- Time -

:: Posted :: 2017-01

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

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