"It's amazing how much 'mature wisdom' resembles being too tired." --Robert Heinlein

The Church of Reality




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Insights from Lost & Found

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Living in the Moment

(I wrote this on January 10, 2003)

As y'all know, every so often a Buddhist insight comes crashing through my head ... here's today's, about "living in the moment":

A few times recently I've heard or read a friend saying, "I need to try to live in the moment more often," as though it were a New Year's resolution sorta thing, like going on a diet.

Well ... you are already living in the moment. You don't have to "try" living in the moment, it happens anyway. All you have is this present moment, whether you like it or not. If you are thinking about tomorrow, you are ... surprise! ... still living in the moment. If you are thinking about yesterday, you are still living in the moment! The moment doesn't go away. You don't go away. You are stuck here.

So, meditation practice is not about trying to live in the moment. Meditation practice is about realizing that you are stuck living in the moment. Realizing that this present moment is all you really have. Realizing that when you think about tomorrow or yesterday, you are simply distracting yourself from the present with fantasies and selective memories.

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