlike stopped. Therefore this draft is the last instruction of the late master. That we unfortunately never saw the one hundred chapters is most regrettable. ...
    So, as you can see, even Dogen was a man who lived with plans for the future ... some which came to fruit and some not.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-12-2013 at 03:42 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Thanks Lu, great video
    And, thanks Jundo, I'm guessing that Buddha Hat has fewer than a few bites taken out of it over the years

    gassho, Shokai
    gassho, Shokai, still learning the way and knowing nothing
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    Just another itinerant monk; go somewhere else to listen to someone who really knows.

  11. #11
    Hi all

    One way I like to think about the present and future is written in Uchiyama Roshi's commentary on the Tenzo kyokun 'How to Cook Your Life'. In there it is made clear that making the gruel for the next day is seen as the work of today. The future must be planned for as today's work regardless of whether the monastery is still standing or the Tenzo himself. To do otherwise would be sloppy and foolish.

    To be in the now at the expense of the future is the attitude of a child. To plan properly and wholeheartedly can be the work of the present moment just as much as washing the dishes or sitting zazen.

    Gassho
    Andy

  12. #12
    Senior Member Kantai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karasu View Post
    To be in the now at the expense of the future is the attitude of a child. To plan properly and wholeheartedly can be the work of the present moment just as much as washing the dishes or sitting zazen.
    I have to work more on this. Planning the future now makes the past better!
    Gassho
    Ed

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