The Buddha & the Clock

Now carries us in Life’s stream.
Reveals worlds of Being and Doing.
Accepts everything the way it is,
And builds a Peace in Life’s turmoil.

In silent meditation the Buddha sat,
Surrounded by a sea of tranquility.
But by the bedside a little Clock,
Ticked out these words continuosly.

Time plucks us from Life’s stream.
Consumes us in Regret and Fantasy.
Sets us on a wheel of striving.
And brings a Despair to Life’s affair.

By me. Inspired by William Blake’s “The Clod & the Pebble”

The description of Mindfulness as remaining aware while we move from moment to moment conjures up the image of Mindfulness as a series of steps. Its an image that I’m not comfortable with, as I have the feeling that it’s the tail wagging the dog.

Without being able to fully express it, I have the sense that our perception of Time is very similar to the illusion that the Sun is revolving around the Earth. To all intents and purposes its our reality, its what our senses and perception tell us what’s happening.

While on a weekend away recently, I was watching the river Shannon in full flood as it flowed through the town of Killaloe. This is the largest river in the British Isles and at Killaloe the Shannon is funneled through a narrow strait between two Loughs. Its an impressive sight to see such a large body of water moving at such a pace.

As I watched I had a strong insight that the flow of a river is a wonderful metaphor for Mindfulness, and that Time is nothing more than a marker on the river bank.

Time has a dominance in our lives, we are immersed in the concept of  Time by our clocks, our calendars, and our schedules. What if Time is just an illusion? What if the only thing that is fixed is Now, and Time is nothing more than the view from the ship’s bridge.

Wouldn’t that be incredibly liberating.



The first and last milestone

The first and last milestone

There is an indian proverb that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person. Continue reading