Don’t push the river

Today I will remember to live in the moment more that I usually do on any given day.  The present is what is real and it’s all we have.  The past has faded away and the future is unknowable… so I will remember to be here now.

From Karen Maezen Miller’s “Momma Zen: Walking the crooked path of motherhood, ” page 114-115.

“Don’t push the river,” my Zen teacher says to pull me back when he sees my mind wander off in search of a someday.  “Let the future come to you.”  Ready or not, it does.  It toddles forward on its first step, teeters on a threshold for one agonizing instant, then turns and waves bye-bye.  Good-bye , sweet baby; hello sweet girl.

When I occupy that instant, any instant, my heart’s fullness reminds me that here is everything and everything is here. This is how I would live if I had mastery of myself – without wasting one sideways glance at what was or what has yet to be.

I put away the clothes that night as I would again on many other nights.  My girl was a big girl, her own girl, with her own loves and her own life.  I was a spectator, but the show was splendid and I still had the best seat in the house.  If I were forever looking forward or lingering too long looking backward, I would miss too much.  I would miss it all.”


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