New Day Herald

A Ma Moment

Article imageWe had climbed briskly up the hill, gradually shedding our respective layers of both clothing and time-encrusted karmic patterns. A rare morning of cloud-scattered sunshine was making this day’s walk warmer than usual. A diversionary route through back streets, continual encounters with actual and metaphorical trash collectors and the sweet sound of the Traveler resonating through our headsets prepared us for our visit to Ginkakuji and Honen-In temples. We were well into our trip by now and were becoming ever more masterful at tuning inward, pausing in the moment to appreciate that which was immediately before us and then moving to the next thing.
The essence of the Japanese experience was starting to permeate our way of being, of thinking, of walking and relating. We were no longer eating to be fed, but to nourish our selves by savoring the presence of the loving in the food and the wonder of new flavors as they exploded in a symphony of taste in our mouths. We were no longer walking to get to a destination, but to encounter the still self within as we moved through the self-imposed carapace holding our hearts hostage. And we were no longer hanging on to the illusions of the present, but slowly allowing them to be replaced by the stirrings of the archetypes within: ninja and geisha, samurai and ronin, shogun and farmer, sensei and student. We’d walked these streets before and could now allow the eons of time to build a context from which we were free to release ourselves into the next eternal now. We discovered that the simple beauty of Japan is not in Japan. It is within our own consciousness.
The serene hillside retreat of Ginkakuji behind us, we were now en route to our next stop, the small Honen-In. Time was short when we arrived. “Be back in 8 minutes,” we were instructed. We wondered, “How could one see and appreciate anything in only eight minutes?”

A fountain with a flower perfectly framed upon a bed of ancient stone and poised to deliver the water of life

A meditative moment at a moss-covered pond reflections for a lifetime

A samurai warrior frozen in gold on a panel screen while alive in the heart of the viewer

And finally, one of the garden’s caretakers preparing to rake the freshly prepared sand into a new expression of the divine within.

A ma moment is when one pauses just prior to taking an action in order to move into the present in that moment. Eight minutes is more than enough.

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