When we encounter things during the day, they can frequently spark off a rush of thoughts and emotions. Or sometimes even deeper reflections upon the direction we are going or how we have gotten to this point. Occasionally these are useful but at other times they can easily lead into self-judgment and doubt. Most of our daily practice is just staying with the awareness of how things are now, in this moment, and not the thoughts about this moment. And it is still the same practice if strong emotions have been triggered automatically – often before we can even notice – by some of the things we meet. So, instead of going too far into the thoughts provoked, we try to stay with the sensations in the body, holding a space around them. Staying with what is here, not thinking ourselves into what is not here.
Who was the first man to see the moon on the river bank? In what year did the moon first shine on man?
Human lives ceaselessly come and go, generation after generation, but the moon and the river stay constant year after year.
I don’t know who the moon and the river are waiting for, I only see the waters of the Yangtze flowing away.
Zhnag Ruoxu, Tang Dynasty poet.