Eating TimeMaha Ghosananda
- Feeling eats everything.
- Feeling has six mouths --- the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind.
- The first mouth eats forms through the eye. The second mouth eats sounds. The third mouth eats smells. The fourth mouth eats tastes. The fifth mouth eats physical contact. And the last mouth eats ideas. That is feeling.
- Time is also an eater. In traditional Cambodian stories, there is often a giant with many mouths who eats everything. This giant is time. If you eat time, you gain nirvana. You can eat time by living in the moment.
- When you live just in this moment, time cannot eat you.
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- Feeling uses the eye to eat shapes.
- If a shape is beautiful, a pleasant feeling enters the eye. If a shape is not beautiful, it brings an unpleasant feeling. If we are not attentive to a shape, a neutral feeling comes.
- The ear is the same: sweet sounds bring pleasant feelings, harsh sounds bring unpleasant feelings, and inattention brings neutral feelings.
- Again, you may think, "I am seeing, I am hearing, I am feeling." But it is not you, it is only contact, the meeting of the eye, form, and eye-consciousness.
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- Feelings and sensations cause us to suffer, because we fail to realize that they are impermanent.
- The Buddha asked, "How can feeling be permanent if it depends upon the body, which is impermanent?" When we do not control our feelings, we are controlled by them. If we live in the moment, we can see things just as they are. Doing so, we can put an end to all desire, break our bondage, and realize peace.
- To understand pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral feelings, we have to put the four foundations of mindfulness into practice. Mindfulness can transform pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral feelings into wisdom.
- The world is created by the mind. If we can control feeling, then we can control the mind. If we can control the mind, then we can rule the world.
- In meditation, we relax our body, but we sit up straight, and, by following our breathing or another object of concentration, we stop most of our thinking. Therefore, we stop being pushed around by our feelings. Thinking creates feeling, and feeling creates thinking. To be free from clinging to thinking and feeling is nirvana --- the highest, supreme happiness.
- To live without suffering means to live always in the present. The highest happiness is here and now. There is no time at all unless we cling to it. Brothers and sisters, please eat time!
--- From Step by Step: Meditations on
Wisdom and Compassion