One of the challenges of my life is that I tend to spend my thought time in the past or the future. Millions of self help books (including the Rule of Life book I am writing!) will encourage being mindful of one’s thoughts; and our Buddhist brethren have a lot to teach us about practicing that great skill.
As a member of the planetary aristocracy we call “the west” I spend most of my time tending to my possessions, regretting not having past possessions, imagining owning future possessions, envying the possessions of others and working hard to earn the money for the possessions I now or will soon own (I have seen a wok on line I covet mightily) or building a reputation which will bring me to the next job which will bring me more money and more possessions. This admission does not make me worldly nor does it make me shallow or materialistic. It makes me honest – at least with myself and some readers.
What I love about my black lab Kai is that he remains always in the present moment and is always focused on what is true. For Kai, this river in Colorado, this stick recently rescued from its watery pathway, this man to which he is heading with assurance that the stick will be thrown back into the river for another 4 minutes of bliss – these are true because they are now.
All we have is this moment. My challenge is to live it by plucking the weeds of nostalgia and fantasy so that the fruit of truth can be born. What things I have mean nothing. They will all too soon be in yard sales and the homes of my family when my body gives up its spirit. My job and reputation are just how I pay for my life-bills – they are not my life. My life is my ability to stay in truth, within the present moment. My dog Kai models that for me.