Time is a projection of the mind. (Psychological time) It does not exist, it is only an illusion. Both the past and future are created by thoughts. Only the present exists and the present is not part of time but part of eternity. Past and present are both non-existential because we cannot live in a past or the future other than in our thoughts. The past is only a memory and the future is only imagination, both of them are constructs of the mind and are always being accessed from the present alone. The past is created because we cling to memory and the future is created because of desires to be fulfilled. The future is needed like a screen for the mind to project its desires. The truth is psychological time subordinates the present moment to the past or future by keeping us preoccupied to the memories of our past or to our plans for the future
In the present the mind has to disappear. Only if there is time can the mind survive. The more the time the mind has the more it can play around and make many desires and dreams and live in them. Time also helps the mind in another way – the pressure for change is lifted off as there is still time available for change. In this way the mind can remain the same. Postponing is the base for continuing in the same way. This is the deepest trick of the mind. The reason for postponing change is because you do not want to do it now. As long as time is available the possibility of postponing change is available and in the hope that what is difficult today will become easier tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes.
“A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. So he loses touch with reality, and lives in a world of illusion” – Allan Watts. The thing that we have to realize is that the aim of the mind is always to keep us engaged with the past or the future. This results in us losing touch with reality. Meditation is the way to disengage from the pull of the mind and to experience reality as it unfolds to us. Meditation is not about quieting, manipulating or focusing the mind. On the contrary it is to let the mind keep on doing its thing and instead of identifying with it to just be, knowingly, its awareness.
Consider the mind just like a train that entered the station. Do not get involved with the train. Let the train go where it is going. Let the thoughts do what they are conditioned to do. But don’t board the train. Don’t get on, even if you get on, just step off. You don’t even have to step off. Be more like the platform than the passenger. You are that through which the train is flowing. It doesn’t matter where it’s going. Doesn’t matter where your thoughts are going, what they’re doing. They’re always doing one of two things: they are either going into the past or the future. Just let them go, let them make the journey, but you never take the journey with them.
That is meditation, just to know yourself as this ever-present, imperturbable light of awareness. That’s it. Just abide as that. When we know this we enter the timeless space of the eternal now and begin to experience our reality..
There are many roles with which we commonly identify ourselves with. As a child, adolescent, youth, father, mother, husband, wife, elder person, healthy, sick, wealthy, powerful, enlightened and so on. But in reality these are just thoughts about us.
Any thought that we have about our self, irrespective of its nature, is only a thought. It cannot be our true self as the truth of our self is not a thought but the source of it.
There is something within us that is greater than our thoughts, mind and body but is aware of the thoughts, mind, body, beliefs and everything that presents itself as reality to the five senses. Any thought, feeling or emotion is therefore an inadequate description of our true self.
The true self is not the mind, body, heart, soul, truth, god or anything that can be named. It is simply beyond definition. It is easier to get caught in appearances rather than take a step back and see that we are beyond all that we think or perceive.
The truth of who we really are is completely independent of any concept of who we truly are whether it is being ignorant or enlightened, rich or poor, healthy or sick, and so on. Truth is free from everything and the only thing that blocks us from enjoying this freedom is attachment to a thought about who we are! This attachment is what prevents us from the realization of who we really are.
An image may arise in our mind, a sensation may appear in our body, an emotion might captivate us. All these are objects which come and go, are born and die, appear and disappear. But the truth about who we are does not come and go. It is an ever present reality.
Infinite consciousness without focus upon a specific activity is our true reality. It is the consciousness from which all of life springs. The purpose of spirituality is to see beyond our roles and dramas to the transcendent truth.
In out of the way places of the heart
Where your thoughts never think to wander
This beginning has been quietly forming
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire
Feeling the emptiness grow inside you
Noticing how you willed yourself on
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the grey promises that sameness whispered
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
~john o donohue~