Every moment is the occasion for being a farmer, planting seeds for what will grow and produce fruit later. I’m not sure you and I have much choice in the matter. It pretty much follows the timeless law of “you reap what you sow.”
I’ve been reading some books on Hinduism and Buddhism and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many things go hand in hand with the understandings I developed in Christianity (of which there are many diverse understandings).
When you sow goodness, at some point in the future, you will reap the fruits of that goodness. If you sow immaturity, you will reap the fruits of immaturity. If you sow nothing, you will reap nothing. Your future depends upon what is sown in the present moment.
That makes every moment a seed of your future. It’s the only time you can plant. You can’t plant in the time that has past. You can’t plant anything in the future. This moment is the seed of your future.
Sometimes I get frustrated. I want to see some fruits of my labors before they are ready to be received. There’s a foundational thought in Hinduism and Buddhism that can help reduce that kind of frustration. It’s the concept of detachment – specifically, detachment from wanting to see the results of your actions.
Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity all promote detachment from the things of this world that are temporary – the things that rust and decay. It’s our attachment to temporary things that bring us pain, anger, frustration, greed, covetousness, etc.
Most farmers know that they won’t see fruits from every seed they sow – that’s why they plant lots of them. They can’t attach success of their overall crop to seeing results from every single seed. If they did, they’d always be getting upset even in the best of harvest seasons.
Attachment applies more than to material things. It applies to other human desires, like the desire to be appreciated. If your inner harmony and peace is dependent on someone saying “thank you” for what you’ve done for them, then you’ve turned your inner harmony over to them and their actions. It’s a hard concept to imagine.
One thing I read this morning is that Buddhism points out the importance of intentional effort in exhibiting (planting the seeds of) loving kindness, compassion, detachment, and appreciative joy (being happy for the good others have received). To dwell on the past or the future can do nothing like our actions in the moment can do to form the future. Whatever circumstances develop in the future will carry the impression of your present actions.
Lately, I’ve been dragging my feet a little bit, waiting to reap some of the fruits of good things I’ve done. But waiting is a fruitless action. The focus is on expectation and reward. Instead, I just need to keep planting goodness in the present moment and to try not to expect anything from those actions. For this is the only way they are done in love, without the attachment to a reward that I think will satisfy my own need to be appreciated or appeased.
Maybe these thoughts can help you begin to detach yourself from temporary things that are upsetting you. And you can focus on planting seeds of goodness that will bring harmony to you in the future as well as increase the harmony in others.