Strength Emanates from peace - Reality exists within time.

Shi Yan Fu
Shaolin Grand Master

„Time is being and all being is time“ teaches the Uji chapter of the Shobogenzo, one of the most philosophical of Zen writings. “U“ stands for existenceand “ji” for time. This one word alone expresses that in Buddhism – and therefore for us Shaolin monks – something real is only there within time.

That is why we find it so important to treat time with great care. We draw our strength from peace, and this peace comes from the knowledge that there is only one time and one reality: the Here and Now. This exact moment is unique. Yesterday is a memory and tomorrow a vision - and both are thoughts. Reality is this Now in this Place. That is what we enjoy, what we open up our consciousness to. It is precisely at this moment in time that time reaches its utmost value. Its only value.

Shaolin monks are convinced that the notion of having time is an illusion. Time is a gift. A gift that deserves all our attention. It is not time that puts us under pressure but rather dealing with time in a careless manner. We monks live with each moment of the day, with morning, noon and evening. We deal with what is important at the time when it is important. That protects us from the stress we see wherever people treat time as they do money. We make ample use of the gift of time. It allows us to take time out for the important things we attend to in great detail. It prevents us from making mistakes.

Stress is both the enslavement of time and being a slave to time; it makes us deaf and blind to the one truth: our being in the Here and Now. Conscious living means to enjoy and appreciate this moment, free of prejudice and full of care. What got us down yesterday and may worry us tomorrow can stay outside today. Take only the reality of the present.

That is what we teach our students. Time is peace, not haste. It is not urgency but rather importance and thoroughness that define how time should be treated with care. Our students determine the speed of learning. Personal dialogue between student and master reveal how each is able to live with his time. On this note: enjoy every minute of your life. It is a gift from heaven. Omi to fo!

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