Walking back home from the Post Office a few minutes ago, I was passed by a car with a bumper sticker that read “Be here now”. Well, there I was. I was there, but I wasn’t here – at least not at the here suggested by the driver of the car. His here kept on moving down the street at about 35 miles per hour, and no matter how fast I ran, I could not be there now, and as for here, I wasn’t here until I went into the kitchen and got a cup of coffee first.
Every time someone says that Buddhist catch phrase “Be here now” to me, I think to myself, “Damn it, I just missed it. I was here a few seconds late. Can we try that again?” I picture two people, standing close together, and then one says to the other, “Okay, be here… now! and then they switch places as fast as they can.
Be here now? What if I don’t want to?
Buddhist devotees will shake their heads at me and explain that I’m missing the point. I’m not sure that I am. I already am where I am, when I am there. How useful a philosophy is it that tells me to do what I’ve already been doing?
As for mindfulness, I’m not sure that it’s a very good idea. I need room for my pancreas.
Perhaps I’m just at a low level of awareness of the dharma that flows all around us, invading our privacy. For that reason, I’d like to invite people to engage in an honest, catch-phrase-free discussion of Buddhism. Was the Buddha the savior of humanity, who showed us the way to escape suffering, or was he just a deadbeat who left his wife and baby son because he didn’t like his job?
Also, what changes to Buddhism would it require if it took as its motto “be there later” instead of “be here now”?
Discuss amongst yourselves… now!