Every moment is a new beginning. Every moment is sentenced to eternal newness. Every moment is a new, unexpected, original experience. What will the new moment evoke? Who will I be in the next moment?
How surprising, fascinating and thrilling life is when experienced in this way!
No disappointments, no unfulfilled expectations: only now. Now. Now.
Every moment is new, interesting, surprising. Every moment is an encounter with the unknown, the unexpected.
Every moment is a new moment for the clear mind. What is the next word that will emerge from my lips? What is the next sentence to flow from my pen? So unexpected. So fascinating. I can make plans, but what does it have to do with reality. Reality will express itself in its own independent, creative, free way. This can be a cause of suffering or we can observe this phenomenon with curiosity and joy.
Try doing this in your next meditation sitting, if you are so inclined: sit there doing nothing, without directing your awareness to anything in particular, just sit there with a curious and interested mind: what is the next thing that will happen? What will come up? A thought? A sensation? A sound? And what will come next? And after that?…Now. Now. Now.
Also outside of formal practice I sometimes observe life with a sense of awe and curiosity: how is this complex being, this experience I call “Sandhya” about to act in the next moment. What is the next thing she will do? Where will she go, what will she say? What desire or urge will appear? What will be the next mood? How will she meet the world in the next moment – the sounds, sights, sensations, thoughts? What will the next interpersonal encounter be like?
The collection of sensations, perceptions and thoughts I call “Me,” conducts its life in an illusion of space, communicating with other "collections" of seemingly “not-me's.” What a fascinating occurrence! What will happen next? Will love appear, or perhaps anger or joy? What new surprise awaits me in the very next moment? And here the surprise has already arrived; it is right here. The dance is being danced, the experience experienced, life is expressing itself in all its splendor.
Morning. Arising. The first thought to appear, before I open my eyes, is the thought of “I.” And with that first thought – all of the various structures appear: myself and the world. Later, throughout the entire day, in each and every moment, the structures continuously reappear with each first thought, rising and then falling or dissipating as the thought disperses. And then rising once again with the next first thought.
Every thought is a first thought. Every experience is a first experience. Every moment is a new beginning. Nothing else exists. Nothing can start over because it never continued anywhere. It is happening, arising, new, fresh, unique, in this moment. And in this one. And in this one. The eternal now.
In fact, even the present is illusory. We are perched at the tip of the needle, and what we call “the present moment” is as fictitious as the geometrical point. I hardly complete the word “N-O-W” and it is already a thing of the past.
At times this process can be viewed in slow motion: the rise and fall of the seemingly internal and external structures, which in fact are not internal or external for there is no inside or outside – they appear and collapse, and with them – the world, time and myself.
These are the structures created quite laboriously by the self to create a sense of order in the world; in a sense – to create, establish and maintain this world and the self.
There are moments or segments of time when the regular and familiar structures slightly loosen their grip. In my experience this occurs mostly during retreats, although it may also happen when making love, swimming in the ocean, in a vast desert expanse or in nature, when listening to music or at times of play. In all of those moments, however frequent they may or may not be, when the regular structures collapse, what is revealed “beneath” is a timeless, space-less “moment”, an eternal beginning, infused with joy.
And then, for example, in my encounter with this tree standing here before me, with the spider calmly crawling up my leg, the green feather on the anthill, my painful behind – there is no tree, no spider, no feather. There is no behind and there is no me. There is only the wonderful dance of life, in which the structures and non-structures are merely the means through which Life expresses itself – creatively, joyously and free.