In my experience, there are two kinds of time: horizontal and vertical. Horizontal time is the conventional time we all know. It is mind time – it has a past, and a future, with our worries stretched across it. Vertical time is time out of time – time hidden in plain sight. “There is another world, and it’s inside this one,” said the French surrealist Paul Eluard, probably stoned on absinthe. Vertical time is body time – no past or future here, only the upwelling of the present moment. The closer you pay attention, the less and less seems to be happening. In this way, we use meditative attention to thin-slice our way back to the cutting edge of Now, of Now, of Now. It is insanely cool that this is even possible! Why isn’t everyone obsessed with it? Because, in a world of serious tragedy and consequence, it seems like navel-gazing.
It is not. It is sustenance, nourishment. Vertical time is a well of appreciation we can learn to drink from. We slip down, between our worries, and we reset. We return to our work refreshed. What begins as an exercise we do in stillness, becomes, over time (there’s that word again) something we learn to taste in all our moments. At least, that’s the direction, the practice, the training. This Monday, we go vertical.
The End. Thank you for reading this long-winded contribution from horizontal time.