Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: Fleeting Time - Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 919 times)

Offline UK Bodhi Association

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Footprints on the Journey: Fleeting Time - Khenpo Sodargye
« on: June 12, 2016, 09:11:57 am »

Fleeting Time

People like to think of time in terms of day and night. For me, I prefer to imagine it as a river of no return.

At the bank of a river, Confucius says: “The passage of time is just like that.”

The philosopher Heraclitus says: “No man ever steps in the same river twice.”

Another wise man says: “Life is on the move; it is a river.”

The sages all emphasize the preciousness of time. Indeed, as a rushing river, time will never return once it’s gone, no matter whether it has been splendid or obscure, happy or sad. In this life, we humans can live only once; thus it is important to ponder deeply how to spend the time we have.

A pompous intellect said to me today: “You always emphasize that we should memorize the sutras and shastras. Yet I think a Dharma practitioner’s main concerns should be cultivating bodhichitta, overcoming confused emotions, as well as practicing concentration and meditation. As to the theoretical aspects, a rough understanding should suffice. Why waste time memorizing them line by line?” He had some points there. But I knew the time he so “saved” had not been used properly on the crucial tasks he mentioned, but rather on worthless activities such as distractions, gossiping, and slumber. I replied: “What you said makes sense. I would rejoice for sure if you were to really use your time in cultivating bodhichitta or sitting in meditation. But is it because you are sitting in meditation all day long that you have no time for recitation and memorization? Not quite so, correct?” Hearing this, he seemed to see the light at once and said: “I understand now. I am just a big talker; in fact, I have not devoted my time to practice. From now on I will save time from distractions to memorize stanzas for at least 30 minutes.” Hearing his confession, I was quite pleased. This case applies not only to him, but also to all practitioners; it is definitely beneficial to find time every day, even if it’s only 10 minutes, to memorize one stanza or note down a koan.

Mr. Lu Xun said once: “I am no genius; I only make full use of time. When people are having coffee, I’d rather be reading or writing.” Famous people in the world value time highly but know not to use it on spiritual growth; spiritual seekers know Dharma practices but usually do not cherish time.

So long as we are unable to turn time backward, we should try to live our lives perfectly. Otherwise on our deathbed we will be overcome with remorse for having wasted our precious time. Let us make use of every minute, every second, like squeezing out water from a wet sponge, on meaningful activities; let us not squander our time on distractions.

6th of February, Year of RenWu
March 20, 2002

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Footprints on the Journey: Fleeting Time - Khenpo Sodargye
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2016, 03:44:29 am »
I like your posts, but why not enjoy a cup of coffee mindfully? Isn't true practice embedded in the everyday?
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka


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