Live for the Day, and Not the Year! Baba Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari The newness of the New Year should not be confined to the first of January only, but needs to be sustained by being awake to Divine Presence every new day, in every present moment. The Present is a gift that is to be unfolded so it can flood us with Grace unlimited each day of our lives. Once a wise man shared his pearl of wisdom: “Live everyday as if it is the first and last day of your life.” Like a diver, you can dip into this oceanic wisdom and come out with pearls of priceless value for life. When people ask me, “What should I do so that I reach Self-realization?” My simple sharing has been, “Follow the footsteps of the wise that have reached.” This wisdom has two important facets – one, “Live as if it is the first day of your life.” This takes you for a jubilant ride for the day, enjoying every moment with utmost ecstasy, as it is your first experience. The second part, “As if it is the last day,” humbles you, balances you, and brings you to the deepest levels of your awareness of the fragility of life and its innate higher purpose of realization of the deathless Self. Thus this one wisdom should help you to enjoy life with a balance and purpose and help you to be a Buddha. But how do you live a day as if it is your first and last? You need to live life with the motto that “The Past is DEAD.” Live in the moment, LIVE where you take ONLY ONE DAY AT A TIME and be mindful of your tiny bits of daily chores that can awaken you into a new life, a new dimension of Light. Then all these ghosts of the past and the demons of the future will not be able to grip you any more; you will be growing moment to moment, living only FOR THE DAY. There are many health benefits to this. For one, you will sleep better. When you live the day thinking, "one day at a time, one step at a time, one task at a time," then your mind will learn to find its own calm and you will not create random vibrations that disturb your sleep. Don't go for any techniques that induce sleep, what you need is to learn to be Awake and Aware when you are in a waking state. That would not only give you peaceful sleep, but also take care of everything that bothers you. Also, live the day the best you can, worry not about the future for it is only today that is real and alive. Yes, you are hearing this word coming to you from every source, but isn’t it so true that we need this reminder time and again, so that when the actual things happen where you need to be alert and awake, you are available for it. It is good that we have this reminder to be present to the Presence, which is the missing link of life. When we allow the mind to be on its own, it lives within the confines of the prison of the past, or worrying about the unseen future. Most people unknowingly damage their nervous system through worries and anxieties. We all suffer with anxieties and speculations, which never happen. Apprehensions spoil the internal environment of the mind, for where doubt creeps in, the darker forces have an easy play. Behind this negative zone is the tranquil sea of peace and true potentials of Mind. Mind in its quiet and silence is indeed blissful. Meditation is not to force the mind to be silent, but discover the silence that is already there! It indeed can change our DNA, our very genes, so say the scientists. We can become youthful and energetic, innovative and blissfully creative once we allow the silence of meditation to dawn in our consciousness and heal our nervous system, which is mostly damaged due to frequent releases of stress hormones. Yes, your breath, your normal breath, and riding the waves of your breath can take you to that fountain of life where all that we need for that day is released, unasked. Another method to practice to keep you living only in this day, is to tell yourself that I am going to do any routine work consciously and knowingly. From time to time, whenever you remind yourself of this need to do things knowingly, then gradually this will become a kind of habit for you. Initially it has to be done with much effort. But gradually this will become a habit for you, and this is a good habit. It is almost a conviction that you will put your efforts into turning the mundane routine tasks of the day into mindful activities. Remember, life is not a battle. It is your perception and belief that life is a battle, that is reason you keep battling with life. Life is not meant for battle. Let life be not a battle, not one of resistance, but one of acceptance and living Life each day, and making the best out of it, as if today is the first day and today is the last day. The moment you start living ONE DAY AT A TIME, YOUR LIFE IS CHANGED and your fear of death dissolves in the light of the Joy of the moment. Do not worry about death or the future, just live the Day the best you can and witness the miracle!! Take each day at a time, and consecrate your mindful acts as humble offerings to the Altar of the Divine, which is the whole of the Universe, your world. Let the days roll on, and you move with joy of dance and music. Happy New Year to you all of you, but my mere wish is not enough, it has to be lived day by day, for happiness does not come for free, there is a price for everything. And the price of happiness is your acceptance, your gratitude and prayerful mind, and your meditative attitude that you will live each day as a New Day, without regrets. May each day bring you closer to your Self.