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Seeing the World in a Moment

April 12, 2013


It is very important to see your life not only from the narrow view of your egoistic telescope but also from the broad view of the universal telescope called egolessness. This is why we have to practice. Right in the middle of the stream of time, we have to open our eyes there and see the total picture of time. Through spiritual practice we can go beyond our egoistic point of view. We can touch the core of time, see the whole world in a moment, and understand time in deep relationship with all beings.

– Dainin Katagiri, “Time Revisited”


My concept of time changed drastically after my son was born. Suddenly my eventual death seemed so near I could taste it, and while I have no fear of death in and of itself, I have a great fear of leaving my son before he is grown. I just need to live until he doesn’t need me anymore. Then I can go. This is my nightly prayer.

Time seems to move so slowly when you are young. Then you get older and it begins to feel like that cylindrical carnival ride that starts to spin faster and faster and faster until the floor drops away and you are pinned to the walls of the cylinder simply by centrifugal force.

When I had my son, I already had an established spiritual practice, so I can only guess how this shift in perspective would have felt to me pre-practice, but I imagine it would sound an awful lot like the oft-heard refrains of “oh, they grow so fast” and “life is short” and “there is never enough time”.

Sometimes when I’m in a mindless rut and not living in the moment, I feel these phrases leaping into my throat. When that happens I am reminded that Time and it’s passing is only of concern to us when we are not alive in the moment; when we are seeing past, present, and future as distinct rather than same. Time, like everything else, simply is and it is all happening now.


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