Big Time in the New Year

Happy New Year! But wait… is today really the start of a new year or, while donning our party hats and blowers, are we simply drawing an imaginary line in time? Consider that time and space are boundless. You cannot demarcate at 12 midnight on December 31st the past from the future. How ridiculous! It would be like taking a long knife and with a grand gesture, slicing through the air as if to divide space into a right and a left. How absurd!
When you realize that time cannot be separated into year, month, day, decade, or hour, you pass through the gate of total oneness. Take the old parable of the Chinese sage who was at the end of his life. His attendant asked him if he would prefer to remain in this body or pass beyond. “Tao,” the elder shouted and the attendant bowed low. Can you and I realize the beginningless beginning where time is forever unbroken? Can we see that our own death is not the end but simply part of Big Time? Zen master Daio Kukushi famously said, “There is a reality even prior to heaven and earth, indeed it has no form much less a name; eyes fail to see it and it has no voice for ears to detect.”
Let this New Year’s day point to Big Time which moves everywhere and through all things. May it remind us that the Tao “is like an empty bowl, which in being used can never be exhausted, fathomless it seems to be the origin of all things.” This is what makes today, New Year’s Day a truly happy day. So with fireworks above and confetti flying, today we celebrate that we are part of the Big Time that nourishes all things.
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