No matter how much we try, plan, plot, arrange, have things to do, leave the house at the same time each day, arrive at the office the same time, pick up the kids on time, we still do not know what will happen next. Each day can so easily seem the same when we follow a routine of going to work, sitting at the same desk, coming home the way we always do. Did you ever feel like it is always Monday morning as the week goes by so fast, or as if you are always brushing your teeth, as the days seem to vanish?
When we were in England, Ed was chatting with a Buddhist nun named Avis. He said, “Some day we will all die and meet up in heaven.” And Avis replied, “Yeah and we’ll look at each other and say, ‘What was that all about!’”
Normally, we spend our time either living in what-could-have-been or what-might-have-been or if-only, or in the expectation of what-could-be or what-might-be. Of course, we can learn from the past. As challenging as it may be, the most painful experience often turns out to be our best teacher, and we may feel enormous gratitude as we learned so much. However, memories can also be like comfortable old shoes we are reluctant to part with. We put them on now and then to enjoy the familiarity, but we do not have to wear them every day. Ed trained at the Bihar School of Yoga in India and one day his teacher looked at him and said, “Man’s memory is like a fools paradise!” Constantly living in either the past or the future is like being in a dream, as it limits our capacity to be in the wonder of the present, just being with what is happening now.
Although everything may appear so predictable the reality is that life changes in every instant, we just don’t notice it. We used to live next to a river and walked beside it each day. But as much as it looked like the same river, even the same water, it was constantly different as it flowed into the sea. Just as we may look the same, the cells in our body are forever being formed, growing and dying; we are continually changing as we renew ourselves in every minute.