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Being Present

Spiritual Practices:

Being Present


One great thing about growing old is that nothing is going to lead to anything. Everything is of the moment.
— Joseph Campbell in A Joseph Campbell Companion edited by Diane Osbon


We spend a long time wishing we were elsewhere and otherwise.
— Robert Farrar Capon in Bed & Board


Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe — a moment that never was before and never will be again.
— Pablo Casals quoted in Full Esteem Ahead by Diane Loomans


Now is the only time. How we relate to it creates the future. In other words, if we're going to be more cheerful in the future, it's because of our aspiration and exertion to be cheerful in the present. What we do accumulates; the future is the result of what we do right now.
— Pema Chödrön in When Things Fall Apart


The present moment holds infinite riches beyond your wildest dreams but you will only enjoy them to the extent of your faith and love. The more a soul loves, the more it longs, the more it hopes, the more it finds. The will of God is manifest in each moment, an immense ocean which only the heart fathoms insofar as it overflows with faith, trust and love.
— Jean-Pierre De Caussade in The Sacrament of the Present Moment


Every moment is enormous, and it is all we have. Our life is a path of learning to wake up before we die.
— Natalie Goldberg in Long Quiet Highway


One twelve-year-old boy, when asked by his father what he would like for his birthday, said, "Daddy, I want you!" His father was rarely at home. He was quite wealthy, but he worked all the time to provide for his family. His son was a bell of mindfulness for him. The little boy understood that the greatest gift we can offer our loved ones is our true presence.
— Thich Nhat Hanh in Living Buddha, Living Christ



12 Being Present
See a gallery of 12 quotes about being present.


From early morning until I go to bed and in all situations of life, I always try to check my motivation and be mindful and present in the moment.
— The Dalai Lama in The World of Tibetan Buddhism


Theologically, I don't think you can see the future. Traditional Judaism sees that as arrogance — it's like picking God's pocket.
— Dan Wakefield in Creating from the Spirit


The present is holy ground.
— Alfred North Whitehead quoted in Teaching Your Children About God by David Wolpe


The present moment, like the spotted owl or the sea turtle, has become an endangered species. Yet more and more I find that dwelling in the present moment, in the face of everything that would call us out of it, is our highest spiritual discipline. More boldly, I would say that our very presentness is our salvation; the present moment, entered into fully, is our gateway to eternal life.
— Philip Simmons in Learning to Fall


The present moment delights us. We see it as an opportunity for grace and mystery. It is our source of holiness.
— Mary Margaret Funk in Tools Matter for Practicing the Spiritual Life


Not twice this day
Inch time foot gem.
This day will not come again.
Each minute is worth a priceless gem.
— Zen Master Takuan quoted in Simple Zen by C. Alexander and Annellen Simpkins


We cannot become truly good in a better, more marvelous, and yet easier way than by the simple use of the means offered us by God: the ready acceptance of all that comes to us at each moment of our lives.
— Jean Pierre de Caussade quoted in The Inner Treasure by Jonathan Star


If we can do our duty here, the beyond will take care of itself.
— Mohandas K. Gandhi quoted in The Way to God edited by M. S. Desphande


All quotes on being present

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