Eternity in an Hour

Photo: Mysi

Photo: Mysi

After the tragic, disastrous events in Boston, eternity and mortality are probably not far from our minds.

Anyone who has been through tragedy—any tragedy, however one defines it—will understand how an hour, a minute, a day can seem like an instant or an eternity.

In those moments we are lifted so far out of ourselves that time ceases to have meaning. Even in retrospect, those moments take on the outside-of-time quality that they first possessed.

This time travel, if you will, is not a superhuman feat, and it’s not a phenomenon belonging solely to tragedy. Think of the best day of your life, think of the anticipation of that day. One flew by, the other dragged on interminably.

Here’s the thing: we can cultivate this ability to time travel. Meditation gifts us with the ability to stay solely in the moment so that there is no eternity and no flash of time passing. Everything is eternity; everything is a flash of time passing.

The first time you sit down to meditate and the 10 minutes, the hour, whatever, flies by as if you had just closed your eyes is an experience almost beyond belief. It hasn’t happened to me all that often (probably because I’m constantly trying to replicate it…), but when it does, it reminds me so clearly and so sharply of my own mortality.

The experience of time in and of itself is a crazy, exhilarating meeting of expansion and contraction, of time and perception. It’s what cues you into the idea that your reality is just one eternal moment which can stretch or snap, depending on where you put your attention.

Read the rest at elephant journal.

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