I have never been good with numbers (not proud of this, just stating a fact), but I think that in a 30-day month there are 720 hours, in a 31-day month, there are 744 hours and in a 28-day February there are 672 hours.
To use the words of a dear friend that is going through one of the most terrible griefs a parent can go through, the loss of her child, “when you go through fire, there are days of high and overwhelming flames and days with smaller flames” but you must go through it and there is nothing you can do. The relationship with time changes a great deal when you face such an ordeal.”
Time becomes one of your biggest challenges, or even enemy.
The Buddhist view of time as we perceive it (as past, present and future) sustains that time is an illusion, a psychological event. In situations like the one in which my friend finds herself, time is like mount Everest lying on top of you without giving you any space to breathe. Time becomes something which you do not want to deal with. The past is torturous with its memories, the present is a torment for the loss, the future is anguish, for you dislike the simple idea of having to live through that future…
Dealing with time can be painful, but if it is a psychological event how can we manage it for better understand it or put up with it more easily? My answer and my finding on this is learning how to live the land of the present moment.
In a discourse by the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, as told by his disciple Sister Dang Nghiem, he talked about the Pure Land of the Present Moment and said, “Dear friends, we cannot plant lotuses on marble; we must plant them in mud…” similarly, even happiness and joy come through samsara, the mud in our life. Thich Nhat Han continues, “In that Land people are no longer afraid of suffering. On the other hand, they do not allow suffering to overwhelm them or to paralyze their bodies and minds. Dear friends, that is how wonderful the Pure Land of the Present Moment is.”
I believe that the only way to face those giant, overpowering flames is by learning how to live and how to dwell in the present moment, for it is the only moment that can truly give us comfort with its compassion and love, keeping the world of samsara full of busyness, worries, afflictions at bay.
Love to All!
Antonella Lo Re