Excerpted from the Bhaddekaratta Sutta (MN 131).
Let not a person revive the past
Or on the future build his hopes,
For the past has been left behind
And the future has not been reached.
Instead with insight let him see
Each presently arisen state;
Let him know that and be sure of it,
Today the effort must be made;
Tomorrow Death may come, who knows?
No bargain with Mortality
Can keep him and his hoards away.
But one who dwells thus ardently,
Relentlessly, by day, by night
It is he, the Peaceful Sage has said,
Who has had one excellent night.
Leave the past behind, friends, and stop worrying about what may come ahead. Make the effort now.
Sometimes I forget this advice, but I have repeatedly come across it in my readings and I know it must be applied to daily life. This isn’t just some admonition to the monks — death will come to us all.
An alternate rendering of the complete sutta can be found at Access to Insight, translated by the Venerable Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Be well, friends.