How to stop time
Kind Camp session notes
I thought I’ll give you a peek into our last Kind Camp session so you can see the themes we explore together. It may change the way you perceive time.
Time is a sense, similar to other sense like seeing, touching, etc.
In meditation, we are “pausing” all our senses by closing our eyes or lowering our gaze, being in a quiet place, etc.
It is also supportive for meditation if we can “pause” our sense of time.
Secondarily, it also addresses the idea of “impatience” for practice—if practice takes place in “timeless” time, then how is patience measured?
We can use a few thought experiments and guided imagery to “pause” time during meditation.
Writing Prompts - Thought Experiments about Time
If it’s possible/conducive, it helps to handwrite for today’s prompt so we can practice writing with patience.
Thought experiment 1: What if you were actually “created” 5 min ago, and all your past memories were implanted? How might you approach life differently?
Thought experiment 2: What if you are completely unable to predict the future (guaranteed to be “wrong”) and planning your life is not possible? How might you feel differently?
Thought experiment 3: What if you were given the opportunity to stay in a quiet retreat center, with all your basic needs taken care of and no obligations whatsoever for a week? How might that feel like?
Thought experiment 1 erases the past, 2 erases the future, and 3 places one squarely in the present moment. Yet all 3 thought experiments represent the “truest” form of reality per Buddhist philosophy with regards to time perception and our roles and responsibilities for life.
Guided Meditation - Grocery Bags
This guided imagery for meditation originated from Ajahn Brahm, a renowned Theravadan Buddhist monk.
Imagine all of your past accomplishments, events, and experiences packed up into a grocery bag in your left hand. It feels heavy from all that you have carried throughout your life.
Imagine all of your future plans, opportunities, and worries packed up into a grocery bag in your right hand. It feels heavy from all that you are carrying or plan to carry.
What are you thinking about right before today’s session? Does it go into the “past” or the “future” bag?
The handles from both bags are digging into your palms, and the bags do not serve you during your meditation session.
We let go of our bags, so that all that remains is the present moment. The bags are safe unattended.
Let’s stay here in silent timeless time. I’ll let you know when to come out of meditation.
What surprised you?
This video by YouTube educator Michael Stevens explores how our sense of time is somewhat artificial and contingent upon cultural influences.
Would love to know your thoughts on this topic! Today I am indeed short of “conventional” time and shared these notes with you so I can get this newsletter out. However, I feel rich in “spiritual time” (though technically “I” don’t get to experience it. ;))