My Zen page-a-day calendar says this:
The trouble is that you think you have time.This is another topic that has been on my mind lately. I have been in the general habit of thinking, "As soon as X happens . . . I'll be where I want to be." Or, "As soon as I do X, I'll be ready to do my life's work." Or, whatever.
~ Jack Kornfield
I'm beginning to get that if I can say, "I'll be happy when . . . ." that I am standing on the dock with my hands in my pockets and the boat is sailing away without me.
I already tend to avoid planning too much for the future (other than general intentions), and I don't really live in expectation of what tomorrow will bring, but I do tend to think that I can do whatever needs to be done tomorrow. And as we all know, there is no such thing as tomorrow.
Every day is today.
Productive people who do not like to put things off can be heard to say, "There is no time like the present." I think we need to revise that a little bit, to say, "There is no time BUT the present."
When I sit on the cushion and watch my breath, there is only now. But my mind will try to wander off into the past and relive some perceived injustice, or begin to worry about something, or whatever. Ego likes time because it keeps me out of the present moment, a place in which ego immediately recedes. So as I bring my attention back to the breath, over and over again, I return over and over again to now and ego fades away.
Ego likes to manage time in the macro world, too, because it keeps me distracted with goals and cravings and desires, none of which serve me in being present to my life. But I need ego to get anything accomplished -- the brutal truth so many New Age folks miss.
My particular ego likes to put things off until tomorrow so that it can chase its cravings today. Whether those cravings are food, prestige, pleasure, or whatever, they do not serve me in serving Spirit.
I'm not sure where to go with this, other than to keep working on being present in my daily life. But I do know that I can no longer live my life with the intention that I'll start REALLY living when . . . .
There is only one time that is important-NOW!! It is the most important time because it is the only time that we have any power.
~ Leo Tolstoy