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Thread: Thinking about the past

  1. #1
    Administrator Aloka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Thinking about the past

    This is an article from the Buddhist Door website, by someone called "Teahouse".

    Thinking About the Past

    I have recently been thinking quite a lot about the past. I guess that’s what a lot of people do as they grow older. I find myself not only turning over events in my own life (as far as I can remember them) but also increasingly drawn to reading all kinds of history books.

    We are frequently urged to try to stay fully present in the “here and now.” This is certainly fundamental to many kinds of beneficial practices, but I wonder whether the emphasis on the present moment can’t sometimes be taken too far. Recently when googling various Buddhist and mindfulness related topics, I came across many web pages with headings such as “Stay in the Present”, “Enjoy the Now”, “How to Live in the Present”, and “Present Moment, Only Moment.” I’m sure that some of these pages contain some very useful advice. However, the impression sometimes seems to be given that “living in the present” is the be-all and end-of-all of Buddhist practice.

    Clearly, if we are trying to be mindful of bodily sensations, or the arising and passing away of feelings, emotions and thoughts, or if we are trying to develop unwavering concentration on a meditation object, we don’t want to be caught up in regretful thoughts about the past or worries about the future. However, this doesn’t mean that there are not also times when it is useful and important to be mindful of the past and to contemplate possible futures. A person who really did spend most of their time living in the present without any sense of how the present moment came to be or of the possible futures effects of their present actions would, it seems to me, be living a very shallow life.

    *Continues at the link* :

    Any comments about the article?

  2. #2
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Staying in the here and now is about living in the present moment. This is about how we experience the now, not about what we are doing at that moment. It is perfectly possible to be studying the past while using our awareness of the present moment. What we shouldn't be doing is living with the past as we thought it was, before we started along the path.

  3. #3
    Forums Member justusryans's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Buckingham, Virginia
    I have many painful memories of the past. I try not to dwell on it. If it works for you then great. I try to focus on the now. I can’t change the past...

  4. #4
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    In the world
    The past is only memory, and memories can be recollected wrong, so staying in the present moment is maybe the most important , But knowing and remembering what we did wrong in the past , so we can correct us self in the present moment, so the future will be without same mistakes is as important :) So actually we take experiences from the past to adjust our present moment so future will be more easy to live righetroues. Then when you finish reading this message, you are already in a new moment from when you started :)

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