How lightly we give our word and make promises, oblivious of the fact that the future is not ours to see! If promises are made at all, they should be made conditionally, with an ‘if’ or ‘providing that’, for we cannot possibly compute or imagine all the things that might happen between now and then that could prevent us keeping the promise; moreover, we must be sure of our capacity and intention to do what we say we will do.

Though we do, and must, make plans for the future, the uncertainty and changefulness of life means that they can only be tentative, and we should therefore sit loosely in the saddle, aware of the dangers and pains of attachment and inflexibility. We can live neither in the future nor in the past, no matter how hard we try; the only time we can live is NOW. J. of N. said: "Take no thought for tomorrow, for tomorrow can take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is the evil [or problems] thereof". Good advice, yes, but it must be understood clearly, for if everyone followed it literally, we would soon be in trouble; nobody would plant crops of any kind, build houses, or do work that had no immediate fruit. The NOW grows out of everything that went before it; we must know the nature of what we are doing, and also the possible consequences thereof. "We are the results of what we were; we will be the results of what we are", said the Buddha.





little trust".

Tao Te Ching.

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