Living in the Present

Today marks a very important moment. It is a day to thank Diana Kaplan for her wonderful service to our organization for the past three years. It is the day she is leaving us for other rewarding endeavors. No matter what, Diana welcomes with a smile. Her warmth and generous spirit will be missed. Thank you Di for all you have done for us.

There is a term called an “epipha-sight.”  You won’t find it in the dictionary. If it found its way there, it would be right between the words epiphany and insight. It is defined by its originator, Ari Hoffman, as more than an insight but not quite an epiphany.  Over the semester break I had one of them. The epipha-sight is about living in the present moment.

In Questions to a Zen Master, Taisen Deshimaru explains that, “If you are not happy here and now, you never will be.” That always seemed to me to be an extreme statement and it seemed to leave little room for a sad or depressed or angry moment, hour or few days.  So I was mediating on the meaning of the Zen Master’s words and just let go of the word happy and I heard it say: “If you are not here and now, you never will be.”

Raising children is a very here and now experience and yet there is always a tendency to project into the future. So as I was looking into Eva and Isabel’s faces it became clear, “I am here and now with you—this is not preparation for anything or anticipation of milestones to be reached—I am caring and loving you and that is happiness.” It was and is a moment of liberation of my thought, an epipha-sight that the next moment and the next moment are lived fully by being in the here and now.

As the Broncos’ Thomas galloped into the end zone I heard, in the midst jubilation, a steady stream of: “And now we are going to get crushed by the Patriots.”  It is our tendency to not be here and now. And when we aren’t, we lose the opportunity to be happy—what a pass and what a gallop. Next week is another game, another present moment.  There will be plenty of diaper changes between now and then.

Happily,

Here. Now.

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