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Friends:

Why Does the Mind Evade the Present Moment?
Is the mind truly capable of operating in this present and real deal moment of now?


 
Memory-dwelling: When mind is stuck in the forever gone and now unreal past:
Memory is at best incomplete, one sided, and revisionist, since consciousness
is a process, which moulds thoughts of past events into forms coloured by
preferences and biases conditioned by past education, experience, and not
stellar sound reasoning. These are simply attachments serving the ego, this elusive
delusional self with what it wants to hear. Since this memory requires mental much
processing, is any fixation on its conclusions not truly noticing the present moment,
since mind processes these thoughts, feelings, emotions, perspectives, attitudes,
and viewpoints constructed/conditioned in the past. The moment any mental idea is
formulated by mind, time continues its flow leaving the mind behind stuck in the past...
Melancholia, and endless repetition of certain emotionally laden memories are examples.

Planning ahead:
When mind imagines the yet uncome, and equally unreal future:
Originating from the same mental processes, the motivation to make plans is
indicative of an afflicted mind.  It is a mind conditioned by dukkha, that is:
Mental and/or physical pain, suffering, stress, and disappointment tormented
with feelings rising out of a constant dissatisfaction with the present state,
something - often indefinable, yet indispensable - is missing... which necessitates  
a desperate need to protect this delusional self against this ever frustrating now!
Such a mind is struggling to prevent, what it realizes as inevitable deterioration,
death, and disappearance. Moment by moment. Life by life. Such projection and
imagination of the future - near as distant - is notoriously inaccurate, unreliable
and often wide of the mark of reality, and thus folly fairy-tale day-dreaming...

Mindfulness of the present, and Meditation Reveals How our squishy Minds Operate:
Real-time personal observation of our own mind operating in what remains to be the
best approximation of the present moment occurs during awareness meditation. 
It reminds of sitting in the middle of a busy train terminal watching travellers
come into, and disappear out of our view. There seems to be no mental limit as to
direction, volume, or capacity in this often chaotic flow of ever passing thoughts,
that all arise conditioned by mental contact with both external and internal events,
past, present and future, all totally out of reach of our personal control right now...
Being obsessively preoccupied with following after the captivating content of this
mental flux of noisy conceptual abstractions, continuously evades the real present..     

This does not mean that we are left helpless, as we can DELIBERATELY CHOOSE to:
A. Pay attention to these mental phenomena, and the fact that we thereby give
them importance and conditioned reinforcement resulting in clinging attachment.

B. Or, passively observe, smiling in equanimity, simply letting them pass away
into the same empty, yet conditioned mental oblivion from which they arose. 

C. Or the Final solution: The Stilling of all Conceptual Thinking (vitakka-vicāra):
Develop and train a mind, which is totally devoid of the arising of thought,
where all mental processing has ceased.  This is a mind free of clinging, desire,
and attachment. When all mental processing has ceased, such a mind is truly
stilled in the present moment, because no reflection is required, as no mental,
or physical action is being actively processed, or even remotely contemplated..

It all boils down to a personal choice to participate, or not to participate in
these flickering, yet captivating labyrinths of cacophonic mental processing.
.

When faced with such decisions it is quite beneficial to follow Buddha's
advice to his son as given in the Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta regarding
the crucial importance of observing, practicing and training our minds:

"What do you think, Rāhula: What is a mirror for?" "For reflection, sir."

Source: Majjhima Nikāya 61: Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta:
Instructions to Rahula on the Mango Stone.
https://what-buddha-said.net/library/ati_website/html/tipitaka/mn/mn.061.than.html

By our friend Ronald J. Chiodi, Concord USA.



More on awareness of the present = Mindfulness (Sati):
Noble_Awareness, Awareness_Analysis, Clear Comprehension,
What is Right Awareness?, Four_Foundations_of_Awareness,
Aware_and_Composed, Aware_and_Settled, Clever_Presence,

Evading the Present ..


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