Mastering Linear Time
Mastering Linear Time workshop, script for Section 2
This is section 2 of five sections in the workshop on mastering linear time.
A measure of time stress
We can take a simple measure of time stress, so we can compare levels of stress that we experience, and then learn to control the stress.
On a scale from 0-10, where 0 = the least and 10 = the most, how much stress do you feel about time right now? Make a mental note about what this number is right now.
The main cause of time stress
The gradual process of developing and strengthening the sense of time passing can be expressed in terms of three primary human energy centers:
Some feeling rises to awareness. But rather than feel the feeling, and allow it to dissipate and dissolve, we turn away from it. The feeling is repressed or suppressed and we lose a measure of confidence as well as a bit of the natural fulfillment that accompanies being fully involved in our energies. The energy of the heart is lessened and we feel somewhat pressured.
Excess energy flows to the head and a sense of detached self-consciousness intensifies as our thinking skips about the separate past, present, and future rooms in our experience.
Energy in the area of the throat, which is closely associated with time, becomes agitated as we become anxious and more aware of time passing. We feel a bit more helpless; time becomes more threatening, a greater enemy. Thereafter there’s a more dissatisfied sense of self trying to seek satisfaction through various objects and activities.
Relaxation Exercises (1)
When doing the following exercises, remember that you can pause the YouTube movies whenever you want to. This might be especially helpful if some interesting feelings arise and you want to get into them more fully.
During these movement exercises let the movements and breathing be very smooth and continuous, without breaks. This is very important for rapid progress.
Sit or stand comfortably. Bend your arms at the elbow, lifting your hands until they are in front of your shoulders with the palms facing forward. Imagine that a great force is pushing against your hands, and slowly push it away. Let strong tension build in your hands and arms, but relax your belly and lower back, and breathe easily and lightly through both nose and mouth. Keep pushing this force away until your arms are stretched out in front of you. Your hands and arms may shake with tension. (Continue on the next slide.)
Relaxation Exercises (2)
. . . Then without releasing the tension—as if the force is more powerful than you–slowly move your arms back in front of your chest, keeping your belly relaxed.
Very slowly release the tension–take about one minute for this–feeling the sensations in your arms, chest, and body. Then slowly lower your hands and rest briefly, continuing to expand the feelings stimulated by producing and releasing tension in this way.
This exercise is called “Nurturing Satisfaction,” and it appears on pp. 318-319, Kum Nye Relaxation, Part II
Relaxation Exercises (3)
Stand with your feet a few inches apart, and your arms at your sides. Slowly and smoothly lift your arms away from your sides until they are directly overhead with the backs of the hands close, and the fingers straight. Relax your thighs and minimize any backward arching in your spine. Slowly let your arms descend to your sides. Take one full minute to bring them all the way down. Pay attention to the feeling tone as you move, as if seeing with the inner eyes of the senses. (Continue on the next slide.)
Relaxation Exercises (4)
. . . take another full minute to move your arms up again. Explore the flow of energy . . . . Use the steady, slow rhythm to increase the energy flow. When the arms are directly overhead, stretch up very slightly, with your thighs and legs as relaxed as possible. This stretch clears and settles the mind: go deeply into your sensations at this point.
Continue the movement three times. Try slowing the movement down even more, taking two minutes in each direction.
This exercise is called “Flying,” and it appears on pp. 168-9, Kum Nye Relaxation, Part I
Relaxation Exercises (5)
Stand with your feet a comfortable distance apart, your back straight. Breathing softly through both nose and mouth, slowly raise your arms in front of you until they are overhead, with the palms forward. With your knees relaxed and straight but not locked, slowly bend forward from the waist while reaching out slightly with your arms. Bend forward and down, very slowly and evenly.
Do not let your head dominate the movement; relax your neck muscles. When your fingers come near to the floor, stay down briefly. Be very still. Slowly spread your fingers apart more. Exhale fully, releasing tension from your belly.
Relaxation Exercises (6)
Now very slowly, breathing evenly and gently, begin to rise, keeping your head between your arms. When you reach an upright position, continue to bend slightly backward, with your arms quite close to your head. Move very gently, with your knees straight and your belly and lower organs relaxed. Bend backward only a little. In this position, keep your exhalations gentle, and let the front of your body feel open.
Slowly straighten your neck and back, bringing your attention to the base of your skull. Again bend forward as before, moving as gently as possible, relaxing your belly, neck, and back.
Do the exercise three times. When you locate a tension, explore it with your feelings as completely as you can. When you fully experience the tightness, you will then be able to let it go. As you move, become one with your feelings; let them move you, spreading their energy to every molecule in your body until finally ‘you’ no longer exist, and there is only feeling.
