In autumn even though I may see it again,
how can I sleep with the moon this evening? – Dogen -
Autumn, the season of romance, the season of poets and those in love.↳
We always look forward to autumn, only to be lost in thought when we see the yellow leaves falling!
In Dogen's Zen language, it seems that we can meet that autumn again, but in reality, he said that we never have a chance to meet that autumn again, it's as illusory as someone wanting to embrace the moon while sleeping, how can we reach the moon, or embrace the moon's shadow! This kind of romantic fiction can only happen in dreams, in reality, it is impossible. Then why can we enjoy the falling golden leaves every year? Why can't we meet autumn again?!
Perhaps to understand this, we need to clarify another matter.
The matter of the past, present, and future, the theme of all times. When we talk about the past-present-future, and are asked which one is real? The past, the present, or the future? You may answer, "Only the present is real," saying "We are living in the present!", "Feel the present moment" ... and so on, a lot of words and ink have been used to describe "the present"!
To understand and see more clearly, let's start observing. The past is gone, we cannot grasp it, that's obvious. The future is the same, tomorrow is a day that never comes, it exists somewhere but not here, we cannot touch it, tomorrow is always tomorrow!
But when it comes to the present, we see it as this moment, today is something that exists, we can feel, touch, and connect with it. Actually, it's just a noun that refers to "a period of time in which there is a continuous shift without any stopping points" that people mistakenly think of as having a pause or stopping point in the so-called "present." For example, when I say "today," it means 24 hours are happening without any stopping point. When I say "this morning," it means a continuous period from 7 am to 12 pm, and there is no moment that stops in that so-called "this morning." Even when I say "now," "right now," it's a period of time from 9:00:00 to 9:00:20, and there is no stopping point in it...
However, the present moment is not fixed and static, it is constantly changing and flowing, like a river. The past is fixed and unchangeable, the future is unknown and unpredictable, but the present moment is where we have the power to act and make a difference. It is the only moment that we truly have.↳
So, when we talk about the season of autumn, we can appreciate the beauty of the falling leaves and the romantic atmosphere it creates. But we should also remember that we can never truly experience the same autumn again, because the present moment is always changing and evolving. We can only appreciate the present moment of autumn, the one that is happening right now.
In the same way, we should not cling to the past or worry too much about the future, because they are beyond our control. We should focus on the present moment and make the most of it, because that is where we have the power to create change and shape our lives.
In conclusion, the season of autumn is indeed a season of romance and beauty, but it also serves as a reminder to live in the present moment and appreciate what we have right now. We should not dwell on the past or worry about the future, but focus on the present and make the most of it. Only then can we truly experience the beauty of life.