The wisdom of living in the present

by Luiza Azancot. Average Reading Time: about 2 minutes.

I like making lists. On my birthday I made one more – The top days of my life.

  • the best New Year’s Eve (Rincon, Puerto Rico 2001)
  • the best beach day (Meco, Summer 1983)
  • the birthday (Santorini, 2000), etc..

I also have a bucket list.

The first list refers to the past and the second  to the future. First list is nostalgic and the other may represent anxiety, not being able to get there, the fear of death?

And the present?

Then I remembered the answer the Dalai Lama gave to the American social journalist Barbara Walters. At the end of an interview she asked him what had been the happiest moment of his life. He paused for a moment, looked at her  a little surprised and with a huge smile  said: “Today, more precisely this moment.”  His ability to live in the present without looking at the past or at the future, impressed me!

Dalai Lama


In astrology, when we talk about time we look at Saturn which in Greek mythology was called Chronus. Thus we inherited words  related to the passage of time like chronometer, chronology, chronic.

Saturn also symbolizes limits and  time is a limiting reality. We do not live forever  and often  we wish the day had more than 24 hours. Saturn is also the symbol of discipline and other  limiting processes – responsibility, structure.  It has the potential to lead us into becoming an authority, to be a master. It has a shadow side,  fear, the fear of not getting to the top, fear of failing.

The Dalai Lama has the planet Saturn in Pisces. The planet of limits  in the sign that represents the absence of boundaries, the dissolution of structures, the ocean, the vastness. For most people this configuration would translate into an inability to impose limits on themselves,  the difficulty of managing  time and probably often arrive late. But for His Holiness the interpretation is different:  through  discipline (Saturn) of spirituality and meditation (Pisces) he became a master (Saturn) in eliminating partitions of time (Pisces) and live in the present. There are certainly other astrological factors explaining the wisdom of the Dalai Lama but this post is not intended to be an interpretation of his natal chart. It is my way of  honoring him on his 77th birthday which is on July 6. He will surely have a very happy day.

I have Saturn in Virgo sign opposite to Pisces. Virgo likes to organize, to be efficient, to be punctual. To define beginning, middle and end. Does not do well with the immensity of time, with the notion of limitless. Hence, I like making lists and have so much trouble meditating.

I can not aspire to achieve the wisdom of the Dalai Lama but I can reflect on it and try to live more in the present, conquer my fears (Saturn) through service to others (Virgo). There are many roads in the path to wisdom.

Maybe because I am chubby and like honey I might aspire to the wisdom of Pooh.


Pooh“What day is it?”

“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.

“My favorite day,” said Pooh.

A.A. Milne

One comment on ‘The wisdom of living in the present’

  1. Laurel says:

    So many thoughts on this, Luiza… thanks for sharing your wonderful insights… I also have Saturn in Pisces… and your comments about how that plays out totally intriques me (and clarifies a few things about my world!). Another note: I thought he and I were born in the same year (1935), which means he’ll be 78 this year… Doesn’t really matter in the overall… More anon

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