Present Moment, Only Moment: Reminders

You only live once. Keep yourself in the present. The past is gone, and the future is unknown. 
–Tempu Nakamura, in John Stevens, Budo Secrets: Teachings of the Martial Arts Masters

Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no longer is.
The future has not yet come.
Looking deeply at life as it is
In the very here and now
The practitioner dwells
In stability and freedom.
We must be diligent today.u
To wait until tomorrow is too late.
Death comes unexpectedly.
How can we bargain with it?
The sage calls a person who knows 
How to dwell in mindfulness
Night and day
“one who knows
The better way to live alone.”
—Gotama,  Bhaddekaratta Sutta,  in Nhat Hanh, Our Appointment with Life

The Present Alone – is our happiness: A retreat talk by secular Buddhist, John Peacock

Die Gegenwart allein ist unser Glück.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust

The Stoics would always say, one must think death is imminent, but it was less to prepare for death than it was to discover the seriousness of life. Marcus Aurelius, for example, as a Stoic, said, one must undertake every action as though it were one’s last; or again, one must spend every day as though it were one’s last. It’s a matter of becoming aware that the moment one is still living has infinite value. Because death may interrupt it, it is a matter of living in an extremely intense manner as long as death has not arrived. 
—Pierre Hadot, The Present Alone Is Our Happiness

Thoughts of the past and future spoil your time.
—Dipa Ma, in Amy Schmidt, Dipa Ma: The Life and Teachings of a Buddhist Master

Observe what’s vivid.
Notice what you notice.
Catch yourself thinking.
Vividness is self-selecting.
—Allen Ginsberg, “Cosmopolitan Greetings”

Not a whit, we defy augury: there’s a special
providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now,
’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be
now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the
readiness is all: since no man has aught of what he
leaves, what is’t to leave betimes?
—William Shakespeare, Hamlet

That the mind of man is never satisfied with the objects immediately before it, but is always breaking away from the present moment, and losing itself in schemes of future felicity; and that we forget the proper use of the time, now in our power, to provide for the enjoyment of that which, perhaps, may never be granted us, has been frequently remarked.
—Samuel Johnson, The Rambler

Be Here Now
—Ram Dass book title 

Remember that there is only one important time and that is now. The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion. The most important person is always the person you are with, who is right before you, for who knows if you will have dealings with any other person in the future? The most important pursuit is making the person standing at your side happy, for that alone is the pursuit of life.
—Leo Tolstoy, Three Questions

Better to live in virtue and wisdom for one day than to live a hundred years with an evil and undisciplined mind.
—Gotama, The Dhammapada

Shunryu Suzuki  Roshi was the first person I ever met for whom I felt immediate and total trust. It was something which I had never expected to experience. Every sense, every brain cell and nerve fiber in me suddenly woke up. I felt alert, and watchful, and euphoric, all at once.  … It was that he was so simple and utterly there, standing in that dim room, looking at us. There was a nakedness about it. No cover-up, no attitude at all. His gaze was flat, and extraordinarily deep. I felt he saw into and through me, and in spite of, or perhaps because of that seeing, he was totally kind.
—Diane di Prima, Recollections of My Life as a Woman  

Lack of mindfulness is the creator of evil deeds. 
Without mindfulness and presence of mind, nothing can be accomplished.
—Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, “Dharma Song”

Wherever you are, immerse yourself totally in one-pointed sadhana.
—Sri Anandamayi Ma, in Swami Mangalananda, A Goddess among Us:The Divine Life of Anandamayi Ma

The present moment is in your power but the past is inalterable, the future is inscrutable.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals 

Breathing in, I calm body and mind.  
Breathing out, I smile.  
Dwelling in the present moment, 
I know this is the only moment.  
—Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

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