Is Present Moment Attention Meditation?

K: “Meditation is total attention to whatever you are doing throughout the day. If you are putting on your tie, attend to it. If you are talking to somebody, pay complete attention. In attention, there is no centre as the ‘me’. Only when there is no attention, there is the formation and the structure of the self, from which all sorrow, pain and division arise. So meditation is this sense of total absence of the self. And when there is that attention, the mind becomes completely quiet, silent, without any pressure. That which is silent has vast space. Only then that which is nameless comes into being.”


With my own words here is my understating of this passage:

Attention is vast and spreads like space; in attention mind’s psychological time (clock) ceases; in the space of attention, any action is meditation.

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So total, complete, attention is not something I do, but what happens when I am not involved?

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This quote is very clear - when we are fully attentive the “me” is not there. I like how K points out that this can be at any point during the day, during any activity. It may seem strange that meditation can take place in, say, a supermarket while one is doing the shopping, but that is what K is saying, is he not?

Thanks for posting the quote DeNiro.

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The statement is clear, but how one knows when “the “me” is not there” is not clear.

Who/what knows when I is not present? Ordinarily, it seems I am always present, so awareness seems inseparable from I; it’s my awareness. When/if I am not present and awareness is not mine but just awareness, I can’t know I’m absent without the memory that verifies it.

I can’t say I was not present when attention was complete if I have no memory of this event, so for I to realize I have no actual existence is to be so derelict in my duty (to be in control) that the preponderence of evidence (memory) proves that I am nothing but the will to be in control and my abject failure to do so.

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you raise a valid question…

If the “old me and the old memory” are absent in attention, then what/who remembers, or what/who comes out of this space of attention to talk to the “me”: “you and your memory were not there !!”

PS: I would look at the nature of memory and of the me…. I don’t know …! I don’t know …! I can’t speculate.

So maybe a good question would be :

  • What quality is in attention which has the capacity of “recognition” of the absence of the “me”, but which is not added to the cumulative memory of the me, so familiar to us? It is a recognition that is lived fully, without remainder, which sees its own fullness, or alloness ( sees it is not “mixed” with anything other then it self.)
    —- A recognition which is not memory —-
    ( self recognition?)

( Maybe others can reformulate this question in a better English …)

I don’t think memory is conditioned. That is, whatever happens is recorded, and if there is no denying or suppressing memories that don’t support the illusion of I, memory may be the only way of knowing that I was not present at the time.

What I’m suggesting is that memory can’t be conditioned - it can only be distorted, denied, or suppressed - so if one is honest enough about one’s memories, there is abundant evidence that I is an imposition, a practice (how ever unconscious or conscious) that memory provides evidence of when awareness does not.

I need to dive into this …”memory is not conditioned”

PS - interestingly, I was about to respond to a topic which has zero replies - “can facts be challenged ?” - and your post just came to challenge what I thought it is a fact …


You say : “What I’m suggesting is that memory can’t be conditioned - it can only be distorted, denied, or suppressed -…”

So, Inquiry, let’s say the above statement is correct, in which case, we say that the brain records an event, in the absence of the “me”, or the “I”. Then, the “I” comes later and overwrites the recording and generates new memories, which we call images.
Brain and senses are unconditioned, and the “I” can not affect them ? And images are not part of the brain or memory ?

The brain is conditioned to distort perception so as to support the illusion of I, me, mine.

Are we aware of when we are giving complete attention to something or someone? Do we actually ever do this?

How would I know when I am not present?

I have no idea but that’s not what I asked. Are you aware of the level of attention you are giving something or someone?

So, Inquiry, you say in 2 separate and succesive posts:

  1. the mind is not conditioned - post #1
  2. the brain is conditioned - post #2

I am not saying anything about their validity, I am just making sure we agree on these 2 starting assumptions for me, and facts for you (maybe?).

Did I get these 2 statements of yours, rightly ?

It’s implied when you ask if we’re aware of “giving complete attention to something or someone”. How would I know if my attention is complete if complete attention is when I am not present?

You’ve misquoted me. What I said was, “I don’t think memory is conditioned”, and I went on to say that a memory can be corrupted, distorted by one’s conditioning. Your misquote is an example of finding what I want by distorting what I find.

That’s right, Inquiry !
I did misquote you !

So the 2 statements of yours are:

  1. “I don’t think memory is conditioned - memory can be corrupted, distorted by one’s conditioning. “
  2. “the brain is conditioned “

Are these now correct ?

Now, in the above scenario :

  1. the “me” is the agent that corrupts and distorts memory, yet this “me” agent lives outside memory. Memory being not conditioned it can’t be the birth place or home of the “me”.
  2. Is the “me” in the brain then ?

Are these logical ?


I’m not saying that memory is accurate before it’s distorted, but that for all I know, it may be.

Sorry - I edited my post - see above :point_up_2:t2: