photo friday: structure [of time]


Dogen-zenji  said, ‘Time goes from present to past,’ This is absurd, but in our practice sometimes it is true. Instead of time progressing from past to present, it goes backwards from present to past. Yoshitsune was a famous warrior who lived in medieval Japan. Because of the situation of the country at that time, he was sent to the northern provinces, where he was killed. Before he left he bade farewell to his wife, and soon after she wrote in a poem, ‘Just as you unreel the thread from a spool, I want the past to become present.’ When she said this, actually she made time present. In her mind the past became alive and was the present. So as Dogen said, ‘Time goes from present to past.’ This is not true in our logical mind, but it is in the actual experience of making past time present. There we have poetry, and there we have human life. (33)*


*Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Shunryu Suzuki

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Filed under art, photo challenge, photography, quotes, spirituality

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