We can't step on the same piece of water twice. No two moments, as similar as they may seem, are ever the same. This fact is a basic aspect of our life: constant change, whether we notice it or not, and the unique singularity of each moment. Truly, there is no distance. No gaps. No space. No time.
As conscious beings, we can get caught up clinging and craving, trying to continue or repeat unrepeatable moments, striving to capture, hold onto, freeze, or recreate past experiences and feelings as the thinking mind remembers it. Why? Because remembrance and the ability to project or predict ourselves forward means to the ego that it is 'Here,' and somehow is leaving a mark in a traceless universe. This expedition, whether conscious or unconscious, reflects our intense desire for continuity and stability in an inherently 'Not always so' experience.
In conscious contact with Heraclitus' awakening... somewhere that all things give way and nothing remains, and likening existing things to the flow of a river, he says, ' we can't step twice into the same river.' In this way, we're reminded of the perpetual endless dimension Universal change. Every instance, every encounter presents itself as something new, challenging our perceptions of continuity and sameness. This realization invites us to embrace the present more deeply through attention and awareness, acknowledging the impermanent nature of our experiences and the impossibility of exact replication. It is an encouragement toward mindful Presence, to 'Be Here Now' with our attention, appreciating the uniqueness of each moment without the preoccupation of trying to refrigerate, freeze, preserve, or relive it.
Survival mind's insatiable thirst, clinging, craving, and pursuit of repeating the unrepeatable not only reveals our desperation for constancy for untrained Bodhisattva's in a changing world but also highlights the illusion of permanence and thinking minds' addiction to it. This craving can distract us from the present's vastness and the opportunity to engage fully with the newness that each moment offers. It is in recognizing the constant transformation around us and within us... shogyomujo... that we discover the pregnant potential for personal growth, creativity, and resilience. By accepting change as the only constant, we open ourselves to the possibilities that come with each new moment—embracing the creative and transformative potential that lies in the recognition of life’s impermanent nature.
Moreover, this reflection on the nature of moments and existence encourages us to explore deeper meanings and spiritual implications rather than remain shallow and subdued by societal conditioning that doesn't enjoy change and the fact of uncertainty. The fluidity of identity, the psychological motivations behind our desires for repetition, and the spiritual understanding of impermanence all contribute to a more nuanced view and relatedness of our place in the world and personal experience. Engaging with these themes, from mindfulness to the creative embrace of change, enriches our understanding and experience of life.
In conclusion, our exploration of the unrepeatable nature of moments and the human effort to endure against the tide of change offers a profound insight into our existence. It challenges us to live more mindfully, to appreciate the transient beauty of the present, and to embrace the constant transformation that unfolds the fabric of reality. By acknowledging and valuing the uniqueness of each moment, we can find a deeper sense of fulfillment and purpose in our journey through the ever-changing terrain of our personal and shared present-moment experience.
Ichigo Ichie (一期一会). This one time... This one meeting is all there is... nothing and no thing truly repeated. At best... similar but never the same. Zazen!
一We Are Endless Universe Endlessly Transformation Itself