Monday, November 8, 2010

Study Hall - Shobogenzo

When you live as scheduled a life as we do here at Zen Center, the clock change is always an event, though I think everyone notices it to some extent. I remember my first April in practice period at Tassajara, when I was chronically tired, and the fact that we lost an hour's sleep seemed like a huge injustice at the time. Today we had the sun coming up during morning service again, and doubtless it will be getting dark during afternoon zazen. All in all, a perfect morning to read 'The Time Being', 'Uji', where Dogen tosses out any conventional notion of time in favour of his own understanding. It is one one of the more notoriously dense fascicles, though glimmers of understanding are possible:
"Each moment is all being, each moment is the entire world. Reflect now whether any being or any world is left out of the present moment...Do not think that time merely flies away. Do not see flying away as the only function of time. If time merely flies away, you would be separated from time. The reason you do not clearly understand the time being is that you think of time only as passing...The time being has the characteristic of flowing. So-called today flows into tomorrow, today flows into today, yesterday flows into today. And today flows into today, tomorrow flows into tomorrow".
He doesn't say what he thinks about clocks going back, but I think it is included in the flowing.

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