Reprinted with permission from Wisdom Works
We are so busy preparing for some other time that what the present offers is often left unrecognised, ignored. This is of course an obvious form of ignoring. It is, however, much practised. Logic tells us, however, that the future never comes. You can’t reach out into the future and somehow pull it to you. There’s only one time for living, and life is never achieved without meeting life where it manifests.
There’s something free about spontaneity, something entirely of the moment. Of course preparation is all important, but no preparation can be done in a mechanical sort of way. Practise of that sort might make the music accurate, but it slowly kills the spirit of the thing.
Practice with attention is entirely different. It becomes a meditation. Without being overly concerned with error, the accuracy comes. The whole thing is a matter of attention. That’s when you hear the music arising out of the composer’s mind. You go to that place with him.
But as soon as your mind moves a fraction of a second away from that moment another world takes its place. The notes are a means not an end. The source of real satisfaction comes from the space beyond. It’s there you taste freedom. The two worlds touch in that moment and unite the whole thing. That can’t happen at any other time than the present moment.
This is a real musician speaking. The word music is derived from muse. The muses are the poet’s creative force. They seem to speak from the world beyond. They are in fact immediately at hand when we shake off the dream of life and meet the immediate present.
We talk about the opportune time, usually in respect of something we have long planned for, and it’s true that if we can connect with the full force of consciousness there are potent moments that will have their effect, sometimes far reaching, but in truth every moment is opportune if we awaken to its particular beauty and possibility.
Seize the moment by centering your attention on all that the moment offers, a fraction of a second away and another world takes its place, an imposed dream of life centred on a private identity. It is about this person that personal concerns for the past and future revolve. It is this individual we spend so much time promoting and protecting. His fears can be all consuming.
Apart from our essential energy, what is being consumed? A proper understanding of who we are and a delight in life being lived now. Seize the moment by being there when it happens, and serve it by offering yourself to what the moment is asking of you.
So much stress is caused by trying to force events to some preconceived end. If we find that sitting within us is an obsessive who wants to take complete control and then force things only in the way his desire dictates, beware. In getting his own way, he has a way of making us miss out on what life is actually presenting in the present moment.