by Sabumnim (Beginners Handbook)
We live in a busy world and busy times. Life is probably more busy now than in the history of the world. We make plans years in advance and fill in all the days of our personal calendar with more stuff to do in one year than we could put into a novel such as War and Peace. Most of us are on a constant clock that controls every hour of our day. It’s commonly said and believed that “Time is money.” But I say time is life, and life is a chain of present moments moving from moment to moment. The money will be here long after your gone. It’s the time of your life which is far more limited. This is why it must be valued far more than promissory notes with dead mens pictures on them. If you draw a line in the sand, and at the star of this line you put your birthdate, e.g. July 27, 1947, then at the other end of this line you put a date 100 years later, e.g. July 27, 2047, and we call the last date your death date. And that’s if you are extremely blessed and lucky. If you live to be 75, they will say you are very lucky. If you live to be 85, they will say you are very blessed. If you make it to 100, they will put you in the papers and the evening news. But as we all know, this is extremely rare. So once again, look at this line in the sand, your birthdate to your blessed death date. Then you put a mark on this line of your life to represent today’s date and write it there.
Birthdate Todays date Death date
Now as you look at this line you can clearly see three points in time: your birthdate, today’s date, and your death date. You can also do this on paper or any other medium you have to work with. Once you put today’s date down, you are faced with a reality that few are present to or conscious of. And that reality is this: from your birthdate to Today's date is the past. We call this your history. There are many things from our past of great value, but it is no longer real, and it is gone forever. The time from today to your death date is called the future. We call that a mystery. There are many things in our future of great value, but they are hopes, wishes, and dreams. In truth, they are not real. We can work towards them but even tomorrow is guaranteed to no one. In fact, the graveyards are full of those who had plans, hopes, wishes, and dreams. What are we left with is the thing of true value, the gift. And it is truly a gift, that is why it’s called “the present.” Every time you take a breath, you are experiencing the present. Every time you taste, see, hear, feel, smell, and experience something you are experiencing the present. When you pray, meditate, and share love you also embody this gift. Yes, life can get busy and of course we must plan for and be prepared for many possible futures. But allow yourself to have your gift and to have it and share it every moment possible. Remember life is time and when your time runs out, you are done. So live your life like a warrior, live your life like you have already died and have been given a second chance to live it for a limited time. Anyone of us could be dead tomorrow. There are hundreds of ways to be killed or even just go to bed and die in your sleep. Everyday you wake up, it is a blessing and a gift, so treat it as one and live it like it could be your last, and you will never die with regret and all your days will be well-lived and full of thanks and fulfillment. And take extra care and be present to the ones you love and those who are a true gift in your life now for this too shall pass.