I heard that when we settle our mind and focus in one thing, if we meditate we can go to Nirvana. In Buddha's time and many centuries after, people went to nirvana. So my question is, is it possible in this present time if we do all of these things: is it possible go to Nirvana?
I heard that when we settle our mind and focus in one thing, if we meditate we can go to Nirvana.
Its much more deeper than this. To put some context to this you can settle your mind in many ways by calming your mind doing breathing exercises, listening to music or many other forms of meditation. This is not what budha's way of calming your mind to go to nirwana. Only way of meditation mentioned in budhism is Anna Pana Sathi (Assa Passa Bawana) Meditation
What it means is focusing on your current thoughts. If good thoughts come to your mind keep them and refrain from bringing in bad thoughts inside. Also create good thoughts in your mind and remove existing bad habits from inside. This is Anna Pana (Anna pana is not a breathing exercise nor focusing on breathing)
In Buddha's time and many centuries after, people went to nirvana. So my question is, is it possible in this present time if we do all of these things: is it possible go to Nirvana?
When you do Anna pana sathi you have to do it in the present moment. For example if a bad thought (Moha, Raga, Dewesha) come to your mind few mins earlier you can't clean that using Anna Pana meditation. You can only clean current thoughts not past ones. So that's why budha said Nirwana is at the current moment.
Person who do Anna Pana meditation are capable of Removing Raga Attachments, Moha Attachments, Dwesha Attachments at current moment. You can remove all three with practice of Anna Pana meditation. Any of these could come at any order in a given moment.
Raga - getting attached to something because you like it
Dwesha - getting angry or hate something because you don't like it
Moha - Because you don't know of the truth you measure things between good or bad
Ex: You go to a restaurant and eat a peace of cake which is the best cake you had ever tried. at that (Current) moment you get Raga thoughts and mind get attached to this thinking this is the best. This thought gets stored in your mind how awesome is this cake.
after few months later your mind provide the picture of the cake and all those thoughts stored in your mind suddenly comes to you. again you get attached to that thought in current moment thinking about how awesome was that cake. You picture it taste it from mind.
Next day you go to the same restaurant and order the same cake. But you realize its not the same taste. You get bit of anger at that moment (this is Dwesha) thinking why is it bad today
Then on the very next moment with moha mind you compare the old cake with new cake thinking how awesome was that and how bad is this. It is the same cake same cook same restraunt but different taste but you got attached Raga Dwesha Moha mind.
For a person who had become enlighten minds at those moments are different He eats the cake at the current moment notice it is a tasty cake and that's it. He doesn't get attached to it (he doesn't fantasize about the cake with Raga) therefore for him story ended at that moment and moments to come.
One of the qualities of the teaching is "Akalika" which means "Timeless". Lord Buddha directly said that the teaching is fruitful regardless of the time it is practiced in. So there is nothing stopping you or anyone from realizing the teaching.
Nirvana is not a place like "Heaven" mentioned in other religions. It is a state of mind. As long as true words of lord Buddha exists,the path is open.
As a beginner to the path do not worry about the end you are trying to reach. Keep practicing so that one day you would reach the destination.
Here are few links for you to expand your knowledge...
This Dhamma is not sterile. The Dhamma is alive. The Dhamma has the quality of “Akalika” (not belonging to time). So for those who walk this Noble Eightfold Path in an orderly manner, it is still possible to attain Nirvana.
Having said that I have to now say that it is much harder for a person to realise Nirvana (Nibbana) in the present day. It is because the protective fence that was there in the first 1000 years is not there anymore. Today the world is influenced to a greater degree by Asura Forces.
In Samyutta Nikáya Sutta 16.13, the Supreme Buddha warned that the true Dhamma would remain unadulterated for 500 years after his passing into Nibbána. It is not so today. Today, the Supreme Buddha’s teachings are referred to as Tipitaka (The Three Baskets of Treasuries), although they were called "Dhamma-Vinaya" by the Supreme Buddha in the discourses. In Anguttara Nikáya Sutta 4.180, the Buddha refers to Dhamma as the Suttas (discourses). Vinaya is the disciplinary code of monks and nuns. In the Nikáyas, it is also implied that the Suttas are "Saddhamma" which means "true Dhamma". (to be continued....)
I mentioned that the Suttas are "Saddhamma" which means "true Dhamma" - not my words but that of the Supreme Buddha. I left it at that for a couple of days expecting a reprisal. Today one has to be ‘politically correct’ in what one say and do in public. The present-day attitudes are very much a product of the rapid development of science and technology. What the Buddha has said is patisotagami or against the current of conventional thinking. Buddha knew this well. That is why He said,
“Dear Bhikkhus, ones who would not realize this Dhamma is like this earth (in amount). Ones who realize this is like this small amount of soil on my finger nail.”
Only if we develop two important attitudes that strengthen skillful desires: a sense of dismay (samvega) over the universality of suffering that we tend to see as otherwise, and an attitude of heedfulness (appamada) to avoid being duped by types of desires that come our way, that we will have a sense of urgency towards the practice of Dhamma, then ‘Nirvana’ is not that far.
Many a times Buddha had said things to induce samvega:
“Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries—enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released.” — SN 15:14-19
According to the Buddha’s preaching, amount of people who would NOT attain enlightenment is like the amount of soil in this earth. Amount of people who would attain the enlightenment will be like the small amount of soil one can put on a finger nail.