A Mindful Life

The beginning of July saw the start of a mindfulness course in yoga and meditation. Each week, the group were taken through various practices in mindful movement and meditation, to help them engage more fully with their day-to-day lives. It has been a wonderful process, full of many insights. Those attending the course received a full manual to support their progress through each of the weekly sessions together with mp3 recordings of the meditations in order to maintain their home practice in between.
To help them further, they also received a weekly ‘encouragement’ email around that particular week’s theme. I’m sharing with you the mailing that was sent for ‘Week2 - Staying Present’…

The Three Times

It is essential to see that we live our lives most of the time in the three times; that's to say, the past, the present, and the future. We spend our time playing past, present, and future. Why do I suffer now? It's because of something in the past. What about what I should do in the future? Well, I should plan to do something in the future. The odd fact is that the past actually is dead. There are memories of it, but everything in the past is actually gone, and everything in the future has not yet arisen. There's only one place where you can actually be, and that is now. This needs thinking about, because it's very easy to say that's a lot of nonsense - of course there's a past, present, and
future. But actually, the only place where there is something, is-ness, is only now. How could there be anything else? Anything else is was-ness or will-be. Is-ness is only now. And you, therefore, can only be now. You cannot be in the past. That's dead. You cannot be in the future. It hasn't come. You can only be now.
From the dharma talk "Life Koans and Retreat Experience," given by John Crook on March 9, 2006, at the Chan Meditation Center in Elmhurst, NY
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