Dogen Zenji's Uji - translated by my teacher as 'Existence, Time, Flow' - has intrigued me for a long time; along with the related section of Genjo Koan dealing with firewood which (irreversibly) becomes ash... an analysis that addresses (obliquely) our entire experience of life and death.
This month I've been exploring T S Eliot's Four Quartets, F H Bradley's Appearance & Reality, Steven Pinker's How the Mind Works, Antonio Damasio's Descartes' Error, and Mulamadhyamakakarika (a text written 2,000 years ago by Nagarjuna).
This backdrop, coupled with my own meditation, led to the following verse reflection...
From the outside Time appears And with it place & destination - The river of minutes flows forward Inside though there is just Now and now and now Which contains everything always Nothing we experience Can be outside this moment - It encompasses everything This moment does not move Or turn. Impossibly It is totally alive and altogether still In this moment We aim to live honourably No other thing is available to us Outside this moment we don't exist So we are born but not born - Dying and yet undying When we move beyond this moment We are already finished Already complete Time goes on without us Only our memory remaining In another's timeless now
Picture credit: New York Academy of Sciences