One of the first things I read this morning was Buddhadharma online, which contained this terrific quote:

In Shobogenzo, “Shukke-kudoku” (Merits of the Monastic’s Life), Dogen Zenji said that most people are not able to acquire the way-seeking mind of spiritual awareness without deeply understanding that a day consists of 6,400,099,180 moments. This is a wonderful number. I don’t know where Dogen found this number, but saying that there are 6,400,099,180 moments in a day is not talking about a mysterious idea; it is talking about something real. A moment is called ksana in Sanskrit. Sometimes we say that one finger snap has sixty moments, so one finger snap equals sixty ksana. A Buddhist dictionary may say that a moment equals one seventy-fifth of a second. According to the Abhidharma scriptures, a moment consists of sixty-five instants. The actual numbers are not so important, but we should have a sense of how quickly time goes.

According to Buddhist teaching, all beings in the universe appear and disappear in a moment. The term impermanence expresses the functioning of moment, or the appearance and disappearance of all beings as a moment. It means that all life is transient, constantly appearing and disappearing, constantly changing. You are transient, I am transient, and Buddha is transient. Everything is transient. Wherever you may go, transiency follows you. Transiency is the naked nature of time.

I seem to be having, as often happens around this time of year, practices where I can hear clearly, moment by moment, what’s going on with my body/mind. And it drowns out the usual inner monolog of what’s good and bad and scary and all that. I’ve been doing home practice, which seems to help keep this inner, nonjudgmental focus on track.


One Response

  1. This is wonderful. Great reminders.

    Oh, and home practice. Mine is completely off track right now. So undisciplined.

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