Within life’s rich tapestry, we often find ourselves caught between two elusive realms—the past and the future. As the celebrated German Buddhist nun Ayya Khema eloquently reminds us in her thought-provoking invitation to embark on a journey of mindfulness, Being Nobody, Going Nowhere: Meditations on the Buddhist Path (1987,) our path is a quest for the present moment.
One of our human absurdities is the fact that we’re constantly thinking about either the future or the past. Those who are young think of the future because they’ve got more of it. Those who are older think more about the past because, for them, there is more of it. But in order to experience life, we have to live each moment. Life has not been happening in the past. That’s memory. Life is not going to happen in the future. That’s planning. The only time we can live is now, this moment, and absurd as it may seem, we’ve got to learn that. As human beings with life spans of sixty, seventy, or eighty years, we have to learn to actually experience living in the present. When we have learned that, we will have eliminated a great many of our problems.
Life is a fleeting current, and it manifests not in the echoes of yesteryears, nor in the dreams of morrows yet to come.
The essence of life, the only fragment of existence we can lay claim to, resides in this very moment—the now.
Let’s embrace this moment fully. Let’s resolve to breathe, to cherish, and to be truly present, for each moment is a precious gem, unique and irreplaceable, for once it slips into the past, it becomes but a memory.
Live each moment.