11 Presentations on no-time: No past, present, or future

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    One day we were sitting around a fountain, chatting, when Pema said...

    Pema Pera: How about using the 9 sec for a few days to re-explore no-time that way?

    Solo replied...

    Solobill Laville: OK

    Pema Pera: I'd love to hear your experiences, Solo! We often talk about what has struck us, out of the blue, but it is nice to try to set up little bits and pieces of things-to-do, things-to-try out, wiggling the wires so to speak as part of an ongoing exploration
    Pema Pera: Solo may be getting back to us in three days . . . :-)
    Pema Pera: (with his reports)

    Solobill Laville: yes

    So, here is my end of that bargain...


    For three days I entertained the subject of no-time as subject for PaB practice. This was a different approach for me, as I generally work towards a shikan-taza-like effort of no-thought.  But this was more of a reflective effort, where I did not try to make structures of concepts, rather to let notions flow and sculpt them as gently, honestly, and personally as I could.  Thus it occurred to me that these were really presentations to myself.  So here are 11 brief presentations of thought on the subject of no past, present, or future to myself through reflection.

    [Presentation 1: Relation]
    “Things” only have definition when related to other “things”.  In a world of only yellow, there is no color.  But when there is also red, then yellow becomes “not red”, and vice versa.  An “e” above “middle c” on a piano is only a note with a certain pitch but has no relative value until placed in relation to another note or notes.  So then, today, with a commitment to absolute mindfulness, and no thought of yesterday or tomorrow, has no relative value in terms of time.

    [Presentation 2: Space]
    Time is what space does.  Once space “is”, time must also “be” to allow space to move from “a” to “b”; without time, no space, and vice versa. 

    [Presentation 3: Nothing Happens]
    For anything to “happen” there must be space, and thus time; but, if time is illusory, then so too is space, and therefore, indeed nothing happens.

    [Presentation 4: THE moment]
    Within Mind all is – eternity – in this moment, THE moment.  Here there is no Not Moment.  (This is a very miraculous moment.)  But there is not next or before, just IS.

    [Presentation 5: Time moves through us]
    A vision of a red toy car that I had when I was a kid of maybe 7; it had a large central wheel.  A long plastic thin and toothed strip would fit into the car next to the wheel and be pulled through it to make the wheel spin.  In this world of “this”, the car is akin to my mind-body perception and time in akin to the strip.  “Time” is inserted in this mind-body experience and moves through it by some rule of motion.  But that which sees is stationary; time moves through it.

    [Presentation 6: mind moves time and space] 
    I can put my mind in the palm of my hand, or the distant kitchen, as I can put it in a sunny suburban backyard in 1976.  In all cases “it” is not here if I am not “with” it.  But again, where it is, so am “I”, either as pilot (in mindfulness) or stowaway.

    [Presentation 7: Less thought, more time] 
    The more my mind roots in the source, the slower “time” seems to have passed, but in actuality has passed much quicker. This is recognized only post facto; the mind quiets, time flies. 

    [Presentation 8: Side-stepping past-present-future]
    The present is only present really when it is looked at in relation to past and future, like a many-miles-long train you see from the freeway out West or in the great plains…the engines that have past are past, the cars rolling by in front are the present, and the caboose is the future.  But these are all a thread of “this-here-relative” time; like film through a movie projector, some has played, some is playing, some will play.  If I can side-step this illusory trilogy, in no-time, there can be no “present” as “present” is only defined by past or future.  And if there is no present, there is only the indescribable non-related outside-of-now-IS.

    [Presentation 9: Neither coming nor going]
    There is no time to get anything done; so, nothing gets done.  There is no place to go; so, no one goes there.  Who, then, are you?

    [Presentation 10: Too much thinking]

    [Presentation 11: The center of the Universe]
    When I put my arms around the universe, or sit on the tip of a pin, the three times have been defeated.

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    Viewing 4 of 4 comments: view all
    Originally written on 09:39, 08 Nov 2008

    Posted 15:59, 9 Apr 2010
    Originally written on 20:02, 08 Nov 2008
    Hi Solo! Thanks for your lab reports. I very much enjoyed reading them.
    I hope you'll continue with those! Just a few observations:

    -- the fact that we sometimes get very vivid memories popping up
    from long ago probably means that such a memory was formed at
    a moment when we were more in touch with the `eternal now' or
    fourth time. Tasting the *quality* of those memories, more
    than their content, may help us recognize and get in touch more
    with this fourth time.

    -- lovely picture of the railroad cars, I could see and hear them
    rolling by, reading your description!

    -- yes, it's great to watch and analyze to some extent how everything
    we label is dependent on other things we also label; like a humongous
    house of cards that stands of falls together . . . .

    May I suggest another 3-day exploration?

    How about trying this, a few times a day, to switch between
    experiencing the three times, and experiencing the fourth time?
    It may become more clear how distinct each of those two options
    feels, if you deliberately try to switch between them.


    Posted 15:59, 9 Apr 2010
    Originally written on 06:01, 09 Nov 2008
    Thanks, both.
    Posted 15:59, 9 Apr 2010
    Originally written on 00:22, 07 Apr 2009
    Hello Solo,
    Indeed in delay, but i jusr read your 11 presentations and found them fascinating, inspiring, and most of all bright and lucidly written. They resonates with discussions i've had with Pema for the last months, as well as explorations, yet i found you put it down very elegantly and beautifully. Maybe this investigation can be continued by you. (hint - time workshop?)
    Posted 15:59, 9 Apr 2010
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