Wait, hold the clock. Is it me, or does time seem like it’s beginning to modulate?
Seriously, this is starting to freak me out.
You’ve had this experience before, right? Sometimes it seems as if time is flying by, and before you know it, your day is gone.
I’ve also been undergoing more and more occasions when the world literally stops for an almost imperceivable moment. In those moments, I feel like I’m sitting in a vast expanse of nothingness, where nothing is happening, everything is stopped, and my consciousness is just floating.
Yes, it’s incredibly relaxing. If only I could recreate this experience at will, you just might see Dorjee hanging out in the corner staring at the wall all day. My meditation practice gets me part of the way there, but who has time to meditate all day?
Maybe this is why monks meditate so often? They have time. It’s a wonder they even come back to this reality from their meditations.
Make no mistake, I’m not implying there’s anything easy about being a monk of any tradition. It seems like a hard and grueling road, even if you only try it temporarily, as I did in Thailand almost 10 years ago.
Upon entering the monastery, site unseen, for a 14-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat, the grounds seemed plain but nice enough. Of course, we were trained in the finest part of the temple, reserved only for special guests and honored holidays, I’m sure. This is how they reel you in slowly.
Our dorms were clean and simple: an empty room save for a floor mat and meditation cushion, a shower with toilet in a smaller back room, and a window. We saw the temple abbot once a day, if he wasn’t traveling doing…well, monk things.
I remember the door being the most ornate aspect of the room—over my time there, I began to appreciate the simple act of coming and going. I would use the door to go to morning and afternoon meals (there were only 2 opportunities to get your rice gruel), and to go see the abbot. You could say that the door was my time marker for where I was in the day. I only crossed the threshold a few times a day, but each time seemed exciting compared to the 12 hours of meditation I was doing each day INSIDE the room.
You see, crossing the threshold is just the beginning of your adventure.
When you really open up to the possibilities in life, time ceases to matter. It’s not so important when you walk through the door, but it is important IF you walk through the door. I say take your chances, because your present condition isn’t going to stay the same anyway.
I’d rather walk through the door intentionally than have the rug swept out from under me without notice.