Sense of Time

time11A friend of mine always boasts that he can guess what time it is.  And he can, with fairly surprising degree of accuracy.  But that is not the sense of time that I have in mind.  I am talking about “sense of time” as a correlate of mindfulness.  Here’s an old Tibetan poem that illustrates what I mean:

In the cold Northern wastes

There is a mountain

A thousand miles long

A thousand miles high.

Once each thousand years

A small bird flies North

To sharpen his beak on the cold hard stone.

When the mountain

Is thusly worn down

One second of Eternity

Shall have passed.

Now how about that?!  There is a perspective on time for you!  There’s a sense of the eternal!  Mindfulness – when we attempt to conceptualize it – is a form of being timeless, a form of being in the proverbial eternity of the moment.  Take your time sharpening the beak of your intellect against the obelisk of time.


Sense of Time

Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and the author of 7 mindfulness-based self-help books. Several of his books have been translated into Chinese, