The following passages have particular meaning; they create a cognitive map to navigate my path.
“Each moment is intersected by a realm of infinite spaciousness and timelessness, known in Tibetan as shicha, the Eternal Now. This is the precious awakened dimension that I call Buddha Standard Time” (Lama Surya Das, Buddha Standard Time: Awakening to the Infinite Possibilities of Now, 7).
Learning to live in this dimension facilitates greater focus and one-pointed attention. By rediscovering nature’s rhythms we reconnect with natural time. This leads to ‘noble silence’ bringing space and clarity to respond to the natural flow of time. As Shakespeare says, “One touch of nature, makes the whole world kin.” This ability to connect with others, to our ‘kin’, frees us to live the ‘WOW’ principle to ‘wish others well’. (39)
Upon finding ‘noble silence’ we begin to notice the world with ‘refined powers of observation’. (111) By noticing what we see, the ‘right view’ appears and faulty perceptions disappear.
This requires the discipline of ‘concentrated effort’ as we learn to mind time wisely. It means slowing down in order to see clearly.
And don’t expect this to be comfortable as you will enter the ‘bardo’ time zone; the state between death and rebirth. William Bridges refers to this as the ‘neutral zone’ in his book Transitions. This is where true transformation occurs.
Living in this zone requires detachment from fear. (128) Imagine staying calm while in a car that is spinning out of control on an icy road. You do this by harmonizing your breathing with Chi energy flow.
When we are pulled away from what we wish to manifest in life we feel out of control. We are not on the right path and must ‘transform habit energy’. The way to ‘transform habit energy’ is to slow down and observe faulty perceptions. This is the way to make real progress in our heartfelt aspirations.
Meditating and music slow the spinning wheel of time. Stillness cultivates accurate perspective, deeper wisdom, self-knowledge, empathy and compassion transforming loneliness and isolation into expanded consciousness. (184)
When grief overcomes us from loss and suffering, take solace in accepting and appreciating that something must be relinquished for new growth to take place.
There is no other way to the light than through the darkness. It is a profound journey, and with each step of it we discover that the frightening shadows are nothing but various shades of the light. (186)
This is the way of the phoenix arising from ashes. It requires us to stay put when habit energy pulls us away from our aspirations. When the present is painful and we feel pulled by negative emotions, losing our equanimity, and tempted to dissociate we must stay strong in the moment. Focusing on the now reconnects our suffering with a transformed healthy self.
Discipline provides the scaffold for a creative and happy life allowing us to relate harmoniously with others. In a time of ‘global families’ we need to live in a similar ‘global time zone’ to stay connected.
Founder, Turning Point Tutors