Here is a great question from Harish Verma, one of our Sat. meditation group.
Re your talk on Saturday, I fully understand and agree with the importance of remaining in "the present". I also realize that devoting your attention to the past and the future can sap away the dynamism and vitality you need for the present.
However I cannot help but think of the fact that we are all products of the past and our present behaviour, way of thinking is based upon our past experiences. At the same time from a transactional point of view we have to pay attention and do something about the future. A good small example is you emails about the upcoming meditation session.
How can we reconcile the above with being only mindful of the present ?
Perhaps you can throw some light on this at the next talk.
My reply in blue
No one will deny past and future. It is a matter of
1) definition of words.
2) proper balance that is going along the Mid Way.
"We are the products of the past" .....etc....
Yes and no:
We are always the products of a "present moment" which is dead right now and that we call past. Beside, this definition is restricted only to our material creation i.e . fecundation of an egg with a sperm.
We are -----I think, as Zen Buddhism does-----far more that just a genetic material stuff.
As far the future:
Same thing. The "future" is in fact an incoming "present moment" not born yet.
Life is made of endless cycles birth and death and the present has the same
cycle that is incoming birth ( future ), actual present moment and death ( past )
Planning for the future is OK of course but in fact we are planning for an incoming present moment