We may learn from the past, we may plan for the future, but the only way to attain a state of equanimity is to be in the now, to be with the changing truth of the moment.
On Monday night I went to a yoga class where the teacher read out a wonderful story about being in the now. The story is from the book ‘Fire of Love’ by Aadil Palkhivala, and I would very much like to share that story with you as I thought it is a brilliant example of the benefits of living in the now.
“Years ago, my daughter, Zenia, studied with a traditional piano teacher. The unspoken message in those lessons was: “You are not proficient, and that is why you are frustrated and miserable. Practice hard and long and then, someday, you will be able to play the piano.” Zenia was constantly in the future, trying to live so far beyond her present level of truth that she cried after each lesson, and eventually gave up playing the piano. We waited for a year, until the pain of the experience had passed, then found another teacher, Akiko. Akiko’s approach has been: “Be truthful to the moment. Enjoy the music you can create right now. Make it your own.” As soon as Zenia realized that she did not have to be in the future but that she could enjoy playing exactly as she was able to play now, her love for the piano blossomed. She began practicing incessantly, with us having to remind her to go to bed. Why? She had entered the truth of the moment. She plays what she is able to play, not what she must play under threat of humiliation. She plays because she lives in truth rather than in anticipation or frustration.
The truth is only available now. Cultivating the ability to realize and embody the truth of this unique moment is the foundation of yoga.”
Excerpt from Fire of Love.
Apply this thinking to your everyday, and you will cultivate happiness because you can enjoy everything you do. It is a choice we make in every moment of every day. I hope you take this with you into the weekend, remember that it takes practice, but to practice living in the now is worth the loss of worry about the past and the future.
Hanri & Banjo