A second is currently defined as a duration of 9 billion, 192 million, 631 thousand, 770 hundred cycles of microwave light via cesium 133, per the 13th General Conference of Weights and Measures in 1967. This is keeping accurate time. Leap seconds occur when the earth’s rotation is in disagreement with cesium-based standards. The difference must be worked out to preclude incongruence.
On June 30, 2015 a new leap second was added to this year’s clock. The leap second is added twice to gain a second needed. So the time of 23:59:59 is like deja vu, the same moment of time repeated. Computers must be programmed to accommodate and/or ignore this adjustment. 2012 yielded notable crashes by Mozilla, Reddit, and other less known systems.
The ‘second’ itself is not quantifiable in how small it can be diced up. It is only quantifiable in terms of the skill of the measurement systems. Reaching the smallest increment of the ’second’ is far reaching but never far enough.
The ‘Moment’ we experience, can feel timeless and not at all quantitative, no matter what it’s actual length of time is. Time is indigenous to the phenomenal world of form and matter. The ‘Moment’ does not always conform to a quantitative experience. It can go off the grid, so to speak.
When we sit or meditate, we tend to slow down our reactions, i.e. our visceral reflexiveness to stimuli. Stimuli can of course be both internal and external, and emotional and conditioned. The silence and space we give ourselves provides an optimal blank screen in which we can better ‘see’ ourselves more clearly. The overwrought complexity of our lives, the embedded pushing and striving, the immediacy of multiple commitments, all deny the backdrop necessary to cull awareness of self. We have gone down the proverbial rabbit hole.
The rapid movement of stimulus-response presupposes uncontrolled reactions that may have unfavorable consequences. Fear, anxiety, aversion, greed, hopelessness, among other unskillful products of the mind, may show up on a regular basis. If there is no spaciousness between the moment the emotion presents itself and executes it’s energy, then we are caught in the delusion and it’s consequences.
Paul Ekman, professor of psychology (Emeritus) UCSF and associate of the Dali Lama, studied the gap between impulse and action. He states that once emotional action has begun, then all subsequent information is filtered to just what supports the emotion, to wit, the basic response. The gap is pretty non-existent.
A more skillful, albeit still elementary response, would be to assess what had occurred and learn how to be more adept with our emotions.
Better, would be when the emotional period ends during the throes of the episode, where we can retool in-time, our refined response.
An even more optimal scenario would be to ’see’ the impulse before any action is taken. That is, disengagement.
Ideally, the best scenario would be to not ‘experience’ the negatives of the emotion and just continue on skillfully.
Increasing the gap between impulse and action, per Ekman, involves an increased awareness of intentions resulting in the breaking out from the custody of the mind. Specifically he cites the term “metacognitive awareness”, which is attention to the quality of ‘attention’.
The ‘gap’ is one way to see where the mind has truncated our reality with our implicit cooperation. Increasing the gap would increase the amount of ’space’ we let in to this closed system. ‘Pushing’ reduces space. ‘Letting go’ of how we ‘think’ things should be, opens up space. How we ’think’ things should be, is another form of ‘pushing’. ‘What Is’, and the acceptance of ‘What Is’, is a highlighting of no resistance from the contraction of ego/false self. And the mind is the key to minding the gap.
When Ekman talks about in increasing the gap, it can be interpreted as eliminating the ‘pushing mind’. Eliminating the dominance of the mind eliminates the need to respond to impulses.
Utilization of a clearer reality based on ‘ Presence’ in the Moment always is more optimal than the inherent distortion located in future anxiety or past dysfunction. Clarity is always optimized in the framework of Now. The skillful seeing of this gap is in the Moment where the Moment is not reactive, because it Is the Moment. Seeing and Being in the Moment precludes unskillful reactivity. It Is accepting “ What Is”. If there was reactivity then there could not be the fullness of “ What Is”.
Increasing space is an internal perspective. It is relaxing in the Moment right now, not later. There is no future in the Moment. ’That’ is another delusion. Allowing Self to Become is natural but also without ‘pushing’. Any ‘pushing’ is contraindicated to being ’natural’.
Awareness is first and closer than any ’thing’, period, to include feelings and emotions and beliefs. It is Us and the backdrop of Space Itself. To ‘control’ Awareness is to not ’see’ “What Is”. Nothing needs to be manufactured and/or controlled. Space allows even thoughts to exists.
The physical body is a form that is remarkable in that it is always in the right timezone. This physicality holds time correctly, to the second. The stability of time in the body can be effectively used to correct the instability of the reactive mind. The breath is an interface between the subtleness of the mind and the form of the body. Regular calming of the body and breath will directly impact the mind’s influence and gap that impulsivity. When sitting, letting go of the ’need’ to control the mind has impactful consequences. Pathways and circuits are created in the brain that facilitate relaxation.
Create the leap second of time through the timeless Moment. We can then afford more space to see more clearly. Our mis-identification with thoughts and emotions is abated when the gap is filled with “Space”. It is then that Awareness Itself is underscored and culled. We Are “That”. Be effortlessly.