2022-09-06 The Dharma, pt 2 (2 of 5) Now is the Most Important Time
3:10PM Sep 6, 2022
So this week we're reviewing again are going through again, these five qualities of the dharma. Part, the teachings of the Buddha, the famous saying that we're kind of relying on is the dharma is well spoken by the buddho. So something well spoken, beneficial, helpful. And the dharma as a teaching points to something here and now. And the teaching and what we were awakened to are inseparable, what we enter into in this practices in separate, inseparable. And kind of a simplistic way of saying these five qualities is the first is about the dharma is here, unequivocally, here it is. And today, second, one eight is now. The third one is that it's dharma instructs us to look. The fourth one is flow along. And the third one is, the fifth one is, feel, the flowing along feel the freedom, know the freedom, and this being of following along with here and now in the presence. So here, now, look, flow flow along, feel freedom. So today is now kellyco. And it's what's immediate, what's present for us in this present moment, for however long it lasts for us than now that we can live in. And one of the ways to appreciate the value of it, is, how easy it is to lose touch with it. And meditation is one of the place one of the benefits, and what are things to celebrate about meditation is how it shows us how we don't meditate very well. Rather than seeing our ability to not be present, as a problem for meditation. Meditation is to highlight for us how the mind works. And we get to see how much the mind departs the present moment. One of the ways to do it is to see is what you know, the thinking mind. So for example, is there's a retrospective thinking, to try and think about the past. There's anticipatory thinking, thinking about the future. And you can feel ourselves leaning into those or being laying I like to think of them as it were lingering in our thoughts. And as we linger in these thoughts, there's a way in which we no longer linger in the present, we're no longer present, for now, as it unfolds as its present. And so something as simple as being with your breathing, breathing in and breathing out, breathing is always in the present. And then you can find yourself thinking about something and no longer in touch with the breathing or hardly in touch with it. And you can actually feel the quality of losing touch of lingering in those thoughts. And those thoughts might feel rich and valuable and important and substantial. But they aren't. They are ephemeral, impermanent, changing, fickle. And it's possible to be so centered in the present, together with our thoughts, thinking that we don't linger in them, they just feel like loose and light, and soft and kind of coterminous with space. Just thoughts floating through now here, and now. We're not tricked into them. We know them as present moment things. And one of the really wonderful aspects of meditation as well. Mindfulness Meditation is when there's a really a clearer, grounding clearer sense. That when I'm thinking about the past, the thinking is happening in the present. When I'm thinking about the future, the thinking is a present moment phenomenon. When I'm involved in fantasy, the fantasy is a present moment phenomenon. So the repetition of the word now in meditation just now, or the sense of now, he We're now
not to dismiss or deny anything. But to wake up to oh, this is what the present moment experience is. We don't have to be at war with our thoughts. We don't have to be with the war, we're thinking about the past in the future. But at least in meditation, to discover how much this thinking about thinking takes us away from the flow, the connection to here and now. And so and then, and then learning to wake up to oh, this is, this is the flavor of now, there's this thinking, and that thinking, and seeing it this way, is now we're not tricked into living in the past, living in the future in our thoughts, we just see Oh, of thinking about it. And maybe we begin to feeling the insubstantial nature of thoughts, the lightness of thoughts. Thoughts can feel very heavy, and they can feel very light. But they're not heavy by themselves, they're heavy by our involvement with them are lingering in them are or are leaning into them. By themselves. Thoughts are very light. Thoughts are coterminous with space. They have as much substances the sky, sky like thinking. So to come here and be now. And here and now. This is where then we can start loading, recognizing how we obscure or dim or narrow the openness and sensitivity of our love for our delight, or appreciation, or friendliness, or love our care. And we have such potential. Now for the beautiful qualities to come out. And as I said, last night in a talk, we have, we get caught up in so many different things in our life, that seems so important. And we lose touch so easily with what is most important. To be present here for this life with a full attention. It might not seem important and might seem dull and boring. From the point of view of the mind that spinning and chasing and wanting things and not wanting things and protecting the self. It might seem that way that just being present is not much of interest. But to do the thought experiment, that if you know that you have on the one hour to live, you're dying. And maybe you're fortunate to die consciously and without any pain. But clearly, you know you're dying. There's no this is this is a time. And at during that time would you suddenly realize how important it is to go back to your 2009 tax returns. Because you think you pay too much. You do need to fill out paperwork in order to get the $350 back that you're you know, is yours after all. The last hour of your life you probably want. That's not what's the most important thing. The last hour of your life, probably not the most important thing is to start planning vacations, planning for the future in some way and anticipating things. You realize it's not happening. It's no point to that last hour, what's important. And I'd like to propose that to really find the wealth of life, the
potential beauty of life, to at that time, to really know how to be present, to be here and now. There's a way in which that hour becomes timeless. That hour is not part of time. The idea that an hour away, you will be dead, doesn't have to have any relevance in the fullness of just now, this moment where love can flow or delight where freedom can be where the heart is not dimmed, where the heart is not obscured, where these thoughts that are heavy, don't get in the way don't interfere. But were simply looking out the window and seeing the leaves and the trees blow and blow in the wind can seem like looking at Paradise at jewels, not because it is you've seen it many times before. But the quality of now when presence is so rich, and so unobscured and so unencumbered by the things that demit that keep it from seeing the sparkle. So now catolico immediate here to be seen in this life to be seen here. To be seen, now, this is the dumb dharma of the buddho. And so I'd like to recommend that for this day, that you carry with you the English word now. And, and, and if you want to do some little, I like to play word games, letter games. And if you take the first two words of now, no. And think of the W as being the first letter of another word. It's so now which stands for no waiting. No waiting, just now. And no wishing. Just now, now, so to carry that with you. And not that you're able to stay in in the now. But as I said at the beginning of this little talk mettā this mindfulness meditation is not so much about being successful and being mindful. And the way we might think of being now, but in saying now, seeing more clearly, what you are doing now. We're so much an automatic pilot, so much carried away by our thoughts and involved in things we don't really see in some higher quality way, what is what we're actually doing now. So this word now. Show up for yourself, see what's happening here. Don't be an automatic pilot. And when you're now what is the most important thing? What would be the most important thing if you had only one more hour to live. And I hope you can do this exercise for many hours. So thank you very much. And I want to make one announcement. And I'll make it again. But I wanted to make sure that you number of you can hear it in case you don't come you're not here when I announce it again. So for the next three weeks after this week, starting on Sunday, I will be on retreat teaching a three week retreat. And so I won't be able to do the seven AM's the last week that I'm away. Matthew Brent silver will come back and teach. I wasn't able to find someone for the next two weeks, the people are on retreat, doing doing all kinds of things that I normally would invite. And so what we're going to do is to replay the
two weeks of these sittings and dharma talks that I did in December of 2020, a week on loving kindness in a week on compassion. And I think these are quite important topics. And so I think that the topics are still fresh, even though the talks are almost two years old. And so that's the plan. And so you want some of you might not even notice that I'm not here, because I think it'll be replayed in a way that looks like it's fresh, though you'll see that I'm younger, maybe and maybe longer hair or something. So So thank you, and I look forward to tomorrow.