time and again

September 1, 2010

Time can only disclose or unfold itself in our “now,” and as it does, all of time and all the world unfolds too. They cannot be separated. We stand in the center of what Dogen calls “arraying ourselves” as simultaneous observers, participants, and creators. Fields, grass, flowers, and wind always appear in the “now” that is ever one and ever renewing.

Dogen has a word for this unity: being-time, or uji. To be is to be time. “As the time right now is all there is,” Dogen writes, “each being-time is without exception entire time.” In the context of Dogen and, perhaps, much of Buddhist understanding, the presence of the present is the only time you have.

– Adam Frank, “Time & Again”

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