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Thread: MOMENT and moment

  1. #1
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    MOMENT and moment

    "To be in the moment." We tend to kick that phrase around here, and not in the good way usually. I'm gonna kick it some more, sort of.

    Many times when I do something "in the moment" it is not a good thing to do, but I excuse myself by saying it felt right in that moment. As in, I was swept up in the moment, which sounds kind of like being at one with the moment. This is delusion, I think. It is seeing myself and the moment as this finite piece of self/time/place.

    On the other hand, when I do something "in the MOMENT" it is often a very good thing to do. No excuse is needed, and its sense of feeling "right" is very different from above. I won't go as far as to say this type of MOMENT is reality, but I think it is less delusional.

    The moment is closed and restricting because I see my actions only in the here and now. In the moment I can be guided by anger, greed, and ignorance, I am not fully aware, and thus I lack free will. I am sort of a victim of karma, and that's generally bad.

    The MOMENT, on the other hand, is open and expansive because I see the past, present, and future in relation to my (and others) actions all at once. In the MOMENT I am guided by the precepts, even if they don't feel good ("right") at the time because sometimes the right thing to do is the difficult thing to do. In the MOMENT I am aware, and thus I have free will (maybe the MOMENT is Nishijima's razor's edge fully realized). The MOMENT creates good karma rather than reacting to past karma, good or bad.

    For me, being in the moment is about me being me, but being in the MOMENT is about me waking up to Oneness and acting accordingly. For me, being in the MOMENT helps me avoid being in the moment.

    Finally, realistically speaking, unless we are the Buddha, the best we can expect of our actions in life is to be in the MoMeNt. Right?

    PS: I am anticipating the common comment around here about how being too in the moment is liable to have you step in front of a moving bus. Obviously, I agree . My point is that if you are in the MOMENT you would know about the bus and stay on the curb.

  2. #2

    Re: MOMENT and moment

    Yep.

    If Julia is still around, I mentioned that we don't use the word "I woke up" very often, but there is the phrase "waking up to the moment".

    Let's look at that word. Wake up. We have the ordinary definition, which is when we wake up in the morning. This involves being drowsy, and gradually become more alert. Practice is kind of the same thing. Waking up from the commentary, overwhelming feelings, tension etc., and balancing out. Most of the time one can walk around with all kinds of things going on, failing to realize that they are not paying attention.

    Some times being in the moment can be mistaken for some sort of indifference, but the only thing we have is this life. Being in the moment is being in this life. Waking up from ego. It's not an excuse to avoid doing something, and it's not a tool to justify our actions. It is facing the consequences of our actions, accepting them, and trying to do better the next time by paying attention.

    It sounds all very ordinary, and it is. It is ordinary and boring. However, it is only ordinary and boring because we are so used to distracting ourselves 24/7. In fact, it is so ordinary and boring, that sometimes it can be extraordinary.

    Gassho

  3. #3

    Re: MOMENT and moment

    Dear AlanLa,

    I find what you have to say here very insightful and interesting.

    I often whisper: pay attention. Nothing else, and I don't make it big or small.

    At one point you write:

    For me, being in the moment is about me being me, but being in the MOMENT is about me waking up to Oneness and acting accordingly. For me, being in the MOMENT helps me avoid being in the moment.

    Finally, realistically speaking, unless we are the Buddha, the best we can expect of our actions in life is to be in the MoMeNt. Right?
    You seem to end up making a distinction between the small narrow karma orientated moment and the Big MOMENT, in capital letters, puffed with oneness and all the Dharmic goodies, don't you? And you state that a Buddha lives constantly in this Big MOMENT as opposed to ordinary beings who sway and swing along from one small thing to one big thing,written MoMeNt for you? Do I understand this correctly :? ?

    If I do, may I ask the following questions you may fiddle with: How many moments can you generate in one spit? With which moment do you drink your morning coffee? Do one wakes up to oneness or oneness wakes up to one? Aren't we Buddha, by the WAY? Is a Buddha so so so steady, with no gaps between two big MOMENT? Is the small moment avoided or just embraced by the big one? Or are both dropped way? Because your are using the ressources of your language and beautifuly playing with it ( like Dogen used to), why keeping this "in", and to drop this "in" : being-moment, what has to be dropped first?

    Thank you for your patience .

    Taigu

  4. #4

    Re: MOMENT and moment

    Hi.

    Taigu, it was a "just" a "good moment"...

    Mtfbwy
    Tb

  5. #5
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: MOMENT and moment

    Taigu wrote:
    You seem to end up making a distinction between the small narrow karma orientated moment and the Big MOMENT, in capital letters, puffed with oneness and all the Dharmic goodies, don't you? And you state that a Buddha lives constantly in this Big MOMENT as opposed to ordinary beings who sway and swing along from one small thing to one big thing,written MoMeNt for you? Do I understand this correctly ?
    Not quite. I was playing with duality to try and make a point. I was trying to say that THE Buddha, true perfection, is/was/will always be/has always been for 10,000 kalpas in the MOMENT. But a clearer way to describe us buddhas is that the MOMENT includes the moment, thus the MoMeNt. There is really no distinction between the two, except it is up to us to realize this. So when getting swept along in the moment,,, stop,,, remember your practice, zazen, and realize the MOMENT.

    As for your comment about swinging from one MOMENT to moment, that feels pretty accurate for me lately, I'm afraid, with more moments than MOMENTS. So I come here to share and STOP.

  6. #6

    Re: MOMENT and moment

    Thank you Jigen,

    I still struggle with The Buddha being true perfection and so on...It seems a very idealistic and nice picture that one would rather find in Pure Land literature. And yes, don t worry, I am pretty sure that the swinging is very familiar to everybody even to the highly enlightened buddies!

    Taigu

  7. #7

    Re: MOMENT and moment

    AlanLa: Thanks for your thoughtful post. I chewed on it mentally for a while today.

    I could be wrong, but it seems to me the only distinction between a moment, a MOMENT or a MoMeNt is the element of awareness. That is sort of what I have noticed in my own practice. Steady, diligent practice -- by which I mean regular meditation and mindfulness throughout the day, at least to the degree I can achieve such mindfulness -- keeps me more in the MOMENT.

    When mindfulness lapses (which happens), then I'm more in the moment.

    Before I began really practicing, I had a lot of moment and not much MOMENT. Gradually, I had more MOment, and then later more MOMEnt. Every great now and then, I get some MOMENT and it is extraordinary. I never seem to stay there for very long, though! (But I do seem to hover in the neighborhood of MOMENT far more often than I used to).

    Thanks for a very stimulating thread, sir.

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