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"Living in the Present" - A Lantern in the Heart of Human Wisdom

Being alive is really good! But how to live life in the best way? Few people are able to comprehend this. Socrates once said "The real joy brought us wisdom, not knowledge." Because only wisdom can bring out the truth in us and make us live the truth, to bring us bright life. What is wisdom then? We believe that Buddhism philosophy to "live at present" is a great wisdom of life.

The Stories of "living in the Present"

There is a little Buddhist story:The Buddha often give preaching in Ling Mountain. There is a spider living in the small grass doing networks at the side of an altar. It often listened to Buddha's preaching. As time goes by, the small spider is gradually enlightened by Buddha. One day, Buddha wanted to release small spiders, soul and asked it, "What is the most valuable thing in the world?"

The small spider answered "The things that have gone and things you can't, t achieve." Buddha laughed and said nothing. After a hundred years, Buddha asked the small Spider again, "What is the most valuable thing in the world?" Small spider's answer is still the same. Buddha was wondering why the small spider had been listening to his enlightenment for hundreds of years but still had not released yet. He opened his eyes and realized that the small spider had become obsessed with dew. When the sun rose, the sun shone on the dew and spider’s web. The dew looks like a diamond, shining brightly and colorfully, so very beautiful. But when the small spider wanted to get the dew, the dew is evaporated or breezed off by the wind. Day after day, year after year, the same thing happened again and again, and the small spider still was unable to get a dew. This is the "hardship of unachievability" mentioned by Buddha. The small spider is so depressed by the that it couldn't get a dew that it persistently thought "nachievable and disappeared things are the most precious things."

Buddha realized the reasons, and then thought of finding another way to help the small spider to break the dedication. So the small spider, dewdrop and the grass were all sent to the human world.

The small spider was born in a Prime Minister's home as a baby girl and was nick-name Pearl. Sixteen years later, Pearl became a beautiful intelligent and multitalented girl, not only beloved by the Prime Minister, and won the Emperor's favor. In the year of the National Test, the new champion named Dew was talented and handsome. The Emperor held a celebration in his palace for all the pearl, as the daughter of the Prime Minister, was also invited.

At the banquet, Pearl fell in love with Dew at the first sight, and she loved him so much. However, the Emperor made an arrangement that Dew marry the princess and at the same time Pearl many the Emperor's son, the Prince Grass. Pearl was so worried that she fainted.

When she woke up, the small spider had returned to Buddha. She told Buddha her experiences in the human world. Buddha told her that Dew is the dew on the web, Prince Grass is the grass her net is weaved on. Actually the grass has loved her for a long time, has been quietly supporting her web-the small spider’s home for a few hundred years. Buddha taught small spiders to get rid of her dedication to dew and rely on the grass to listen to the preaching. The small spiders followed and felt very warm. Buddha asked the small spider again "What is the world s most valuable thing?" The small spider and the grass answered in one voice "Living the present." Buddha smiled. Both the small spider and the grass were released.

Live at present is the most valuable thing, which is not understood by everybody and not everyone’s treasure. They usually couldn’t realize the current happiness but pursue, or simply cherish the memory that has gone. Thus they could only feel troubles and grief. To have understood "live at present, to experience the moment, enjoy the moment", you would turn on the light of wisdom. "A light could away a thousand years of darkness, and a wisdom could cure a thousand years stupidity." With the light of wisdom, people's lives will be changed immediately.

Experiences of Tea whilst "Living in the Present"

In regards to the experiences of present tea things, let's listen to Master Yi Xing's saying "We know that life is at present and we may enjoy this moment, so we are determined to train ourselves to dig deep into our daily lives. We will try not to lose ourselves or regret for the past, not be captured by the anxiety of the future or current desire, anger and jealousy. Zen Master Yi Xing has a poem Drinking Tea:

Holding the cup, and maintain Mindfulness.

Physically and psychologically hold up, Just at this moment.

This poem emphasizes to remain the mindful and to experience the joy of the moment. It feels so good to see the tea steam, just like the heart is going to fly; to see the tea leaves stretch out in the glass tea cup, just as life returned to it again. It feels so good to smell the aroma of tea, like a baby smelling its mother; savor a cup of tea, no matter how bitter it tastes at the moment. You will get the real flavor finally, just like what happened in the past of life. They all would become better. This feels so good!

Living in the present, which is clear that we live in here and now. Buddha said "Life in between the breath." Present may be an only moment that people live, to treasure it, to cherish it!

With "living in the present" the wisdom light of life, people seem to open their secret eyes, and see many good things of the past being ignored.

Master Wei Ze in the Ming Dynasty says:

After tea sitting alone, hearing the sound of water dropping on golden lotus Ask the boy before go to sleep late at night, which branch of the plum in the moon?

We could see from this poem that, whether it is the sound, the moon or the plum flower, the Master and the tea drinker are all very happy living at present.

To the Master and tea drinkers living in the present, the world is:

One flowers one world, one leaf one wisdom, Everyday is a good day, every night is a good spring night.

Of course, only when you realized "today is a good day" can you see that "everyday is a good day". The Chinese Tea Ceremony requires tea drinkers to experience the current moment, to understand others, to be self-conscious and then get everyday as a good day, every night as a pleasant spring night.