Q58. Now I try to live at the present moment, trying not to think of the past or the future. Am I right?

A. Don’t try to live at the present moment. You can’t but live at the present moment. There is no one who doesn’t live at the present moment. Whether you think of the past or the future, your doing is happening at the present moment. If not thinking of the past or the future increases our happiness, why do schools teach history to students, and why do many people try to make correct forecasts about the future?

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If you do want to live at the present moment, break away the present moment. As long as you are attached to the present moment, you can’t escape from the past and the future since the present moment exists based on the past and the future. How could the present moment exist without the past and the future? The moment you break the present moment, the past and the future will disappear as well. Only then can you be said to live at the present moment. ‘Live at the present moment’, referred to as ‘Live here now’ in Zen, is to live out of the illusions of time and place and not to be attached to the present moment.

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway.

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