Possibly More Suitable Translations of Popular Pali Words

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Thanks, Bhante @sujato for responding! I find this commentary of mindfulness helpful because my understanding is that sati is somehow related to memory and awareness. Contemplating this definitely helped my meditation recently.

Very interesting! I found that recently helpful, too, because it shed some light on the fact that perhaps much of my thoughts about time are just that – thoughts. On the other hand, isn’t there at least one sutta where the Buddha talks about the drawbacks of thinking about the past and the future? If so, perhaps it could be argued that he’s implying the present?

Thanks again, Bhante, for taking the time to respond.


It’s not that there’s no concept of “present”, there certainly is. But that’s not the same as “present moment” …


The bhaddekaratta sutta? MN131

“Yes, sir,” they replied. The Buddha said this:

“Don’t run back to the past,
don’t hope for the future.
What’s past is left behind;
the future has not arrived;

and phenomena in the present
are clearly seen in every case.
Knowing this, foster it—
unfaltering, unshakable.

Today’s the day to keenly work—
who knows, tomorrow may bring death!
For there is no bargain to be struck
with Death and his mighty hordes.

The peaceful sage explained it’s those
who keenly meditate like this,
tireless all night and day,
who truly have that one fine night.


Thanks! This is the sutta I was trying to recall.


Thanks, Bhante. I think I see what you mean. It sounds like adding “moment” to present is the issue.