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Meditation Note from Alaska



Time
편집장  2018-02-18 00:10:45, 조회 : 1,595, 추천 : 746

Last May, I visited Barrow, the northernmost city in Alaska. It is a small city located at 71 degree N latitude, where Native Alaskans still hunt whales in the ocean. The Arctic Ocean, which has been frozen during the winter, starts melting from June, and I had a chance to walk on the frozen ocean.

Because of the high latitude in Barrow, white nights start early. For almost 80 days from May 11, there is no sunset and, no night in the city. Sun shines 24 hours in the middle of the sky everyday. As I walk along the beach of the Arctic Ocean, I felt like time had stopped, and every moment was felt like eternal.

In the place of white night where sun never goes down and we have only have day time for about three months, a question occurred to me suddenly. What is time? Does it have absolute and fixed substance? At the moment, I reminded of a dialogue between a Zen master and his student in ancient time.

This is how the dialogue went:

“How long have you studied?”
“Over four years, master.”
“What do you mean?”
“It means four years have passed already.”
“Where do those years come from and go to?”
“Pardon?”
“Describe what those years look like.”
“It does not have any shape,” the student answered perplexed.
“Have you seen time come?”
“No, sir.”
“And have you seen time go?”
“No, sir.”
“Then how come you said that years have passed?”
“I am sorry. It was my mistake.”
“People say that time comes and goes. But time has never come nor gone. It has neither a beginning nor an end. Therefore, it is not moving, not stopping. Time doesn’t exist but it is not nothing. So tell me, what is time?”
“Time is just a name which people use to describe an idea. But time itself does not have real substance.”
“That’s right. Do not complain about time which has no form nor substantiality. Study and practice harder!”

As seen in the anecdote, many people find an excuse about something negative and unsuccessful from time. They say ‘because of time, they couldn’t make it. This is a delusion and stupidity, one of the Three Poisons.

Time do not exist as a substantiality. It cannot do any thing by its nature. It is our own effort to make anything happen. What make us to make effort; it is our mind. Everything is created by mind; everything changes according to the rule of cause and condition. Let’s not blame time.



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2018-07-21
13:08:11


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