April 20

I live now and only now, and
I will do what I want to do this
moment and not what I decided
was best for me yesterday.

Hugh Prather


Today's Meditation:

Hugh is restating something that others have said many, many times; many are familiar with Emerson's words that tell us to "Speak what you think now in hard words and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day."

The simple fact is that yesterday, we didn't know as much as we know today.  In this particular moment, we are farther along with our lives than we ever have been before, and what we thought to be right yesterday isn't necessarily right today.  Something that I had planned to say to someone else might be more damaging than I had thought; something that I had planned to do might be less helpful than it had seemed.  There's nothing wrong with changing our minds and allowing ourselves to live in the right now, and listening to the cues and hints that the right now is giving to us.

Emerson also said that "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."  In other words, it isn't a good thing to continue to do the same things we would have done yesterday just because they are the same things.  Right now calls for right now's actions, right now's words, right now's living, and only if we enter this moment with an open mind and an open heart will we see what we need to see, do what we need to do, or feel what we need to feel.

It really is quite a liberating thought, allowing the present moment to let us know what is demanded of us, right here and right now.  Such a thought allows us to let go of artificial rules and attitudes that probably won't serve us very well today at all, since yesterday's rules were considered in yesterday's world, and since then everyone and everything has changed and has grown older.  If we're truly to live in the present, we must recognize that the present has its very own sets of rules, and the best thing that we can do for ourselves and for the others in our lives is to do our best to recognize what's best for right now, and then do it.  And if we're wrong, then we can learn new lessons on this new day!

Questions to consider:

Why do so many of us feel that each day goes by the same rules as the other days?  Why do so many of us seem to want this to be the case?

How do we follow Hugh's advice to do "what we want to do this moment" instead of what we've always felt we should do?

What is the present moment calling on you to do?

For further thought:

Only one person in a thousand knows the trick
of really living in the present.  Most of us spend
fifty-nine minutes an hour living in the past,
with regret for lost joys or shame for things badly
done (both utterly useless and weakening) or in
a future which we either long for or dread. . . .
There is only one minute in which you are
alive, this minute, here and now.  The only way
to live is by accepting each minute as an
unrepeatable miracle.  Which is exactly what
it isa miracle and unrepeatable.

Storm Jameson


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