How staying in the present moment(here and now) is different from awareness and mindfulness, and what according to you is better?

  • it could be helpful if Asker could expand in detail the specific meanings intended to be implied by the terms, since there can be varied meanings encountered. thank you :)
    – M H
    Oct 22, 2020 at 20:06

3 Answers 3


which is better staying in present moment or being aware?

To counterpose such sentences they should have particular definitions.

I think that "staying in the present moment" is used as a synonym to "being aware", because minds of people usually aren't collected, i.e. they are scattered, distracted. They tend to be involved in repetitive thoughts about past mistakes or joys, future plans, anticipations and fears, etc.

For example, when you are eating, you are in scattered thoughts rather than here; when you are walking, you want to be at the destination already. So the physical body is walking, but mentally you are not quite here.

Perhaps it isn't compatible with living truly happily, because if you want to be happy (or to be in nirvana), it would mean you would be living through this very moment, with satisfaction. Otherwise you just waste the time of your life, throwing moment after moment away.

In nirvana you would use — live through — every moment with complete dedication, completeness; not escaping the present into thoughts, daydreaming etc.

Thus focus on this real perception, let your mind be collected: that's a starting point for actual awareness and mindfulness. That's re-educating your mind, pulling it back from habits of being unaware or half-aware.

  • 1
    Welcome back! We missed you /|\ - please stay and post more answers.
    – Andriy Volkov
    Oct 26, 2020 at 17:32
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    Thank you @andrei-volkov ... with knowledgeable & kind people like you and others here, there's not so much need in that. (I work in other places helping people with Dharma though).
    – chang zhao
    Oct 26, 2020 at 17:51
  • @changzhao Thank you for your answer, I followed your other answers in quora and BSE, your answers are deep, simple, and practical, I am highly impressed by your answers. I was searching for such a teacher from so long who can answer the problems in everyday life.. Please visit regularly here, we need your wisdom. Oct 29, 2020 at 14:15

Good householder "Son of liberty",

might help, once on the path section of concentration.

Being, aware, actually means eating, eating off, burning away. If that isn't done in higher spheres, then it's just eating of ones merits.

As for the place where he might be: sati, mindfulness toward ones duties in ones relation, toward Sila, toward Generosity, toward reflecting backwards.

Keeping precepts in mind, train right there, will make the further way accessible by itself (given causes).

And right concentration has right mindfulness (remembering, keeping in mind of what is kusala) as it's prerequisite.

(And pull the hands out of your trousers, and stand straight, as such is a good sign that one prefers eating off past merits over the sati of a son of liberty)

[Note that this isn't given for stacks, exchange, other world-binding trades and gains, wrong concentration, but for exit from this wheel]

  • The translation of "anupassi" as "remaining focused" in the 1st link is wrong & foolish. "Anupassi" means "to watch closely" and is a fruit of mindfulness. The definition of "mindfulness" ("keeping in mind") in the 2nd link appears reasonable. Oct 22, 2020 at 6:13
  • Wrong and foolish is to belive being smart... a common micca-sati of those bond to households an Mara. Yes, a matter of missing anupassi as focusing on gain. Maybe possible to watch closely in this regard. Oct 22, 2020 at 6:17
  • Best to not revile Noble Ones. It leads to hell. Thanissaro was wrong regarding "anupassi". The Noble Ones are correct. The Buddha said understanders & explainers of the True Dhamma in the world are rare. Oct 22, 2020 at 6:18
  • Hopless fool, lacking anupassi. Oct 22, 2020 at 6:19
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    nice answers & comments, also, if could please write with a little less complicated English style & with more plainly connected pronouns(or less usage of pronouns, eg he/ his/ one ) & determiners, and meaning of the term attation would be appreciated. thank you :)
    – M H
    Oct 22, 2020 at 10:43

In Buddhism, the official terminology is mindfulness (sati) & clear comprehenshion/ready wisdom (sampajjana).

Mindfulness means 'to remember' or 'keep in mind'. Sampajanna refers to whatever wisdom or right view is required in relation to a specific situation.

In summary, mindfulness remembers to keep sampajanna (ready/situational wisdom or clear comprehension) in the mind.

Staying in the present moment (here and now) or samadhi (concentration) can be a result of mindfulness & clear-comprehension, as described in the sutta MN 131.

Alternately, staying in the present moment without wisdom can be a type of concentration that is both wrong and short-lived. If there is no right mindfulness & clear-comprehension, concentration in the present moment cannot last long nor can develop into genuine samadhi.

  • nice answer; also, if could further expand the definitions and explanations of the terms/concepts, & also with inclusion of additional English synonyms would be appreciated. thank you :)
    – M H
    Oct 22, 2020 at 10:28

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