When you deal with pain, you’re told don’t think about how long the pain has been in the past or how long it’s going to be in the future. It weighs the present moment down unnecessarily. It places restrictions on how much freedom you have in the present moment.
The same applies to all your other old habits. No matter how long you’ve been a lazy person, you don’t have to keep on being a lazy person. Don’t even think of who you are. Just think here’s this choice in the present moment. Do you want to do a lazy action or do you want to do an energetic action? Do you want to do something that’s working toward the Dharma or away from it? Make this present moment count. When the next present moment comes along, make that one count, too.
All you have to watch out for is the present moment. The past will take care of itself. If you’re looking after the present moment, the future will take care of itself, too. This is all you’re responsible for. When you realize this, you also realize that this is a responsibility you can handle. It’s just this breath. Just this moment.
Take care of that much and you’ve got everything covered.
This reflection by Ajaan Geoff is adapted from the talk, Judging the Dhamma, January 2, 2006.