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Mastering Linear Time

Mastering Linear Time workshop, script for Section 2

Title slide

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.

Timer Slide

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. . . .”

[not read:]

“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.


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