Friday, January 28, 2022

Seeing into the nature of past and future


A big snow storm is headed our way.  The weather folks are predicting one to two feet here in Worcester, and two to three feet east of us in Boston.  The storm is supposed to start in less than twelve hours, and already the streets and the sky and the air are quiet.  There is nothing to do but empty the compost, make sure the snow blower has enough gas, and wait.  

Of course, this is a specific example of our usual condition, as human beings.  We believe we know what will happen next, but we can only make approximate guesses, and base our actions on those guesses.  A dharma friend told me today that he had stopped, pretty much, going over events that have happened in the past, and trying to predict what will happen.  Most of his energy these days is going to being present for what's happening right now.  

Another spiritual friend said something similar to me later in the day.  She understands that what has passed has gone, and the energy it takes to keep the specifics of the past in memory is a waste of precious brain resources.  "Forget it all,"  she said.  

The past is a palace of memories, and the future is a cloudy region of fantasy.  Right here, in this moment, the air is cold and quiet.  The compost is emptied and the gas can is full.  One moment at a time, life unfolds.  We can meet it with surprise and wonder.  Happy snow day!