When we were in England, Ed was one day chatting with a Buddhist nun named Avis. Ed said, "Some day we will all die and meet in heaven." And Avis replied, "Yeah, and we'll look at each other and say, 'What was that all about?!'" It made Ed really value the present moment by realizing that only this is real!
Normally, you spend your time living either in what-could-have-been or what-might-have-been or if-only, or in the expectation of what-could-be or what-might-be. Of course, you can learn from the past. As challenging as it may be, the most painful experience often turns out to be your best teacher, and you may feel enormous gratitude that you learned so much. However, memories can also be like comfortable old shoes you are reluctant to part with. You put them on now and then to enjoy the familiarity, but you do not have to wear them every day. Ed trained at the Bihar School of Yoga in India, and one day his teacher looked at him and said, "Man's memory is like a fool's paradise!" Constantly living in either the past or the future is like being in a dream, because it limits your capacity to be in the wonder of the present, just being with what is happening right now.
Why life is ever-changing