I love this quote by poet and philosopher, Mark Nepo. It captures the essence of non-attachment in its simplest and most beautiful way. ‘It blossoms and the bee comes.’ There is no need for effort beyond the action. The flower is always, and can only be, a flower. The bee is uninvolved in the present-moment actions of the flower blossoming, and dreaming of bees won’t help the flower’s action. With this simple task-focus, there is no need for hope or fear. Everything is just as it is, doing its thing.
Why we love to focus on the future
It’s normal to get stuck in a goal-oriented mindset, focusing on the future or regrets and pain from the past. The truth is, neither of those experiences exist in the present. We’re just attached to them because they offer us a false sense of who we really are. But ‘who you are’ is (and can only be) you, right now, doing whatever you’re doing. This is real you, right now. Real-world, real-life, real you.
It’s easy to get lost in focusing on the next achievement, or how to make improvements. And while it’s certainly good to keep an eye out for Future You by making sure you eat well, pray, cultivate your social circle, water the plants, etc — it’s important to do the actions with a sense of presence. Every action can be a delight. The feel of the things you hold in your hand, the taste of each morsel of food — when you are present in the action of everything, it’s almost as if you can connect with and respect the journey that’s present in each thing. From the soil and sunshine in a carrot to the spun and woven fibres of your T-shirt. In this way, every moment in the present is more wonderful than any past or future moment that’s locked inside the mind.