Wrote to someone:

There is a vast stillness in which time is limitless, dynamic yet still (dogen calls it the aspect of time which does not fall away) and space is boundless. As for time, it feels like being in this boundless and luminous world of time, there is no sensation of time falling away, passing by, nor is there a 'you' to fall out of it.

However it is not a formless and spaceless metaphysical substratum behind phenomena but is the
boundless luminous world itself

The stillness free of any center or identity is both still and silent, equanimous and unpertubable. The equanimity that you said should indeed not be interpreted as some ultimate ground of being.

The Buddha said, I dwell in safety, fearlessness and intrepidity. (which was born out of his knowledge and confidence in what he has realized)

There is not however some unchanging basis that is temporarily modulating into temporal forms. Not at all.

There is just being time, temporality is buddha nature (the true nature of existence), with only 'you' standing in the way of its stillness and boundlessness being apparent.

 John Tan, 2009:

I think realization and development will eventually reach the same destination.

A practitioner that experience the “Self” will initially treat
1.The “Source as the Light of Everything”.
2. He/she will eventually move to the experience that the “Light is really the Everything”.

In the first case, the Light will appear to be still and the transience appears to be moving. Collapsing of space and time will only be experienced when one resides in Self. However if the mind continues to see the 'Light' as separated from the 'Everything' , then realization will appear to be apart from development.

In the second case when we experience the “Light is really the Everything”, then Everything will be experienced as manifesting yet not moving. This is the experience of wholeness and completeness in an instantaneous moment or Eternity in a moment. When this experience becomes clear in practice, then witness is seen as the transience. Space and time will also collapse when we experience the completeness and wholeness of transience. An instantaneous moment of manifestation that is complete and whole in its own also does not involve movement and change (No changing thing, only change). Practicing being 'bare' in attention yet at the same time noticing the 3 characteristics will eventually bring us to this point.

However what has a yogi overcome when moving from case 1 to 2 and what exactly is the cause of separation in the first place? I think realizing this cause is of utmost importance for solving the paradox of realization and development.

If we are thus trapped in time, how can we escape? The paradoxical nondual solution is to eliminate the dichotomy dialectically by realizing that I am not in time because I am time, which therefore means that I am free from time.
Much of our difficulty in understanding
time is due to the unwise use of spatial metaphors -- in fact, the objectification of time requires such spatial metaphors -- but in this case another spatial metaphor is helpful. We normally understand objects such as cups to be "in" space, which (as explained above in relation to time) implies that in themselves they must have a self-existence distinct from space. However, not much reflection is necessary to realize that the cup itself is irremediably spatial. All its parts must have a certain thickness, and without the various spatial relations among the bottom, sides, and handle, the cup could not be a cup. Perhaps one way to express this is to say that the cup is not "in" space but itself is space: the cup is "what space is doing in that place," so to speak. The same is true for the temporality of the cup. The cup is not an atemporal, self-existing object that just happens to be "in" time, for its being is irremediably temporal. The point of this is to destroy the thought-constructed dualism between things and time. When we wish to express this, we must describe one in terms of the other, by saying either that objects are temporal (in which case they are not "objects" as we usually conceive of them) or, conversely, that time is objects -- that is, that time expresses itself in the manifestations that we call objects. Probably the clearest expression of this way is given by Dōgen: "The time we call spring blossoms directly as an existence called flowers. The flowers, in turn, express the time called spring. This is not existence within time; existence

p. 19

The Mahāyāna Deconstruction of Time

itself is time."[20] This is the meaning of his "being-time" (uji):

"Being-time" means that time is being; that is, "Time is existence, existence is time." The shape of a Buddha-statue is time.... Every thing, every being in this entire world is time.... Do not think of time as merely flying by; do not only study the fleeting aspect of time. If time is really flying away, there would be a separation between time and ourselves. If you think that time is just a passing phenomenon, you will never understand being-time.[21]

Time "flies away" when we experience it dualistically, with the sense of a self that is outside and looking at it. Then time becomes something that I have (or do not have), objectified and quantified in a succession of "now-moments" that cannot be held but incessantly fall away. In contrast, the "being-times" that we usually reify into objects cannot be said to occur in time, for they are time. As Nāgārjuna would put it, that things (or rather "thingings") are time means that there is no second, external time that they are "within."
This brings us to the second prong of the dialectic. To use the interdependence of objects and time to deny only the reality (svabhāva) of objects is incomplete, because their relativity also implies the unreality of time. Just as with the other dualities analyzed earlier in section II, to say that there is only time turns out to be equivalent to saying that there is no time. Having used temporality to deconstruct things, we must reverse the analysis and use the lack of a thing "in" time to negate the objectivity of time also: when there is no "contained," there can be no "container." If there are no nouns, then there can be no temporal predicates because they have no referent. When there are no things which have an existence apart from time, then it makes no sense to speak of" them" as being young or old: "so the young man does not grow old nor does the old man grow old" (Nāgārjuna).[22] Dōgen expressed this in terms of firewood and ashes:

... we should not take the view that what is latterly ashes was formerly firewood. What we should understand is that, according to the doctrine of Buddhism, firewood stays at the position of firewood.... There are former and later stages, but these stages are clearly cut.[23]

Firewood does not become ashes; rather, there is the "being-time" of firewood, then the "being-time" of ashes. But how does such "being-time" free us from time?

