the past can only be remembered now

Reflecting on your day, hundreds, or thousands, of things happen. In fact each day of your life this is so. This moment, Now, is therefore only one of many, many moments.

Yet this moment, Now, is as it is. Indeed, it cannot be otherwise.

Moments of the past are merely as we recall them. Moments of the future are dreams, creations of thought. The division of moments, the division of our lives, into past, present and future is mind-made and ultimately illusory. The past can only be remembered, now. The future only imagined, now. So in essence all there is that is real, is Now.

When your attention moves into the Now, there is space, clarity, simplicity, peace. There is also an alertness.
Many people confuse Now, with what happens in the Now. But the Now is deeper than what happens in it. It is the very space in which it happens.

This moment, Now, is the one constant truth. No matter what happens, no matter what changes, one thing is certain … it is always Now.

Makes you wonder why we dwell on the past and worry for the future, doesn’t it? Wasting Now.

Don’t waste it, embrace it. Now.

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people are falling off the planet

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Walk any city in the evening and you will see people in shop doorways settling for the night. Huddling, or lying prostrate. Walk any side street or back alley and the stench of stale urine will rise to greet your nostrils.

Travel early in those cities and you will see, wrapped in sleeping bag cocoons or under piles of cardboard, those not yet risen. Some you will see with large bags or shopping trolleys to transport their worldly belongings. The lucky ones may have been left a coffee by a passer by or by a charitable agency.

Walk any city during the day and you will see an array of cardboard notices outlining each individual’s plight; some held, some lying by cap or cloth on the pavement. Or you will encounter those seeking some loose change or perhaps a spare cigarette.

This seems to me to be getting worse. More people with less. More living at the edge of humanity.

Yet, for the most part, we walk by. Perhaps increasing our pace or looking away to avoid eye contact. Maybe it’s shame? Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s security? Or maybe we simply can’t face what is happening around us?

What has gone wrong?

 

 

the power over us that is evil hair

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We have a strange relationship with hair.

We coif it. We clean it. We condition it. We cut it and shave it. We brush and comb it. We put things in it to hold shape and create effect. We run our fingers through it. We twiddle it. We caress our face and lips with it. We examine its ends. We scratch it. We spend a fortune styling it. We protect it from the rain. We comment on other people’s.

Yet, find one in the bath at a friends, or on the bathroom floor at a bed and breakfast; find one in the bed at a hotel – especially a short curly one; get a strange long one caught in your toes … and we go mental.

Yuk. Human hair!

What do we imagine? What horrors are in our thoughts? What deadly harm might arise from this strand of humanity?

Funny. But real.

 

when…

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When you look at the tall, sturdy trees steaming in the morning sunlight,
When you feel the pounding rain on your face,
When you gaze up at the ever present majestic mountains,
When you watch the sun rise or set,
When you observe the drifting clouds,
When you’re startled by the flash of lightning or its sister clap of thunder,
When you fly over an immense, never ending forest,
When the ocean pounds the beach,
When the midday sun warms your back,
When you look to the distant horizon,
When you look up at the bright, blinking stars…

you realise just how insignificant you are.

Yet,

when you think of those you love and those who love you, you realise just how significant you are.

eight lanes of human behaviour

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Sixteen lanes of human madness. Eight lane highways, thrusting themselves across the city, carrying life, human life, on their personal journeys. That’s what driving in Los Angeles introduces you to. Each vehicle driven; each driven differently, each by a different human being. And as cars move around me, I wonder about etiquette and behaviour on the motorway and how it matches our personal life view?

How do you travel life’s highway? And how does this reflect on your interaction and awareness of other human beings? What does it say about who you are?

Do you stay in your ‘usual’ lane, resolute in your direction and journey, if somewhat oblivious to those fellow human beings around you? You are in your lane, your space, your world. It’s all about you. If anyone else wants to get by, that’s their problem. Life’s a daydream.

Do you tailgate others, keen to get past, to speed on your way, to dominate the road? Do you pressure them, unnerve them, drive them out of your way? The horn works. Maybe you’re loud too? Does aggression and pressure show up in your life?

Do you change lanes without warning? No indication given. Expecting others to second guess your direction and take appropriate avoiding action? Are you unpredictable? Do you have a mind of your own, which others must simply adjust to, if they are to avoid a collision?

Do you undertake? Breaking rules to get ahead? Surprise people by coming up on the inside track? Take advantage of the spaces left by the ‘my lane’ drivers? You’ll get ahead, whatever the consequences, whatever rules need to be broken. You’re a winner, come what may.

Do you attend to other matters whilst driving? Text, call, make-up, shave? Are you easily distracted in life? Multitasking, you might call it. But perhaps struggling to focus might be a criticism from others? Trying to do too much? Often behind. Often overworked. Always seeking to catch up with the outstanding tasks? “Ooh look… a peanut in the glovebox from last week.”

Do you switch lanes regularly? Seeking an advantage over others when the going is slow or sticky? Attempting to outwit your fellow travellers; rejoicing perhaps in the small gains made? You can sniff an opportunity. One-upmanship perhaps a guiding quality.

Maybe you drive with your lights full beam? You need to see far ahead; see what the journey brings. Your desire to do so though, blinds others on life’s highway. They are left dazzled as you come up behind them, or dazzled as you charge towards them. The vision matters more to you than their ability to see it.

Or do you steadfastly follow the rules? Driving always within the law? Driving safely and without risk? Driving within your means? Measured. Predictable. Safe. Courteous to other road users, but often overlooked, missed, unnoticed.

Maybe it’s time to change your driving habits? Not just in the car.

bringing it

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We drew up to an innocuous white building and she cheerily announced “Marriage license, marriage counselling, divorce court, conveniently located in one building.” It was a dry, Southern patter.

The deuce bus took us from old downtown back to the strip, and our bus driver was livening up our journey in Las Vegas.

The bus slowed and she announced, “Next stop is the Stratosphere, where you can get lunch and then lose it again, all in one trip.” A little further on, she highlighted a nearby tourist attraction with, “Indoor sky diving anyone?” She paused, then hollared  “Chicken!”

Bringing a smile to someone’s day, however mundane yours or theirs is, is a good thing.

We like to smile and laugh. We just forget to some days.