25% of Irish people check work emails while on holidays. 49% of Irish people between 25 and 34 check social media overnight if they can’t sleep.
Irish Times, Signs of the Times Survey 2019, April 27, 2019.
What is balance in a society whose skewing of time has it totally off-balance? What is balance in a culture that has destroyed the night with perpetual light and keeps equipment going twenty-four hours a day because it is more costly to turn machines on and of than it is to pay people to run them at strange and difficult hours? In the first place balance for us is obviously not a mathematical division of the day. For most of us our days simply do not divide that easily. In the second place, balance for us is clearly not equivalence. Because I have done forty hours of work this week does not mean that I will have forty hours of prayer and leisure. What it does mean, however, is that somehow I must make time for both. I must make time or die inside.
Joan Chittister, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily
Sanctuary is wherever I find safe space to regain my bearings, reclaim my soul, heal my wounds, and return to the world as a wounded healer. It’s not merely about finding shelter from the storm: it’s about spiritual survival. Today, seeking sanctuary is no more optional for me than church attendance was as a child.
Sometimes I find it in churches, monasteries, and other sites designated as sacred.
But more often I find it in places sacred to my soul: in the natural world, in the company of a trustworthy friend, in solitary or shared silence, in the ambience of a good poem or good music.
Parker Palmer, Seeking Sanctuary in our own Sacred Places
Change the attitude and perspective that comes from the daily world of time and having some place to go, to one being more steady and collected in the here and now.
The time sense is important to be clear about. Notice how the future feels as a direct experience: when there’s something in the future, there’s tension. This could be either because of impatience to get to a desirable state or an achievement, or it could be worry or dread over what might go wrong. In either case you lose the open ease of being in the present. When you think of the future as a definite reality, you believe in the moods that are embedded in that sense, and in the ideas that they create. Worries start to solidify; flexibility and the capacity to deal with what arises begin to dwindle. But how real is ‘the future’? After all, we might be dead tomorrow! Isn’t it more the case that the present will unfold in line with causes and conditions ? So check the time sense; it’s caused by the moods and energies of the present. The visions and ideas are an illusion.
Take refuge in Awakening.
Direct awareness is only and always here and now; and conditions change around that sense
Despite the fact that advertisers want us to focus on the next big thing and that the stores already have Easter Eggs on their shelves, it is good to maintain the natural, more interior and quiet, rhythms of winter.
Just because someone has invented a clock
doesn’t mean you have to hurry through life.
Russell C. Means, Oglala Sioux American Indian activist
We like to live in our heads – our thinking minds – and we presume that this gives us the best information about the world, However, our refuge should be in moment-to-moment direct sensing of experience. We are patient, not rushing to interpret or make judgments as to how our life is going:
The instruction and teaching of the actual body is the harbour and the weir.
This is the most important thing in the world.
It is beyond explanation
We just accept it with respect and gratitude
Drink your tea slowly and reverently,
as if it as the axis on which the world revolves
Thich Nhat Hanh
Zen teaches that our approach to today determines our whole approach to life.
The Japanese call this attitude Ichi-nichi issho:
‘Each day is a lifetime.’
Philip Toshio Sudo, Zen 24/7