Jonathan Foust

September 15, 2008

Don’t Chase After the Past

Filed under: Quotation — jonathanfoust @ 2:40 pm

I can’t help but get caught up in the headlines these days.  The general sense of suffering and panic so easily pulls my mind into a blender of thoughts, stories and emotions.

I ran across this quote from Bhikku Mangolo from The Practice of Recollection that helped me remember what it means to come to center:

Don’t chase after the past,

Don’t seek the future;

The past is gone,

The future hasn’t come.

But see clearly on the spot,

The object which is now,

While finding and living in

A still, unmoving state of mind.


Simple.  Not easy.  Perhaps the most important thing.



  1. OK. This poem (or whatever it is) brought me close to presence…in any day I drift toward and away from it.

    Sometimes I feel this urge to read more poems like this, or read them more often, or whatever, because I think it would be good to be closer to presence more often. But that thinking it would be good is heading the wrong way, wouldn’t you say?

    Comment by Michael — September 17, 2008 @ 7:07 pm

  2. I keep thinking about something my Dad once said when I told him I wanted to go into teaching. He said, “This business is tricky. I mean, how do you teach someone to take a hint?”

    How do we wake up? How do we remember that the heart opens when we drop striving? The very act of reaching for it sabatoges what we’re after.

    As someone once said, “Enlightenment is an accident. Meditation makes you accident prone.”

    What a paradox.

    Comment by jonathanfoust — September 19, 2008 @ 9:24 am

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