‘The past has already gone, so it does not exist. The future has not yet come, so it also does not exist. So the past and the future are nothing, no-time. Then is the present all that exists? No, even though there is a present moment, strictly speaking the present is nothing., because in a moment it is gone. So the present is also nothing, zero, no-time, no-present, no form of the present. But that nothingness is very important.
Nothingness means total functioning, just functioning energy. When the present is no-time, it is interconnected with all sentient beings in the peace and harmony of timelessness. But when nothingness functions, there is a pivot, and it becomes the present. At that precise point – the intersection of time and space, which is called right now, right here – all sentient beings come together into the moment and a vast world comes up: past, present, future, earth, trees, planets, moons and suns. In one moment, every possible aspect of human life, everything we can be, spreads out, unfolds, and a huge world comes up That is called interdependent co-origination. Life is always at the pivot of nothingness; it is always right now, right here. Right now, right here is the eternal moment of the real present.’ (Each Moment is the Universe)
In this book, Katagiri takes Dogen’s understanding of time and puts his own spin on it. I re-read this over the summer, having struggled to get anything out of it a few years ago, and I think I follow what he is saying. I do know, however, that it is pure understanding of how things are.