Similarly, when human beings die, they cannot return to life; but in Buddhist teaching we never say life changes into death.... Likewise, death cannot change into life.... Life and death have absolute existence, like the relationship of winter and spring. But do not think of winter changing into spring or spring into summer.[24]

Because life and death, like spring and summer, are not in time, they are in themselves timeless. If there is nobody who lives and dies, then there is no life and death -- or, alternatively, we may say that there is life-and-death in every moment, with the arising and disappearance of each thought, perception, and act. Perhaps this is what Heraclitus meant when he said that "both life and

p. 20


death are in both our living and dying."[25] Certainly it is what Dōgen meant when he wrote that we must realize that nirvāṇa is nothing other than life-and-death, for only then can we escape from life and death.

- Zen master David Loy, and Zen master Dogen http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../the-mahayana...


Ted Biringer says:

While it may be contrary to the suggestions of many that claim to represent Zen or Dogen, true nature, according to the classic Zen records (including Shobogenzo) is ever and always immediately present, particular, and precise. Noti
ons or assertions suggesting that Zen is somehow mysterious, ineffable, or inexpressible are simply off the mark. The only place such terms can be accurately applied in Zen is to definite mysteries, particular unknowns, and specific inexpressible experiences. Indeed, in Zen, the terms definite, particular, and specific accurately characterize all dharmas. Dogen’s refrain, ‘Nothing in the whole universe is concealed’ means exactly what it says; no reality is the least bit obscure or vague. To emphasize this truth, the assertion that ‘real form is all dharmas’ runs like a mantra throughout Shobogenzo, for example:

“The realization of the Buddhist patriarchs is perfectly realized real form. Real form is all dharmas. All dharmas are forms as they are, natures as they are, body as it is, the mind as it is, the world as it is, clouds and rain as they are, walking, standing, sitting, and lying down, as they are; sorrow and joy, movement and stillness, as they are; a staff and a whisk, as they are; a twirling flower and a smiling face, as they are; succession of the Dharma and affirmation, as they are; learning in practice and pursuing the truth, as they are; the constancy of pines and the integrity of bamboos, as they are. Shobogenzo, Shoho-Jisso[199]”

In light of Shobogenzo’s (hence Zen’s) vision of existence-time (uji), existence (ontology; being) and time are not-two (nondual); dharmas are not simply existents in time, they are existents of time, and (all) time is in and of existents (i.e. dharmas). In short, dharmas do not exist independent of time, and time does not exist independent of dharmas. On a corollary note, since (all) existence demonstrates the quality of ‘impermanence,’ time too is impermanent. In Zen the nonduality of impermanence and time is treated in terms of ‘ceaseless advance’ or ‘ever passing’ – ‘ceaseless’ and ‘ever’ connoting ‘permanence’ or ‘eternity,’
‘advance’ and ‘passing’ indicating ‘impermanence’ or ‘temporal’ (temporary). Accordingly, ‘impermanence’ is ‘permanent’ and ‘change’ is ‘changeless’ – existence-time ever-always (eternally) advances (changes).[92] Dogen’s vision of reality exploits the significance of this to the utmost, unfolding its most profound implications with his notion of ‘the self-obstruction of a single dharma’ or ‘the total exertion of a single dharma’ (ippo gujin). This notion reveals a number of important implications concerning the nature of existence-time; two of which are: Each and all dharmas reveal, disclose, or present the whole universe (the totality of existence-time). Each and all dharmas are inherently infinite and eternal.

Biringer, Ted. Zen Cosmology: Dogen's Contribution to the Search for a New Worldview (p. 34). ZazensatioN. Kindle Edition.


I am exploring the implications and ramifications of time, which is germane to the awareness of ‘being’. Through pure contemplation, awareness happens – not that there is an ‘I’ to be aware – awareness happens of itself. There is a realisation akin to that of ‘me’ having not happened yet ... and time seems to have come to a halt. As time stopping is patently absurd, it is worthy of further investigation. Time is an observable fact: the clock measures the hours, the day becomes night, a leaf falling from a tree takes time to reach the ground. Yet, psychologically speaking, does time exist? Many philosophers have said it does not, but I demur. Something does happen with time, subjectively, when this moment lives me – instead of ‘me’ living in the present – but what is it that happens? Is this moment actually timeless as some say that it is?

