The Tao of Now

Your hand can seize today, but not tomorrow; and thoughts of your tomorrow are nothing but desire. Don’t waste this breath, if your heart isn’t crazy, since “the rest of your life” won’t last forever. Omar Khayyám

This moment will never come again because it never disappears. We live in an ever-unfolding present. With each breath and beat of our hearts, we float atop the flowing currents of here and now. I was looking back at my life recently with some measure of bittersweet melancholy. I longed to sit down beside my three darling children when they were in grade school. Tears welled-up in my eyes as I desperately tried to reach back in time. I would have given anything to be by their side again; brush their angel fine hair; cook their favorite foods; play games together; read bedtime stories and kiss them goodnight. So much life – both beautiful and terrible – has flowed under so many bridges since then. But, gratefully, I slowly came to realize – those days are still here/now, glowing brightly in my heart’s memory vault.

{Who-What-When-Where-Why we were /are/ will be} – all merge in the golden ephemeral vessel of Now. But each iteration of this moment is not predestined. Only death turns life into fate. The Tao of Now manifests in the tens of thousands of choices we make. Fortunes foretold can be changed if one releases the selfish wants that weigh down the spirit. There is beauty all around if one’s eyes are truly open to the wonders of now. The true reality – that without delusions – glows like an eternal beacon. By stepping into that positive light, one can rediscover the joys of treasured memories once again and heal the wounds of loss. Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.Albert Camus

But letting go of raw self-interest and self-indulgence is difficult for far too many people. They instead live with a limited view of life constantly projecting forward into a future of satiated self-satisfaction. Glorifying greed is not good. When is enough enough? Such an unbalanced life will eventually swing the opposite way. This is the nature of the Tao of now. Gulping, guzzling greed can never be satisfied. And so in the end, their own emptiness consumes the selfish. Surrounded by a pile of one-time treasures, the egotistical lost souls find only shadows and emptiness.

The present moment is overflowing with opportunity for the generous of heart. The chance for success increases when greed decreases. The Tao of Now responds to the sincere of heart. One opens doors to more favorable circumstances not by force but by accepting what is real. Do not yield to self-involved temptations. One must allow the twin forces of yin/yang to find equilibrium. In this way the past and future are balanced on the fulcrum of the Now. Don’t go in and hide; don’t come out and shine; stand stock-still in the middle. – Zhuangzi

We all must become more generous to the here and now. The real world passes by unnoticed if one is forever clutching onto the missing parts of the past and grabbing at the shiny bits of the future. Relish this moment and the next, Know that the spirits of those you love and who love sing and dance upon the light of your spirit. Savor the Tao of Now.

Published by cewheeler

Writer/Artist:12 years in China – univ. lecturer: writing,poetry,culture; editor – magazine/newspaper & actor. 40 years students of the Tao. Traveler. Father. Read my books at:

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