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Buddhadharma : Fall 2016
78 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fall 2 0 1 6 What is time? What is today? What is past? Through deep inquiry into this very moment, we can begin to have insight into how it is in accord with all time, all events. Time seems by nature to be dualistic, a witnessed measurement of something passing. What is time with- out the witness, without passing? How does that change our way of living dur- ing our days of time, people, and conse- quences? We’re all implicated, we’re all exerting our power, we’re all changing the world. The question becomes, how do we use this great power? What do we do with this human life? Realize your very being as all of time—past, present, and future—and the unity of cause and effect. What you do and what happens to you are the same. My mother visited recently. She’s always had a very active, creative life. But she’s eighty-seven now and mov- ing a little bit slower, and she spoke of being with the question, “What am I to be doing at this time in my life?” I said, “Maybe this time in your life is about not doing.” But not doing can be frightening, perhaps particularly as we approach the end of our lives. From a distance, imagined in our mind, doing nothing might appear too still, too naked. But we should understand, while we’re still in the midst of our doing, the profound nature of not-doing: that spiri- tual power, that kind of influence. We need activity, but when we look at the state of our world, we can see how essential it is that there be those who know how to stop for a moment, for a day, for a week—how to stop within every moment, how to realize the still- ness in activity. Then in arriving, no one comes. Then in living this life, no one is born. Then in facing our death, no one will be extinguished. In facing suffering, fundamentally there’s not a single thing. From this place, move amid the many things and intermingle. The light of the moon reflected in the depths of the pond is bright in the sky. The water flowing to the horizon is thoroughly clear and pure. These images and their qualities describe our basic nature, our poten- tial: the radiant moon, the deep pond, the night sky, the fluid, clear, pure water. These are the unknowable, undefinable qualities we each possess. Sifting and straining over and over, even if you know it exists, boundless and clear, it turns out to be utterly ineffable. Even if we know it exists—that we are naturally endowed with enlightened nature—we sit on this cushion having faith. We face our mind in trust. We hear the teachings and somehow, inexplica- bly, we know they’re true. Bodhidharma says, “Do not use your mind to seek mind. Do not look for something.” As Daido Roshi used to say, “It’s not like anything.” Trust deeply, let go deeply. Do you remember how you got here? Do you know how to move forward? You know enough. Practice this.