Time has no duration when the immediate is the ultimate and the relative is the absolute. This moment takes no interval at all to be here now. Thus it appears that it is as if nothing has occurred, for not only is the future not here, but the past does not exist either. If there is no beginning and no end, is there a middle? There are things happening, but nothing has happened or will happen … or so it seems. Only this moment exists. This moment has no term, it takes no time at all to occur … which gives rise to the inaccurate notion that it is timeless. This is an institutionalised delusion, for it stems from the egocentric feeling that ‘I’ am Immortal, that ‘I’ am Eternal.

Apperception – which is the mind’s perception of itself reveals that this moment is hanging in eternal time … just as this planet is hanging in infinite space. This moment and this place are in the realm of the infinitude of this actual physical universe. This moment is perennial, not timeless. I am perpetually here – for the term of my natural life – as this moment is; I am not Eternally Present. It is the universe that is eternal … not me. As one is the universe experiencing itself as a sensate human being, any ‘I’ - always on the look-out for self-aggrandisement – grabs the universe’s eternity for itself. Also, what helps to create the feeling that the present is timeless is that human beings – as an identity – are normally out of this universe’s eternal time. Yet time is as intimate as this body being here now at this moment. It is so intimate that I – as a body only – am not separate from it. Whereas ‘I’, as a human ‘being’, have separated ‘myself’ from eternal time by being an entity. To be an ontological ‘being’ is to mistakenly take this body being here as containing an ‘I’, a psychological or psychic entity. To ‘be’ is to take this moment of being alive personally … as being proof of ‘my’ subjective existence. ‘I’ am an illusion; if ‘I’ think and feel that ‘I’ do exist, then ‘I’ am outside of eternal time. ‘I’ am forever complaining that there is ‘not enough hours in the day’, or ‘I am always running out of time’, or ‘I am always catching up with time’, or ‘I am always behind time’. All this activity is considered ‘normal’, as it is the common experience of humankind. (...)

But I am supremely blasé about the opinion of others, for their ‘truths’ do not work ... they do not live in peace and tranquillity. They do not experience the perpetual purity of this moment of being alive; a purity welling-up in all directions from the vast, immeasurable stillness of the infinitude of this universe. They remain ignorant of the excellence of the absence of ‘being’. In short, their ‘truths’, their philosophies on life, do not work. The criterion of a fact is that it works, it produces results. Because I live here, where the immediate is the ultimate and the relative is the absolute, I have never known sorrow or malice. All my thoughts and deeds are benign, for maleficence does not exist where time has no duration.

By living the fact that ‘I’ am not actual, evil has ceased to be. Richard’s Journal, 1997, Article Sixteen

- Actual Freedom Richard http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/.../selectedw.../sw-time.htm

There is something precious in living itself. Something beyond compare. Something more valuable than any “King’s ransom”. It is not rare gemstones; it is not singular works of art; it is not the much-prized bags of money; it is not the treasured loving relationships; it is not the highly esteemed Blissful States Of ‘Being’ ... ... it is not any of these things usually considered precious. There is something ultimately precious. It is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe … which is the life-giving foundation of all that is apparent. That something precious is me as-I-am ... me as I actually am as distinct from ‘me’ as ‘I’ really am. I am the universe’s experience of itself. The limpid and lucid perfection and purity of being here now, as-I-am, is akin to the crystalline perfection and purity seen in a dew-drop hanging from the tip of a leaf in the early-morning sunshine; the sunrise strikes the transparent dew-drop with its warming rays, highlighting the flawless correctness of the tear-drop shape with its bellied form. One is left almost breathless with wonder at the immaculate simplicity so exemplified ... and everyone I have spoken with has experienced this impeccable purity and perfection in some way or another at varying stages in their life. Is it not impossible to conceive – and just too difficult to imagine – that this is one’s essential character? One has to be daring enough to live it ... for it is both one’s audacious birth-right and adventurous destiny.

When one lives the magical perfection of this purity twenty-four-hours-a-day; when one has ceased being ‘I’ and is being genuine, one can see clearly that there is no separation between me and that something which is precious. The purity of life emerges from the perfection that wells up constantly due to an immense stillness which is utterly immense in its scope and magnitude. This stillness of infinitude is that something which is precious. It is the life-giving foundation of all that is apparent. This stillness happens as me. This stillness is my essential disposition, for it is the principle character, the intrinsic basis of everything. It is this universe at its genesis. It is not, as it might commonly be supposed, at the centre of everything ... there is no centre here. This stillness, which is everywhere all at once, is the be all and end all of life itself. I am the universe experiencing itself as a sensate, reflective human being. Richard’s Journal, 1997, Article Twenty-five

- http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/.../sw-actualfreedom.htm


There is another perspective on time, which is from the perspective of dependent designation and emptiness. But I shall digress  
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