As we cross the threshold into the millennium, more and more people have begun to ponder the question of time. According to reports, the United States has spent millions of dollars to build an eternal clock. It will only strike once every century, to remind people to slow down their steps and to reflect upon their shortcomings. To understand and successfully utilize time has indeed become a worthwhile issue for modern people.
Many people often complain how time flies, while others complain about how time crawls. Some spend their time in search of fame and fortune instead of spending time with their loved ones, while others waste their time on trivial matters instead of using time to better themselves. If students are unwilling to spend time in the classroom, how can they acquire knowledge and broaden their horizons? If farmers are unwilling to spend time plowing their land, how can they reap a full harvest? It is clear that the way time is perceived is dependent upon how time is used.
Once upon a time, someone asked a Chan master to teach him how to manage time. The Chan master replied, "When time passes, it never returns; every second is thus precious." Hence, whoever can use time wisely has control of his or her life. It does not matter how old you are; what is important is how you manage your time.
"For a person who is exhausted, the road is long; for a person who cannot sleep, the night is endless; for a person who does not understand the truth, the reality of birth and death is far-reaching." We must understand that the past will never return, the present is gone in a blink of an eye, and the future is fast approaching and will become the past in a moment. An eminent master once said, "A day’s time is more precious than the treasure of the universe."
As long as we can understand the fleeting essence of time and learn how to use it wisely, we can break the boundaries of time and transcend the limits of temporal space. As long as we can learn to treasure every second of our lives and seize every moment, we will be able to realize and experience the truth in the saying, "a moment is eternity." In this way, precious time is not limited to the tolling of an eternal clock.
Text: Venerable Master Hsing Yun
From May 29th, 2007.
How did you spend your time today?