Awareness to present moment and Medial Temporal Lobe

Going through “The Mind Explained” on Netflix https://youtu.be/9SzZTTHbj-8 and this article about Henry Molaison - Wikipedia

It seems once you have issues with Medial Temporal Lobe, the ability to recollect memories from past and future is gone and Henry or others with damage to Temporal lobe can’t even think of past or plan for future.
Are we while doing buddhist mediation training ourselves in every moment to have all the mindfulness to present moment sounds similar to turning off medial temporal lobe not through surgery but through meditation
And wondering if doctors did brain scan of Arhants do they see Amygdala turned off for enlighted ones.

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Regardless, someone is an enlightened or not, turning off medial temporal lobe (if this really has a correction) would occur when he is in jhāna or atleast in bojjhaṅga level of samādhi (concentration).

We cannot conclude that an enlightened would not have thoughts about past or future.

satimā hoti paramena satinepakkena samannāgato cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā
the mendicant is mindful. They have utmost mindfulness and alertness, and can remember and recall what was said and done long ago.
AN 10.17

When someone is mindful he can recall his past more clearly and precisely.
Obviously, an arahant can deliver speaches and recall the past, to do that he has to use the memory. So, turning off could not be permanent.

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If it so then folks like Henry are not in Jhana all the time, they just live in present can’t think of past (after the removal) and future, that is living in here now, which is the essence of Buddhist meditation.

Eventhough, he lives in present, that doesn’t mean he has some kind of ekāggatā. Wandering of the mind could not be controlled. With this medical condition his mind may be much more unstable.

The patient cannot be considered mindful, he is more like a baby. When he doesn’t have any idea about mindfulness, how can he be mindful?

For a little baby doesn’t even have a concept of ‘a body’, so how could they possibly do a bad deed with their body, apart from just wriggling? And a little baby doesn’t even have a concept of ‘speech’, so how could they possibly speak bad words, apart from just crying? And a little baby doesn’t even have a concept of ‘thought’, so how could they possibly think bad thoughts, apart from just whimpering? And a little baby doesn’t even have a concept of ‘livelihood’, so how could they possibly earn a living by bad livelihood, apart from their mother’s breast? (MN 78)

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Agreed on for babies though mind and thoughts wander to past or future only if they don’t and you can’t think of what’s the next thing you can do, then there is no wandering everything is present moment only right. I Think Henry such people might be most adept for liberation

In my experience practising mindfulness means I can remember things more clearly, simply because I was paying attention to what was happening.
I don’t see how losing one’s memory is a positive thing. My mum had dementia, which led to massive memory loss, and that certainly wasn’t a positive experience.
What I have noticed though is how significant memory is to one’s sense of identity and continuity. Have you had the experience of waking from a deep sleep, and for a short time not being sure of who and where you are? There is a sort of brief dislocation, until the memories return.

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Not sure if I totally understand to agree here as with memory loss all our perceptions, conditioning and thoughts are gone and you live more lively in current moment , isn’t that we consciously try to do here and see things as the way they are

Sorry but I still don’t see the connection between memory loss and living in the present moment.
Memory loss is a medical condition, while living in the present moment is a practice.
It would be difficult to function with complete memory loss.

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And seen few other places if perception, formations, thoughts of former deeds you can’t remember they won’t condition future any more and you now have to only understand consciousness is impermanent

Sāriputta said: “Indeed, indeed, Ānanda, as you said: these five aggregates of clinging are the product of former deeds, of former intentions. They are impermanent and of a nature to cease. Because of their nature to cease, this is called cessation. What are the five? That is, the bodily form aggregate of clinging is the product of former deeds, of former intentions. It is impermanent and of a nature to cease. Because of its nature to cease, this is called cessation. In the same way feeling … perception … formations … consciousness is the product of former deeds, of former intentions. It is impermanent and of a nature to cease. Because of its nature to cease, this is called cessation.

MN64 explores the fallacy that simple present moment awareness is sufficient:

For a little baby doesn’t even have a concept of ‘identity’, so how could identity view possibly arise in them?
Yet the underlying tendency to identity view still lies within them.
A little baby doesn’t even have a concept of ‘teachings’, so how could doubt about the teachings possibly arise in them?
Yet the underlying tendency to doubt still lies within them.
A little baby doesn’t even have a concept of ‘precepts’, so how could misapprehension of precepts and observances possibly arise in them?
Yet the underlying tendency to misapprehension of precepts and observances still lies within them.

It’s a fallacy because of the limitation of the conventional “present moment”. Given infinite space and consciousness, the present can really only be directly known as part of a continuum that spans all time. In other words it would not just be the current minute or hour or day absent past memory or future consideration.

Going totally beyond the dimension of infinite space, aware that ‘consciousness is infinite’, they enter and remain in the dimension of infinite consciousness.

The suppression of the medial temporal lobe might enable some liberation, but would not allow one to attain the fourth liberation described above in the manner that one with normally attain such liberation.

For those who have watched Groundhog Day, it was experience remembered and transcended that allowed our hero to escape the prison of the present moment repeated painfully again and again. Without that experience remembered there would only be suffering repeated in a prison without escape. Yet even in that awful scenario, there is a measure of kindness for those so afflicted. There is at least not the torture of pain remembered, since the suppressed medial temporal lobe would have let that go.

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Absolutely agreed, and Is it right to believe if they might do anapansati and follow eight fold path they can Cruise to enlightenment very easily as we take considerable time attaining this state.

It is the grasping that arises from ignorance that is the root cause of suffering - not the presence or absence of any particular phenomena. There are no doubt things in your life that happen that provoke anger. But the absence of such an event in the current moment does not mean that you are some how liberated from anger. The potential or seed is still there just waiting for specific conditions to arise. The root cause of ignorance is still functioning and will simply grasp at other phenomena. Even though a person suffers brain damage or perhaps loss of one or more senses isn’t going to change the underlying grasping nature of mind. And when that particular body dies, another will be picked-up.

I think meditation can be helped along by choosing when and where to practice. But if you consider that even at first jhana - undirected thought is abandoned - well, what else would thoughts of past and future be? Ultimately, the mind must come into contact with the unconditioned. Personally, I think having all that stuff coming up makes the nature of the grasping mind more apparent - if we choose to investigate it. Also, it seems to me it would be very difficult to keep in mind the directions for practice or what you did in the past that helped or made things worse?

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