Clock Watching – A New Way?
We can experiment a bit more with personal time and do an exercise to see how it changes.
Usually looking at a clock causes some anxiety. Does it have to? If you can relax while watching the clock, you can probably stay relaxed in nearly any situation.
This clock watching exercise directly balances the throat energy center, where imbalance seems to produce pressure and anxiety about time. It also balances left and right brain hemispheres, as shown by research in applied kinesiology.
Set up your environment so that you have ten minutes when you won’t be interrupted or distracted. When the timer on the next slide starts, just relax and watch the timer’s hand move. Breathe easily, gently, and smoothly through both nose and mouth, with the tip of your tongue on the upper palate just in back of your front teeth. As you continue, see if you can let the breath become more and more even and continuous, without breaks or jerkiness–this is important. Evenness and continuity of the breath is reflected in the clarity and peacefulness of awareness.
Clock Watching and Breathing
During the clock watching exercise,
Did the sense of time pressure and anxiety decrease?
Did the feeling of time change? If so, how?
Did every minute seem equally long?
How were pressure and anxiety related to the flow of time?
You can practice this way of breathing as often as you can remember it. After a month or so, your whole energy level and sense of balance and relaxation will probably change.
Time Calling Exercise
Most of us are so used to linear time that it can be difficult to recognize it for what it is. The following short exercise may help you clarify what linear time is, as well as demonstrate how your perspective on time gets set up within a moment.
The next slide will play a recording having some phrases referring to different times. Just pay attention to your experience of time. Try to see how past, present, and future quickly get set up in your experience when the phrases are heard.
Time Calling Exercise
“Just relax, listen, and pay attention to your experience of time. Try to see how past, present, and future quickly get set up in your experience when the phrases are heard.”
“One hour ago . . .
“One hour from now . . .
“Early this morning . . .
“Later this evening . . .
“Yesterday . . .
“Tomorrow . . .
“Last Monday . . .
“Next Monday . . .
“Two weeks ago . . .
“Two weeks from now . . .
“Last month . . .
“Next month . . .
“Last winter . . .
“Next winter . . .
“Last year . . .
“Next year . . .
“Five years ago . . .
“Five years from now . . .
“Ten years ago . . .
“Ten years from now . . .
Time Calling Exercise
Please think about your experience of the time calling exercise. Your feelings of time are especially noteworthy.
Do you see any reason or basis for the term ‘linear time’?
Did you notice how past, present, and future get set up within a moment? Was there any kind of swinging back and forth as you listened to the phrases?
Moments Between Moments
We can do a little inquiry exercise to explore our personal time. We talk about moments all the time, but how long is a moment? How long is your moment? At any time this could be different for all of us. Make a kind of mental note about how long this seems.
Now, between any two of such moments, see whether you can perceive additional moments, perhaps by just noticing what’s there, perhaps by relaxing while somehow turning up the speed of your awareness. Continue this experiment for a minute, seeing whether you can perceive additional, possibly subtle, moments between any two moments. . . . [pause]
OK. What happened? Did you find something you might call “moments between moments?” Did your experience of time change in the process?
Abiding in Thought
Now we’ll do an exercise from the book Dynamics of Time and Space, an exercise called “Abiding in Thought.”
“On the surface of experience, thoughts come and go quickly, even instantaneously. One event succeeds another, one reaction follows the next in a powerful momentum that structures linear time. Let yourself become aware of this dynamic and the rhythm that supports it. . . . [pause]
Gradually introduce a different rhythm: As a single feeling or emotion or thought arises, enter into it and abide there—as though you would be ready to live your life right within that experience. . . [pause]
This abiding is not static. It invokes the dynamic rhythm of time without insisting on a linear momentum. . . .
As you sink into the experience, time expands. . . .”
“At first, you will experience abiding as a special event, something like ‘stopping’ time. As you grow more familiar with it, however, you will realize that you can abide within the flow of linear time. The two temporal dynamics can unfold simultaneously.” Exercise 5, “Abiding in Thought,” p. 262, Dynamics of Time and Space
A measure of time stress
We can once again take a simple measure of time stress, so we can compare levels of stress that we experience, and then learn to control the stress.
On a scale from 0-10, where 0 = the least and 10 = the most, how much stress do you feel about time right now?
Make a mental note of this number. How does it compare to the number you estimated earlier in the course?
The End of Section Two of Five
This is the end of the second of five workshop sections.
Please go for a walk and when you return, make a few notes about your current experience, and especially your experience of time. It seems we often don’t notice changes after this kind of workshop until we leave our typical environment and walk around somewhere else.