Thursday, January 01, 2009


Last night, all across the world, people were acutely aware of the time. 60 more minutes until 2009. 25 more minutes. Only three minutes left to the year . . .
Until the big moment, midnight, and the calendar flipped from December 31, 2008 to January 1, 2009. And at that moment, most celebrants were aware of the time, right then, right there.
Awareness of the present moment is a good thing. We're always in the present, but our thoughts drift back to the past or fantasize about the future. It's always right now, but we don't always realize it.
Last night, at the Zen Center, we counted down to midnight by reciting the 108 Gates of Dharma Illumination, one each minute until midnight. "Right belief is a gate of Dharma illumination, for with it the steadfast mind is not broken," at began at 10:12 p.m.
At 11:11, we chanted, "The faculty of effort is a gate of Dharma illumination, for with it we thoroughly attain many kinds of wisdom."
And so on, until "The state in which water is sprinkled on the head is a gate of Dharma illumination, for with it, following birth in a family, we are at last able to realize anuttara-samyak-sambodhi," at Midnight.
Full awareness of each of the last 108 minutes of 2008.
(The mathematically minded among you might want to state that if we started at 10:12, we'd finish 108 verses at 11:59 p.m., with one minute still to go before midnight. However, for some reason, there are actually 109 verses to the 108 Gates of Dharma Illumination - one verse is stated twice in slightly different ways. So take that, Mr. or Ms. Smarty Pants!)
Another practice at the Center that I like is the striking of a bell every 15 minutes when a talk is being given. Upon hearing the bell, the speaker stops talking, takes a breath, acknowledges the present moment, and only then resumes speaking. It avoids us getting too caught up in intellectualization and forgetting of the here and now.
There are several similar devices that can be used to return our attention to the present moment. An ex-girlfriend and I used to always point out the clock to each other at either 1:11 or 11:11, a.m. or p.m. It didn't matter, as long as the time was being presented on the ever-present digital clock (on the t.v., on the microwave, on a tabletop, on the computer, or on our wrists) as nothing but a series of straight lines. "Look what time it is," one of us would say to the other if we were the first to notice. It stated as a silly thing, a running joke, but to this day I still bow in gassho whenever I notice that it's either 1:11 or 11:11, a.m. or p.m., even though the relationship with the ex- ended more than 10 years ago.
So today is the first day of the new year, the 18th hour of the first day of the new year, the 28th minute of the 18th hour of the first day of the new year. And although it's always "right now," this moment will never occur again, ever. We should cherish it.
Oh, look: Here comes another.

1 comment:

Bing said...

Hi Shokai

My name is Bing and I am an 1111 Lightworker. I have a “Google Alert” that searches the web for individuals who are interested in 11:11. If you are curious about the 11:11 time prompts and are looking for more information please follow these links and they will help you immensely.

After a while you will notice that the prompts will change to include the number of the hour plus: 11, :22, :33 and so on. You will start to see the prompts on sales slips, licence plates of cars that “just happen” to pull in front of you and also on addresses.

Another topic that you may find interesting is Crystal and Indigo children. These are children that are being born with a raised level of consciousness. Some of them have two extra genes that allow them to see auras and be more psychically in tune. Here are some sites that will provide information on this topic.

A book that I would recommend is “Angel Numbers” by Doreen Virtue.

These links leads to some short inspirational videos that I hope you will enjoy and pass on to others. I have no connection to the authors; I just like the messages.

Here is a link to a site that will help you to focus on the “Law of Attraction”. I have read these books and they come highly recommended not only by me but by many professional book reviewers and people who have followed their advice. These books will really bring what you want into your life.

These two links are to great meditation music sites. The first one is a link to the music of Chuck Wild who goes under the artistic name of “Liquid Mind”. The second is to a on line radio station that is free and features 10,000 genres. This particular genre is “New Age relaxation music.

The following link is to a definition of the word Namaste which I feel should become more common place in our vocabularies. Whenever I feel myself becoming judgmental of others I say this word to myself and it puts me back in the right frame of mind. There is no “us and them” only “US”.

I hope that this information will help you on your journey to becoming a better person and to help raise the level of Life, Light and Love in our world.

Throw some love into the wind