Measuring Time In Finger Snaps

Still a path 080416Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of

pains, losses, and disappointments;

but let us have patience and we soon

shall see them in their proper figures.

 (Joseph Addison)

When pain wakes me to my day, I know patience must be my constant companion. I also know I am quick to abandon patience at pain’s insistence.

It is my breath that anchors me. The pause between the in-breath and the out-breath provides perspective, promises possibility.

Whatever is never stays. That is life in daily doses.

Sometimes, measuring the day is a way to experience it rather than anticipating when my pain will assume its “proper figure.”

Ruth Ozeki uses the finger snap as her unit of measurement. Her math is based upon Dogen’s 13th century estimation of the number of moments in a day:

6,400,099,980=one day;

one finger snap=65 moments;

dividing 65 into 6,400,099,980=98,463,077 finger snaps per day

(The Tale of the Time Being, Appendix A, page 407)

If impatient, I can snap away this day–miss the experience of it–but neither time nor pain will be hurried.

Mostly, I am amazed at how many moments I have, more than enough for my pain to reveal its gift. In not clinging to patience, I experience it.

There is so much yet to be revealed, so much still possible in this single day.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is.  You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page. 

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