How to live in the intense present?
“Udayji, I am a subscriber of your WhatsApp broadcast. I have a simple question. How to live practically in the present? Every other ‘wise guy’ tells us to live in the present and talk about the power of the NOW. For me, it is almost impossible. You focus more on logic and rationale rather than impractical profound philosophy. That’s why I am asking you…” a message from Sunny Singh in UAE.
I really do not understand profound philosophies or what most masters say. So I prefer a small known river rather than an unknown vast ocean. I can share only what I know.
“The simple explanation of the ‘Life’ is the time between the date of birth (DoB) and date of death (DoD). We know our DoB. But we won’t know our DoD. However, we can make some assumptions to mathematically derive a conclusion though variables can play a major role. For instance, take an average of your parents and their siblings’ life expectancy, sans any virus attack or accidents. Deduce some time from the average if your stress levels and high and you lead a sedentary lifestyle. The figure you would arrive at could give you a bandwidth of your life expectancy. Yes, unseen variables play a major role along with your genetics. But for the sake of a calculation please do that…”
After some time Sunny said: “Udayji, I guess I can expect to live up to 65-70, going by those assumptions..”
“Ok, let’s discount all goodies and fix it at 70. What’s your age now?”
“I am 44”
“Ah, so you have 26 more years to go. What do you want to do within these 26 years? Work accordingly.”
“Oh God, I have never thought of my DoB. This makes me anxious…”
“Shatha Ayushman Bhava! (long live). Don’t be anxious. This is just for an estimation. The first point is that you’ve only 26 years to live. That means you’ve 13,674,960 more minutes to live. if you think even one minute about your past, you reduce it from the total, because you’re just wasting those minutes too…”
“I don’t understand.”
“The past is gone forever. You might have don done good or bad things. Many things to be proud of or feel ashamed of. But there is no point in thinking about it – if you think even one minute about your past, you’re just losing those minutes. It won’t help you anyways as you cannot change your past. Past only has a reference value, nothing else. We go to the library and read a book when we need some info, but we won’t carry the entire library in our head, right? Similarly, keep the past just as a library.”
“That’s an easy part to understand. But what about the future Udayji, isn’t it worrying you?”
“Does worrying help me? No. Usually, DoD is the major worry for all. I see equal chances of sudden death as well as bed-ridden death. That’s not in my hand, though I try to avoid the second way of death by doing minimal needed body activities. I heard many people say, “I don’t want to be a burden for others. I don’t want to be bedridden.” Alas, that’s not in your hand. So there is no point in worrying about it. Clear? So, I stopped worrying about the future.”
“Are you not afraid of death?”
“When I get up in the morning, the first thought is, “Oh God, I am still living. I can see and I can hear! My all senses are working. Great going. That also means I have got more time to do what I want because I am not yet dead!”
“What about children? Don’t we have Dharma towards children?”
“According to our Dharma, children have to earn and learn. So teach them to work hard, earn and learn. A butterfly’s struggle against the cocoon to gain strength and fill its wings with blood. It is the struggle that made it stronger and beautiful. If you don’t let your children struggle and come out successful, please pamper them, provide them with comforts and luxury, then worry. A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings. If you have brought up your children like that, you don’t have to worry.”
“Ah, you wrote about this earlier. Prepare children to live in your absence too. Good one. Now about my wife? What will happen to her after my death?”
“Nothing! She might mourn for some time and then move along with life. Your thought comes from the conditioning that females need to be protected and they are not able to take care of themselves. What will you do after your wife’s death? You should ask her to do the same after your death. You need to take care of your spouse and share life as long as you live. Remember, after death, you don’t have a spouse or children. You are nothing then.”
“Bitter basic truths of life! The truth that we don’t want to acknowledge…”
“Yup, when you understand that, you will start living in the present. To begin with, just look around and see the beauty everywhere. Tomorrow you might lose your eye-sight, so enjoy the beauty of nature around you..”
“You’re blunt Udayji. How do you manage it?”
“I believe we don’t have to convince others of anything about us. I don’t have to worry about what others think or say about me. I don’t need conduct, or character certificate from others. I do what I want and share my remaining moments for caring for others as my Seva, which is a give-back to the existence. So, I don’t want anything from others. That makes me happy. Your purpose is to live your life happily, but without hurting others (if possible care and share others), that’s all. That’s the best thing you can do for the remaining minutes in life! “
No amount of regretting can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future. Every moment is precious in our life. Use those moments to become happy and peaceful. Let’s avoid unnecessary complications. When you live in the present, you’d love everything around you.
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