Thought for the day, Tuesday 2nd August

From Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart by Ram Dass,

“If somebody asks me, “Ram Dass, are you happy?” I stop and look inside. “Yes, I’m happy.” “Ram Dass, are you sad?” “Yes, I’m sad.” Answering those questions, I realize that all of those feelings are present. Imagine the richness of a moment in which everything is present: the pain of a broken heart, the joy of a new mother holding her baby, the exquisiteness of a rose in bloom, the grief of losing a loved one. This moment has all of that. It is just living truth.  

The saving grace is being able to witness suffering from the perspective of the soul. Another way to say it is that the saving grace is having faith. Living in the fullness of the moment with joy and suffering, witnessing it in all its perfection, our hearts still go out to those who are suffering.  

If we live in the moment, we are not in time. If you think, “I’m a retired person. I’ve retired from my role,” you are looking back at your life. It’s retrospective; it’s life in the rearview mirror. If you’re young, you might be thinking, “I have my whole life ahead of me. This is what I’ll do later.” That kind of thinking is called time binding. It causes us to focus on the past or the future and to worry about what comes next.  

Getting caught up in memories of the past or worrying about the future is a form of self-imposed suffering. Either retirement or youth can be seen as moving on, a time for something different, something new. Start fresh. It’s a new moment. Aging is not a culmination. Youth isn’t preparation for later. This isn’t the end of the line or the beginning. Now isn’t a time to look back or plan ahead. It’s time to just be present. The present is timeless. Being in the moment, just being here with what is, is ageless, eternal.”

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