Each moment is fragile and fleeting. The moment of the past cannot be kept, however beautiful. The moment of the present cannot be held, however enjoyable. The moment of the future cannot be caught, however desirable. But the mind is desperate to fix the river in place: Possessed by ideas of the past, preoccupied with images of the future, it overlooks the plain truth of the moment. The one who can dissolve her mind will suddenly discover the Tao at her feet, and clarity at hand.
Walker's HHC 21
“Kind prince, what do you think? Does the Universal One refer to sand in the River of Timelessness as sand?”
“Yes, Venerable Teacher, the Universal One refers to the sand in the River of Timelessness as sand.”“Very many, indeed, Venerable Teacher.”
“Kind prince, what do you think? If there were as many rivers as there are grains of sand in the River of Timelessness, and if there were as many worlds as there are grains of sand in all the rivers, would that be very many?”
“Kind prince, the sand is truly no different from the world, and the world is no different from the sand. People form their minds in countless ways and the Universal One knows all of them. How? To the Universal One the mind is not real. The mind of the past cannot be kept, the mind of the present cannot be held, and the mind of the future cannot be caught. Yet people are attached to such delusions and label them as mind.
“Kind prince, it is not the mind which varies constantly, but the events which are ever changing. The events of the past cannot be kept, the events of the present cannot be held, and the events of the future cannot be caught. But the mind is too easily possessed by such images. If events themselves do not seize the mind and totally absorb one’s consciousness, then the preconceptions and preoccupations of the mind prevent one from true awareness of the event. When these deviations occur trouble is sure to follow. An enjoyable past event cannot be held, and the bright future is delayed by one’s anxiety. Beautiful present circumstances cannot be preserved. All good things seem fragile and fleeting. Dissolve attachment to these things and embrace only the Universal Truth. Universal awareness is not distant; clarity is close at hand.”
Ni's HHC 21