Where we live

Where we live is now, this moment. There is no getting away from it, by all appearances. Memories are events in present consciousness that represent things we once experienced: they have no more vital connection to time past than an artist’s sketch does to its subject. Similarly plans and worries are merely mental representations of imagined futures: they may affect how we react to events in the future, but we cannot know what those events will be till they happen.

So much of our lives are lived among these dreams, and yet they take place now, not in the remembered past nor in the imagined future. All our practice takes place now, as well, and its purpose is to stay still in now. There are sounds from the street, the gulls overhead, the thoughts that represent things, and the ones that don’t – they come and then pass There is nothing else to do, no other place to go. Just sitting still is all – nothing is outside now.

“If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?” – Eihei Dōgen

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