Adyashanti: Imagine there is no time

 

Take a moment and imagine that there is no time. Take a moment to just let go of tomorrow. What if letting go of suffering wasn’t possible tomorrow – that today, even right now, was all you had, and you had nothing else but today? All of a sudden, you would look at your whole existence through completely different eyes. See if you can feel what it is to exist only now. See what its like to completely take tomorrow, and yesterday, out of the picture.

– Adyashanti from Falling into Grace

A few basic things here:

In an ordinary sense, it’s of course fine and reasonable to postpone some things into the future – such as meetings, appointments, tasks and events. I’ll put some things on my calendar for the next few weeks, and even months, and do them (or not) as the day and time is here. It’s fine to put these into an imagined future, because it tends to work.

And yet, with certain “inner” things, it makes much more sense to do it here and now.  These may include…. finding love for what’s here, pulling discomfort closer, using a gentle inquiry to see what’s here, asking myself “is it true that what I am seeking is not already here?”.

Putting these into an imagined future creates a pattern and habit of postponing. It gives the mind a way out from doing it here and now.

It also tends to reinforce the idea of a real and solid future “out there” somewhere. Is there really a findable future, or even a past or present? Is the word “future” the actual future? Is this image of a future an actual future? Is this sensation associated with “future” an actual future? Can I find the future anywhere, outside of words, images and sensations (clearly happening now)? As I examine this and take it in, the option of postponing certain things into the future seems less attractive or real. Why not do it now?

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It’s very easy for our minds to think “I’ll get to it later”. It is true, in a conventional sense, that we can “get to it later”. And yet, thinking about it that way creates a pattern and a habit of postponing. The mind gives itself a way out from doing it here and now.

In a more real sense, there is no findable future or past, or even present. Is the word “future” the actual future? Is this image of a future an actual future? Is this sensation associated with “future” an actual future? Can I find the future anywhere, outside of words, images and sensations (clearly happening now)? As I examine this and take it in, the option of postponing certain things into the future seems less attractive or real. Why not do it now?

There is also a practical aspect here. Of course, in an ordinary sense, it’s fine to postpone some things into the future. I’ll put some things on my calendar for the next few weeks, and even months, and do them (or not) as the day is here. And yet, with certain “inner” things, it makes much more sense to do it here and now, recognizing that here and now is all I have and will ever have.

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