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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Burnt Peas Kind of Day...

Yesterday was a “burnt peas” kind of day. I literally burned the peas. My usual fare for breakfast is peas and steamed fish. I changed my routine and put the peas on to boil first and then went to the computer to check blog comments and emails figuring I could check everything within 5-6 mins – pea boiling time. Not… I got so engrossed I forgot the peas, until I smelled them burning. And it was all down hill from there, playing catch-up with time the rest of the day – never feeling like I had enough time. I seem to be living that way lately – time oriented, time bound, trying to catch up to time, always falling behind time, running out of time. I’m always pressing forward - *in my mind* - but my *heart* wants to live out of time. My True Heart and mind are out of sync – needing a little tune up. And so it’s time to take a time out and assess why I’m measuring myself by the clock and why it feels like time – and life - keep slipping away… into that time funnel…

This is not to say that time structure isn’t good. I love structure. I have my lists of things to do. And some days that are structured seem to flow better. Time is unavoidable. But it’s the mind grasping for and fixating on time that I’m talking about – like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland who’s always checking his watch exclaiming that he’s running late… Racing against the clock as a measure of my worthiness, seeing how much I can accomplish, doling out tidbits of time and never really accomplishing anything – never finding time for what’s really important – the Silence of Life beyond time…

Relative time is self containing, and self contracting - a container for the self - like bookends on your life; putting a beginning and end on life, attempting to contain life that wants to flow naturally. Time fixation doesn’t allow for the natural awareness of anything other than time. The Universe is not time constrained however – have you noticed. :) It is endless and open. We seem to know this naturally in childhood through play – which flows freely unless someone tells us it’s time to come in. Nature rests outside of time – clock time – naturally cyclical on its own time – unconstrained by artificial time – and yet flourishes wildly and beautifully.

So who would I *be* if I didn’t live by the clock, losing the vision of the larger Life beyond time? What if I loosened my grip on time, and lived life according to my natural rhythm – the rhythm of the Heart? What would happen if I returned to that lovely groundless state of innocent no-mind, to the easy flow of life – not lost in the eddies of no-time - but living congruently in the harmony of being and doing – attuned to Life Itself. Not fighting against my natural rhythms, which is maybe why I lag behind – in time – resisting the constraints of time… What if I didn’t prescribe life by time, but remained open to its natural unfolding… I mean I’m not getting to the things I *really* want to do anyway, even with the self-imposed structure of time. Instead I’m measuring myself by the clock and what I’m not getting done – feeling like I’m missing out on life, missing out on really *living*. It seems there needs to be a resetting of the “mind clock”…

When I sit at the open window at night in Silence and look out into the semi-darkness – time dissolves. I become aware of the Silence of Life, within and without, through the smell and feel of the cool night air, the sight of the silhouetted stillness of the trees, the sounds of living in the distance that occurs within the vastness of Silence... And - I am undistracted and undisturbed by time. The “mind clock” quiets, and I am aware only of the flow of Life behind time, underneath time - where Life lives. When my “mind clock” isn’t running my life, then I am at peace, more mindful, aware. Time flows fluidly and I don’t burn the peas.



In the not doing
everything gets done…

Lao Tzu


~


Photo
Reflection out my living room window
in the face of the clock...

~

14 comments:

  1. ah yes, our relationship with time, not to mention that it is purely a human construct, and yet to wrap the head around this!

    sometimes there is the feel that the clock is chasing me around, but of course I have merely conjured that up in my head.

    it is my push, my aggression to get things done, to feel I am in control that really is the trickster. It is the gentle attending to what needs to be done and to know what is simply busy work, that's it for me!

    Lovely line from Lao Tzu!

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    1. Yes, so true. I had forgotten about that - the relationship to time and the mental perception of time. Very helpful insight! Interesting that we get this false sense of being in control pushing against time, and yet I feel so out of control when I do that... Paradox... As you can see I've been caught by the wheel of time :)

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  2. Even burnt peas are God. No matter what situation arises, it's all perfect. When there is no preference for a specific state, then every circumstance is bliss...even burnt peas.

    Can I be at peace... at rest... in the midst of a ticking clock?

