Finding the Time

To someone who is busy, taking time to view flowers is seen as waste of time. If you go and look, though, you think “Oh, how beautiful!” This is what it means to be abundant and supple. If you don’t have ‘waste’ in your life, your life will not be supple. …I see ‘waste’ and ‘cracks of space’ are very important. It’s important for the mind to work well. Children try to create abundance and suppleness. It is important to allow this. Our hearts will become a desert if we don’t have suppleness. Nature teachers that we need water to survive. Nature is like reading a sutra. Gyokko Sensei from Paula Arai’s book Bringing Zen Home: The Healing Heart of Japanese Women’s Rituals.

Shinshu’s commentary: I hear this wisdom a lot at Ocean Gate Zen Center; I think we all understand the importance of stopping, creating space and gratitude. Unfortunately it is sometimes difficult to ‘find the time.’ Finding time and wasting time are sometimes lumped together as they are in this quotation. We want to find the time. As the time passes, we forget the time of taking time. This is unfortunate. If we just make time and stop our forward progress, we see what is right in front of us. When we are rushing to the car to get to work, we might stop, just for a second, and smell that cup of coffee we are carrying. Or we might feel the softness of our child’s hand. Or we may notice the beauty of a weed growing next to the driveway…or a flower. Just for a second. Just for a moment. In that moment, our heart becomes lighter; we are opened and more flexible. This is the sutra of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha ringing clearly in the morning air. Can we stop and hear it?

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