Sunday, November 7, 2010

Time Changes

The time change from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time took place this morning. I always welcome this one because it seems to give me an extra hour in the day in which to be productive. For one day, at least, I have enough time to do everything that I want or need to do on a Sunday. I can cafe sit with Kathy. There can be a leisurely walk with Sam the dog all the way to the park where we chase squirrels, run with other dogs, and watch the Tai Chi practitioners. The New York Times Sunday Edition can be savored, not just scanned. I can write a blog, cook dinner, then watch a movie with the everyone. 

Time changes also bring home to me the fact that hours, minutes, days, and years are artificial concepts developed to help us to understand change. 

When we meditate, however, we enter into the present moment where there is no time. Instead, it is always "now." Therefore, it appears that we exist in at least two realms: the world of time, and the world of no time. This may explain why a forty-five minute meditation can seem like only a few minutes, or like an eternity. When we are immersed in a timeless place, we don't have the movement of a clock or sun with which to judge the passing of the minutes.

The same experience happens when we are deeply absorbed in a task or project. Paying attention in the present moment in this way seems to hold a key to the timeless, the birthless, and the deathless. 

So enjoy your time, as we begin the final descent into the darkness of the winter season. Connect with time through connection with nature, and connect with the timeless through your meditation practice.

Here is a poem by Mary Oliver, one of six pieces that appeared in today's New York Times to mark the end of Daylight Savings Time:

Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness
Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing, as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?
So let us go on

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.



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