Be Detached To Live In The Now

August 7, 2017

Consider a typical detour: A man strolls down the street on a beautiful day. The birds sing in the trees, the sun shines brightly, and a gentle breeze carries the scent of flowers from a nearby garden. Feeling deeply contented, the man thinks, “How wonderful life is!”

All at once, he sees a beautiful bird perched on a tree limb just above his head. “If only I had a camera!” the man thinks. “I could catch this image on film and have it with me forever!” Although sudden, this desire begins to settle in his heart. The strength of this desire gradually grows until, at last, by scrimping and saving, the man has enough money to buy a camera.

With his desire for a camera fulfilled, the man now asks himself, “What new object can I possess?” Already he has seen different kinds of useful attachments for his camera. Should he buy one of those or should he buy one of the newer cameras with more advanced features? The satisfaction of one desire has set in motion a tendency in him to seek happiness by fulfilling other desires. No longer is he able to live in the present. Desires keep him living in a future that forever recedes.

Paramahansa Yogananda