Look from your stillness, not your agitation.
*Mooji. Vaster than Sky, Greater than Space.
An eager man arrives at the monastery, he says, "I want to join the community and work to attain Union with God. How long will it take?" "Ten years," replies the Abbot. "Well, then, what if I work really hard and double my efforts?" "Then, twenty years." "Hey, hold on there! That's not fair!" "In your case," the Abbot says, "it will take thirty years."
if you try too hard
you block the Way
if you fail to try
you block the Way
move like a violinist's hands move
with the music
life and you moving together in harmony
like gentle steady breeze flowing
among tree branches at night
quietly content unseen
as long as it takes
no more no less
where do you need
to get to anyway
wherever you go
if here is not good enough
how will you ever
be at peace
and is not peace
The illusion of uninterrupted time rules us easily, unless we differentiate from time itself as a successive and objective something outside of us. Time, if we look closely, for us is a subjective experience. If someone said, "Show me time?" No one could do that.
We experience a sense of flow, if we are sensitive enough, yet we are not sensitive enough to see that the continuum time is an illusion. Scientists inform us we ourselves continually flash in and out of existence; again, the mind is not sensitive enough unaided to detect this fact of impermanence.
* * *
Seeing time as relative as person is relative, we begin to learn to flow with time, as part of time. Again, this flow is possible for the rapidity with which matter resurrects into the space-time continuum of what we call human experience. Even the interruptions, the gaps, in time are part of the flow, the cadence.
Some form of contemplative practice can be engaged to work with this flow, so we cultivate what I have referred to as communion, being-with, or withness. If one were to inquire, "How shall I be with God?" I could reply, "Be with what is here." If I am not being-with the moment, and if God is here and now, how would I be being-with God? Or allowing God to be being-with me?
So, we need to shun any claimed spiritual practice said to lead us to a transcending of here, or removing us from time ~ removed from time, we are removed from the flow. Rather, the transcending of time and form is by involution, moving into this moment here, this moment and here, then this moment and here, then this moment and here....
That is, involution is not a transcending, as moving outside, a getting away from, but so intimate that time and space lose power, we draw so deeply the self into the Totality here and now. This is, then, the Eternal, and is the flow itself. Ironically, the Eternal is found in the flow, for the flow is the flow of this Eternal, and we are that flow. The power of the flow, uninterrupted by interruptions of time, allow for this to be referred to as the Eternal potency. In this potency, flow is calm, movement from silence, not agitation.
* * *
So, what is here, what is now, such that one needs no false transcendence to receive and enjoy (lit., be in joy, bliss)? The Eternal, or Plenitude. Jean Klein, in Be What You Are, observes, "Silent plenitude precedes mental activity and follows it." This Fullness is often missed, for we are not here, not in this moment; that is, the mind carries us into the past or future, both based on memory. When attention is directed to here and now, we are in this flow, for the flow has no past or future, time being a subjective experience with the Fact of timelessness. In this process, we grow less attached to the subjectivity of time, while living in respect of the relativity of time. In your contemplative practice, therefore, when the mind goes to the past or future, gently turn attention to here and now. Do not concentrate, for concentration shuts down attention, concentration being a focus, exclusive and attention being open, inclusive. Like, if looking at a tree, you are allowing the tree to show itself, rather than your narrowing to focus on one leaf or one branch or a single trait of the tree. Openness is to Life, including the details in that view of Totality.
* * *
In this, then, we experience a seeming paradox. The late Soto Zen Roshi, Dainin Katagiri remarks of this, in Each Moment is the Universe:
Observation shows you that you donít have to be upset and try to escape when you realize that time constantly cuts off your life, because there is another aspect of time. One aspect of time is to separate; the other is to connect. The aspect of time that separates you from others is the human world. The aspect of time that connects you to others is universal truth.
Katagiri is referring to, it appears to me, to what I mean in saying here-and-now interrupted-time and the timeless are within, and harmoniously, what we experience as flow, as time-uninterrupted. Klein speaks of this differently, saying, "Ultimate Reality is itself multiplicity, diversity. It is a waste of energy to strive to explain the world and its origin, which only diverts us from the essential Experience." The essential Experience is knowing by experience the apparent paradox that the Absolute and relative, such as time and timeless, are not separate; they form part of the same unified expression, or flow of Life. In this flow, as Kline notes, unity and diversity are a oneness. And, again, we are not merely experiencing this flow as something we are in; we are the flow, this diversified unity intersects in us each. This, then, moves to a sense of Pure Subjectivity in which objects do not disappear, but lose objectivity. All is drawn into Life-happening. Life-happening at one with Life wherein happening occurs; again, time with timeless.
* * *
In our contemplation, then, we relax with a passive, alert, patient attention that includes all. This is as if attention is saying, "All Welcome" or "Always have a vacancy." This is friendship with life, this is reconciliation with the Eternal and its flow, its being-in time-space. This is communion, being-with, rather than being-against, and peace arises.
Then, when I say contemplation, I mean set-aside practice of some nature. For many this will include some formal meditation daily. Contemplation includes, however, integrating this contemplative posture of heart, working with being-with, in varied situations throughout day and night. What was background (unity, peace, bliss, pure presence, love), will slowly appear as stronger, moving forward, integrating with the daily details we often call my life.
Yes, this takes time, for this is a reorientation, and, as said, it takes time to turn a barg around. So, this takes as long as it takes, but no hurry for we are going nowhere. Relax and be-with the process, the flow, with Life lifeing. Even seeming to get out of the flow is part of the flow. You cannot get out of the flow, you are the flow.
*The vision statement for Lotus of the Heart is Living in Love beyond Beliefs.
*All material, unless another source is cited, is authored by the presenter of Lotus of Heart, Brian Kenneth Wilcox, Florida USA. Use of the material is permitted; Brian only requests that credit be given and to be notified at email@example.com .
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union, is available through major booksellers.
*Move cursor over pictures for photographer and title.
The Sacred in Me bows
to the Sacred in You