As I mentioned at the end of my last post, I’ve been looking at my relationship to time. Marc recently sent me The Secret Pulse of Time, a nice popular science reference to my own observations. I’m about halfway through it and recommend it if you’re looking for something intellectually stimulating.
Let’s face it, you will never escape being a slave to some form of clock or schedule unless you move into a cave and pursue the rest of your life in solitude. However, acquiescing to the clock does not necessarily imply turning over control. Being in this moment means being present with your body, your emotions, your thoughts and your spirit. This week I have been packing up my belongings, cleaning my house and working on the many things that need to get done before one leaves the country for a year. Its easy to daydream about where I may be in a month (beaches of Thailand, top of Mt Fuji maybe?), but when I find myself doing this I am no longer present. I am using my memory to create thoughts about a future that doesn’t yet exist. So for now I’ll just go back to packing- as monotonous as it is, its great practice for daily life. When I am in fact climbing Mt Fuji, do I want to be thinking about my credit card bill or what I’m having for dinner in 3 days? No! I just want to be climbing Mt Fuji. 🙂
I’m also looking at time from a more holistic, life-long perspective. I’ve always been an ambitious, successful person. Often this means doing things faster than your peers. But where does this actually take us? You will accumulate more possessions, maybe have some high status or fancy title, and hopefully you win the game of life. There is one major flaw with this – you have no idea how long you will live! I put off travelling for years because I wanted to earn some more money, gain some more safety, etc. I let the ends justify the means. Its different now, while I will of course still make future plans and set goals for myself, I will constantly remind myself of the present. If that means a day spent idly sitting on a park bench or dropping everything for a friend in need, so be it. A day is wasted only if you aren’t present and cultivating awareness. Not if you simply are not doing what you planned.