Photo © Mark Standen
Photo © Mark Standen

You shouldn’t chase after the past
or pin your hopes on the future.
What is past
                   is left behind.
The future
                   hasn’t yet arrived.

Whatever experience is present
you clearly see                   right there,
                                              right there—

                   not taken in,
                   unshaken:
that’s how you develop the heart.

Ardently doing
what should be done                   today
for—who knows?—                      tomorrow
death may come.
There is no bargaining
with Death & his mighty hordes.

Whoever lives thus ardently,
relentlessly both day & night
has truly had an auspicious day:
                   so says the Peaceful Sage. 

Majhima Nikaya 131
Translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

 

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