NEW MOON – Now and the Future

Live your life well in accord with Dhamma –
avoid a life of distraction.
A life well-lived leads to contentment,
both now and in the future.

Dhammapada 169

Probably most of us have benefited from the encouragement given by our spiritual teachers to pay attention to the ‘here-and-now’. The way we apply this teaching, however, makes a big difference. For instance, clinging to it as an ideal and not really applying it moment to moment can lead to naivety. Such naivety sometimes even parades as spirituality. A wise way of relating to this teaching by the Buddha would be to remember to not-cling, even to great ideals like this one. And to contemplate clearly, with sensitive awareness, how paying attention to ‘here-and-now’, directly contributes to well-being in the future. It is not that we should blind ourselves to considerations of the future; rather to reflect on how our conduct in this moment affects our experience of the future.

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