This day, stay in the present

File:Huangshan, China (YELLOW MOUNTAIN-LANDSCAPE) VIII (1061671042).jpg

Staying solidly rooted in the here and now, and in the body, like a mountain, and not in the storylines in our heads about our life and about others:

When you look at experience directly, it’s obvious that all we are or have is happening right now. Our memories happen now, and the results of what we’ve been involved with happen now. Our project scenarios for the future happen now and our actions –  whose consequences may happen in the future –  happen now. Furthermore, our awareness of this state of affairs, feelings about and responses to all that – happen now.

And yet there is a current in the mind that creates a felt identity who was, is and will be. Rolling on its surface are worries and expectations about what I will be, regret about what I was. An idea may form: “Having been this, surely I deserve to become that”;  or its negative form ” I’ve never been this, so I’ll never become one of those”. There’s a lot of drama and suffering and stress in this flood….

Since I only have pictures of what I was, and stories of what I might or will be, can I be clear as to who I am now?

When we give full attention to the present – in the focus that should surely give us the clearest,  most stable impression of who we are – we find that the images break up, like reflections in a stream poked with a finger. And as those images break up, all the weight, the need, the anxiety, suddenly sinks with no footing.

Ajahn Sucitto, Parami: Ways to Cross Life’s Floods

photo chi king

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