Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Only This Moment

It happened last night, while walking the dog with Prad. Right by the big house at the corner, across from the park. In the darkness, came the sudden realization that life is only made of moments, that's it, and in the heart, a great sense of urgency, to live life well, and to not waste a single second. Of course, I have known this for a long time. In my head. This time was different. 
Only one single moment exists, and that's the present one. The future is a figment of the imagination. When the future really happens, it becomes the present. The future never turns out the way we imagined because the person who imagined it and the person who experiences it aren't the same. Projecting into the future and delving into the past are both waste of time. The past is irrevocably gone. If we have done anything wrong in the past, we should learn from it so as to not repeat it - that's the only worthwhile remembrance to pursue. The past is quickly dealt with and just as profitably dropped.
This particular moment is the only one we can experience. When we have a whole day before us, it's like a whole lifetime. In the morning we are newly born, fresh and bright, and during that day we lie a whole life with all kinds of emotions - like, dislike, worry, disturbance, fear, anxiety, acceptance, tolerance, patience, love, compassion. They all happen in one and the same day, and if we don't make an effort also in that same day, we've wasted precious time. If this becomes habitual, we're liable to waste a good human life.
This realization comes on top of increasingly acute awareness of the "I" problem in day to day life. Examining thoughts, and emotions as they arise has made this plainly clear. Not that I am done with the "I", far from it. Fifty some years of habits don't get undone overnight! It's a process.
When we become aware how often the "I" gets in the way of our happiness, we will very likely become disenchanted with it and see that it is really not worth having around. This "I" is constantly creating thoughts and emotions which disturb our inner peacefulness. 
Disenchantment with the "I" is the first step toward letting go of our identifications and is bound up with effort. Even the effort itself is already a step in that direction. Whenever we give ourselves wholeheartedly to any wholesome action, the "I" shrinks.
Both quotes from Ayya Khema, in Be an Island.

Do you have any such ah, ah! moments? Please share . . .


  1. I was on a retreat, scrubbing my feet with just water, and as I saw the water get milky and part of 'I' washed away ... ah! was it 'I' that got washed away, is the whole body of same nature!

    I saw a dream - I was in a balcony and watching over the sea, in a flip second the sea changed to neighbors underneath, ah! Change, what to trust, my eyes?

    After attending one of Gil Fronsdal's online series on 'Concentration' I went into the TV room, I 'saw' the moving pictures, aware of the 'changing' and then I felt as if I could breathe in more, and ... and ah! mind lets go of 'craving', more at ease
    (I have had a difficult day, consumed by craving)

    ... numerous incidents, sharpening the perspective, breaking down my sense of 'I', 'change' brings the realisation of impermanence… non-self, protection one feels in being at ease, in not wanting

  2. Thank you for sharing, Pooja.

    Thank you for attempting to share in words what cannot be articulated often.

    And may you be filled with loving kindness.

  3. yeah it is kind of difficult to express, isn't it?

    Much lv