With palms together,
Good Morning Everyone,
I do not have a sense that one time is any sacred than any other time...or any less sacred. I am reading about Shabbat. Rabbi Heschel uses a story to make a point. Its about two men who basically put themselves in a cave away from people for twelve years. All they do is study Torah, and by this I assume, they do a lot of meditation. They come out one day and see people working in the fields. They argue that all time is sacred, no one should be working. They go back to their cave for another year. This time they come out and see an "old man" carrying something in preparation for Shabbat. Bingo, they got enlightenment.
But not so. For they take this experience to mean something about the one day, the Shabbat, and in so doing, miss the mark of true awakening.
This story is much like the story about the monk who said something to the effect of, "When I first began studying the Way, mountains were mountains and rivers were rivers. But then I saw that mountains were not mountains and rivers were not rivers. After I opened my eyes, I saw that mountains were once again mountains and rivers were once again rivers." He goes on to ask, are these the same or different?
True awakening has us experiencing the collapse of all categories while at the same time maintaining them. True awakening is experiencing sacred and profane as one in the same, yet not. One commentator refers to it as the "unimpeded interdiffusion of all particulars". Whew.
When I wake up in the morning, my eyes see the universe as one. It is my moment-to-moment practice to maintain this don't know sort of mind, a mind completely open to the wonder of all things around me. While st the same time experiencing all things as myself. As Uchiyama roshi used to refer to this as the self doing the self. When we use terms like individual self or universal self we must use them with the understanding that they are both one and the same and not. I am not myself, I am only what I call myself, to paraphrase the Diamond Sutra. Likewise, sacred and profane: dualism conceived in the mind and the mind only.
There is no such thing as either, yet there they are: we make them. Our practice effort should be to recognize and experience their true nature and then manifest it, not retreat from it.