Time and Timing
A few days ago, I took the dog for a walk on a beautiful, sunny morning, and I was thinking about what could go on this blog. Every time we walk, we turn around at the same spot and re-trace our steps to make sure we have a view of the ocean in both directions (why not enjoy it twice). I was thinking about time: enjoying it, wasting it, being aware of it. I was going back to where we started but walking forwards, all the while, time passing. Then I thought, what if I turn around and walk backwards to look where I just came from, so I turned around and started walking backwards. Grammatically speaking, I was walking backwards in time. I was going where I started, and I was going backwards. If no one told me, how would I know there was such a thing as time, and that it was passing?
Albert Einstein proved mathematically that time is relative. Two people who are born at the same moment can age at different rates (if we could move at the speed of light). If time is relative, then our normal concept of time and it passing is wrong. Because there can be two or more versions of time, there really is no absolute version, so it doesn't exist. it's just a perception on present moments. There is only the present moment, no future, and no past. There is only now.
We do have clocks and meetings and schedules, and we experience emotions around
“time” and what we think it does for us. "Time’s" merely a construct we as humans use to increase getting what we want in relation to others and for a sense of security in what can often feel like total uncertainty.
The reality of life (the universe, science) is that the only existence occurs in the exact present moment as you observe it. A moment occurs as you observe it to occur, i.e. everything really is in your mind. One moment unfolds into another moment, and therefore “time” passes as you choose it to pass.
There is no time. There is only the present moment. It’s almost cliche: do you know people who are always complaining constantly, about all the bad things happening to them. With enough “time” in between seeing them, you begin to see and understand that they are bringing the bad things upon themselves through their own perspective - they are creating all of their own misery with their own perspective on their present moment.
And the converse is true: I create my own happiness (contentment, love, joy) by the thoughts/perspective I have on my own present moment. That's all there is: the present moment. The word I’m writing on paper, and my decision that it will resonate with you. The “future” or “past” only exists as a perspective or projection, as we decide it to be right now. There’s nothing more. There is no time, there is only now.
Seated meditation and mindfulness bring greater awareness to our thoughts as we sit and throughout the day. Our awareness of those thoughts is enough to begin to change them, and they will change into thoughts that better serve us - lead us to deeper and fuller happens, a greater personal effectiveness.
It’s all in our mind, and it all starts with awareness of our thoughts.
Meditate, sit long enough, with frequency and regularly, and this becomes abundantly clear.
We have all of these sometimes fluid, sometimes disjointed, parts of our lives that we choose and work hard to go our way. Maybe it’s a school we want our kid to go to, or a second date with someone we finally like, or a deep relationship we want to blossom that is beginning to feel frustrating and burdensome, or maybe just getting through the subway station to make a yoga class on time.
When you meditate, occurrences in your life line up with other occurrences that very much benefit you. The longer you meditate, the higher and deeper those occurrences are. They feel seamless. You create serendipity. Timing in your life becomes obvious.
When you do not meditate, you feel frustrated that life isn’t going your way. Instead of being aware and creating blessed events, you live in fits and starts of frustration, anger, and disappointment.
I can’t prove this to you. You can’t really make life a controlled experiment. I can only tell you it’s true and urge you to meditate and experience it for yourself. As a matter of fact, the timing of you reading this, perhaps meditating with some frequency, or maybe for the first time, and deepening your interest in mindfulness, is perfect.