All beings are dependent on food, that is, eating. There is food for the body, food for feeling, food for volitional action, and food for rebirth.
The Buddha cried when he saw this endless cycle: the fly comes and eats the flower; the frog comes and eats the fly; the snake comes and eats the frog; the bird comes and eats the snake. The tiger comes and eats the bird; the hunter comes and kills the tiger. The tiger’s body becomes swollen; many flies come and eat the tiger’s corpse. The flies lay eggs, and the eggs become more flies. The flies eat the flowers, and the frogs eat the flies. . . .
In Buddhist stories there is a big giant with many mouths and many teeth. This giant eats everything. This giant is Time. If you can eat Time, you can gain Nirvana.
You can eat Time by being here and now, by living in the moment. Then Time cannot eat you. Time is the eater.
Sign up for Tricycle’s newsletters
Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, we depend on readers like you to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.