"While the Buddha was in the town of Shravasti, he called the monks to him and said, 'I will teach you what is meant by knowing the best way to live independently.'

" 'We are listening,' the monks told him.

"He said:

" 'Do not go after the past,
Nor lose yourself in the future.
For the past no longer exists,
And the future is not yet here.
By looking deeply at things just as they are,
In this moment, here and now,
The seeker lives calmly and freely.
You should be attentive today,
For waiting until tomorrow is too late.
Death can come and take us by surprise —
How can we gainsay it?
The one who knows
How to live attentively
Night and day
Is the one who knows
The best way to be independent.' "