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    1. Yes! Thank you Julie! I know this to be true, and yet I also feel that this mental fixation with time somehow blocks my ability to rest in the depths of that peace. I love the question though. Have been bringing awareness to that space of Awareness in the midst of the mental ticking clock by being aware of the small things, like the feel of the air on my face, the feel of the sun on my skin, etc. I think too that this time issue is "up" for me, this awareness of how time driven I unconsciously am, so that I can look at it more clearly and how I push myself through the day, rather than *experiencing* that stillness within, and living at the pace of my inner Being... Thank you for the wonderful comment!

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  3. I must say I love the title of this post, Christine! And I think we've all had burnt peas kind of days...*sigh*... But time is a fickle friend sometimes, isn't it. And actually, this topic has been on my mind recently too, and I make a tiny mention in my own post today, of how I'm trying to find a level contentment in a day, not "pushing" a day, just allowing space for it to unfold...basically trying to be more relaxed with time. What gets done in a day gets done. Trying to be relaxed with to-do lists too. ;o) Much food for thought here, as always... Happy Weekend, my friend ((HUGS))

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    1. Yes, being more relaxed about time, allowing life to unfold the way it does. I think too ZenDotStudio has a good point about our relationship to time, which gets down to what is our relationship with life and with ourselves. How do we see life/time? Those are the things I thought of this morning when I awoke - what *is* my relationship to life in this moment. Do I feel harried, needing to get through the day, or do I feel fluid, open to what the day presents...

      I strongly feel too that being in harmony with our inner Beingness makes a big difference on how we see life - being aware of what animates life, not just the surface moments of life - but going deeply into that state of Beingness that is timeless gives a different perspective on life and how we move through life.

      All your good insights have helped me to *see* differently, to be *aware* of how I move through life.

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  4. in the not doing it gets done... fascinating post. the peas are such a tangible symbol. extricating, freeing ourselves is a major accomplishment, seems to me. all of schooling, at least in the u.s., is about arriving on time, leaving only when allowed, and becoming obedient to the clock. so much to unlearn, to let go of, to free ourselves from. thanks for this.

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    1. Yes, definitely! As Yoda the wise once said: "You must unlearn what you have learned." And that includes just about everything. :) We are conditioned out of our Natural State through conformity it seems, and the conditioned mind takes over early. Then those of us who begin to wake up to that begin to become more mindful (more aware) that there is a different way of Being in the world, in tune with our Natural State, our Natural Rhythms, which is why I think I'm in this "time-warp" at the moment. I'm experiencing the pull of my Natural State, while the mind wants to function on "clock time."

      What ZenDotStudio said above is also true too - it's all about our relationship to time - and I would add, to life - our perspective... Are we seeing life from the place of inner Being - our Natural State...

      Thanks for your great comment!

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  5. What an unusual breakfast! Steamed fish and peas?! Where does that come from? Some Nordic history? A special diet? Could I put maple syrup on that? Gotta have my maple syrup.

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    1. Ha-Ha-Ha :) You have me laughing out loud! Maybe it *is* in the DNA :) Actually it was part of a detox diet 9 years ago when I got very sick that a Naturopath suggested; not specifically peas and fish, but I was to have a clean protein and vegetable for the morning meal and I just kept it up. Hey, if you try it with Maple Syrup let me know! :)

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  6. I was wondering if people knew how time oriented we are in a Zen temple! Not only do we have watches, we have a large hanging block of wood (the han) and a variety of bells which denote different levels of being late, and if you're not ten minutes early to the Zendo, you are late!

    I was thinking, I used to day dream about temple sounds- how serene! Now, as I struggle into robes, han pounding like someone is hitting home runs, I think of the doors being locked.

    Of course, we also have the universal truth and teaching of Dogen Zengi, who wrote Uji- being-time: We don't have time, we are time. But try telling that to the Ino or crew head, or your teacher- won't get you very far!

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    1. Welcome Pigasus! - Thanks for coming by and leaving your wonderful comment.

      Yes, I'm sure as part of your training time is a necessary construct and container, which you willingly chose in order to achieve your goal; using time structure as an appropriate container for what you want to achieve, not being unconsciously driven by time... And I might mention that I am not a "practicing Buddhist" so my writings here are not necessarily from that disciplined perspective, but reflect more of a general view of life as I experience it.

      I like your reference to "being-time" - "we don't have time we are time." Beautiful! That is very helpful to me. In which case, when we have that perspective and understanding, then we are in "right relationship" to time. Thanks for sharing your perspective here!

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  7. Great photo and interesting post.

    Darryl and Ruth :)

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