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Consideration of a Moment and its existence PDF Print E-mail

According to the teachings of the Dhamma, we are encouraged to live in the present moment. We are discouraged to live in the past or the future. There are so many authorships that have considered the experiences as to what this present moment is all about. Taking time to consider the phenomenon and the Dhamma associated, I wished to share my consideration of this aspect of 'a moment.' There are many explanations of what constitutes a moment.

A moment is made up of time and space. Taking the element of time, I have considered the convention of the clock, which consists of a mechanism that computes time. Time has the common denominator of a 'second' that can be considered as a moment in time. This moment in time, or the second, constitutes a part of a minute in time. The second/s that make/s this minute could have made the beginning of that minute, or supported the continuation of the minute, or could have ended the minute, in time. The second that was responsible for supporting this minute does not know what it made, but the minute is quite aware of its existence and its role. So, the second or the moment is the cause for the Minute to have been born, or to have continued, or ended.

In the same way, if you consider this minute that was begun, or existed, or ended, to have been the minute that began the associated hour, or continued the hour, or ended the hour, in time, the hour in time could be considered to have begun, or continued, or ended, a day. So, now, there are some principles of logic that can be applied. If the beginning of some seconds will begin some of the minutes, which in turn, begins the hour etc., the day that began or continued or ended could have been the day that began the week, or continued the week, or ended the week; and this week that began, or continued, or ended, could have been the week that began a year, or continued a year, or ended a year, and so on & so forth. There is no end to the permutations of the linkage and the correspondent support or dependence of the second to the existence of the rest of the endurances of time, and its measurement.

You can now come to recognise that a moment, or a second, that expires, which is endured as part of life, could be the beginning of your birth, or the continuation of this born “self,” or the ending of the existed “self.” Also, what is important to consider is that what is born could be the birth of defilements, existence of defilements, or the ending of defilements! It could be considered as the beginning of an experience, continuing of an experience, or the ending of an experience. According to the teachings of the Buddha, this existence of all life is about the beginnings (jāti), endurances (jarā), obstructions (bhiyadhi), endings (marana), likings (piyehi), disliking (appiyehi), expectations (yam pichcham), and the aggregation to create the form (nama-rupa). With it comes the mental and material formations and aggregations (pancha upādāna skanda), with the associated experiential components (Dukka), which are carried forward every moment in time, using the repository of memory, called the consciousness (viññana).

When you consider what you are carrying from the past, from moment to moment, you will see why you feel so exhausted and fatigued. A wise person will make the effort to learn how not to make any new defilements, going forward, or to feed any of the defilements that are being carried forward, and assist oneself to end as many of the defilements. Doing this consciously, and with right effort, with awareness in every moment, one is on the path of enlightenment. One is then identified as a person knowing that one is on the right path, “supatipanna,” a person who is upright, and straight forward, with their ethical & moral disciplines “Ujupatipanna,” a person who is knowledgeable of the use of the Dhamma “Gññayapatipanna,” and lastly, a person who is calm, with the practice of not having to prove themselves to anybody “Samichipatipanna.” A person who is of this stature accepts that “I” am the cause of everything that is being experienced, and that everything happened because of “me.” This honest admission brings the vision that everything that has been possessed as mine, or not mine, were articulated, or manipulated, by me, to benefit me.

This, then, opens up the nature of justification within us. We begin to realise that everything that has been experienced in the past was nothing other than what was reasoned out as being beneficial to me, and justified with the use of the word “because” (this, being the cause, I choose to experience the consequences, going forward). So, when we consider our beginnings, existences, and the endings, we realise 'who we are,' and, 'why we are so.'

The power of a moment or a second is such that when mindfulness (sathi) and concentration (samadhi) are keenly focussed, we are able to slow down, and stop many of the consequences from the past coming to fruition. This can only come about with right effort (samma vayama) to stop yourself deteriorating in skill and morality. So, take some time to consider “your moments” and every second that is passing by. Are you aware of the consequences of what has passed by? Have you done the things you were supposed to have done (kusal/wholesome), or do you still allow life to carry on meandering, and postpone all the duties & commitments for a future certainty? Consider, and act wisely.

Enjoy the realisation and the consideration in your meditation.