This is Zen. If you were to spend a ton of money and time to travel to Japan and attend a Zen meditation retreat, you would be given a cushion and put in front of a wall. And if you slouched or fell asleep you would be smacked on the shoulder by a strict nurse. And you might consider your time and money well spent. And if you are fortunate to have a meditation practice in your life, you would voluntarily sit in this “holding cell” every morning. When the external world is reduced to a boring wall, what happens. Ah…we encounter our future. Why is that good…or bad.
When time becomes painful, what is happening but our refuge from the life of the present moment is being taken away. Future is were we live in our society. The future give us meaning. The doctor is in the future and he is coming in a moment. But he doesn’t come. The gap between now and the future becomes torture as it grows wider. This is an important revelation if you are interesting in the cessation of the Suffering of Time. Did you know Time is Thought, and Thought is the cause of Suffering? Those is live in time, suffering in time…but we think it is normal because we are all swimming in the same lake of time. We think Time is all there is. Lets look into this.
What is my interest in doing these talks, on writing on Facebook I just asked myself. We have to ask ourselves direct questions now and then, just to check in on who we are. I write and talk here not to give you content, a belief or set of instructions to attain a better place in life. That is the contents or the soup in the cup. I point to the cup itself, the cup that can’t be seen by us who are in the soup.
You see, if the soup is alphabet soup the letters are our thinking, so the letters in the soup spell out our reality. Everyone spells a different soup, but it is the same soup. And also swimming in the soup is the big letter I. I am the Thinker in the Soup of Thought. That is the whole soup. Everyone thinks they are a different soup, but is the same soup, each just has different flavor.
But what is the cup that hold the soup? It is the unseen cup that shapes the soup and delivers the soup to each of us, as if we, holding this invisible cup is serving each other this Reality Soup. We don’t see the cup, so we blame the soup on our dissatisfaction with the soup, as if we are outside of the soup, as if we were the cup. But we are not the cup because we have identified with the Thinker in the Soup.
We all take great pride in being a different soup, thinking that will remove the suffering of the Soup, but it doesn’t, so we keep coming up with new labels and recipes. The cup itself is never seen. And we can’t see it because only what’s in the soup can be seen, has any form. The cup is Empty of Form. But is maintains it shape through patterns of behaviors. The patterns of our conditioned mind (which is the cup) maintains the shape of our life and its persistent suffering. Every day we continue to have our Tea Time or Suffering, repeating the pattern of the Cup over and over hoping for a different result.
If we want to know Why we Suffer and if there is any end to it, we need to understand Time our our misuse of it, our misperception of it. We need to see the connection between Time and Thought. We need to observe this in our own mind, our own life, and not merely read about it in books. Without personal practice, without the application of wisdom teaching (Dharma) to your everyday life, nothing will change.
Meditation, spiritual practice is intentionally created the conditions in which we can see the Tyranny of Time in our own lives, in our own mind. Time is like a movie in which we become absorbed, forgetting that we are watching a movie—unless someone pokes us. Time, movement and the space that holds things is like a movie, but we forget that we are in a movie of Time, so we suffering the pains of the characters in the movie. We are the actor in our own movie, but we forget we are dreaming the movie that is our life. The movie Inception is a good metaphor for not realizing one is dreaming a world and then living in it.