"[One] imagines it is like crossing a river or a mountain: the river and the mountain may still exist, but I have now left them behind, and at the present time I reside in a splendid, vermilion palace. [To them], the mountain, river and I are as distant from one another as heaven from earth.
"But the true state of things is not found in this one direction alone. At the time the mountain was being climbed or the river being crossed, I was there [in time]. The time has to be in me. Inasmuch as I am there, it cannot be that time passes away."
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Commentary on the above citation by Shinshu Roberts
from "Astride the Highest Mountain:
Dogen's Being Time: A Practitioner's Guide,"
published in RECEIVING THE MARROW:
Teachings on Dogen by Zen Women Priests
"The first line disabuses us of any ideas we might have that time is just about leaving the present, occupying the present and anticipating the future. Yet [Dogen] does not negate the reality of conventional time. There is no problem with using sequential time to get to work on time, plan a vacation, etc. The problem is when you develop preconceived ideas about what happened in the past and what will happen in the future, in relation to your present moment.
"In actuality, when we are experiencing our present moment, we're experiencing our life, which includes 'the time the mountain was being climbed and the river being crossed.' We are simultaneously being all the individual times, all the individual being/times that we have experienced along the way. [...] In other words, this moment in time holds all the other moments and times of your experience, including past, present and future."
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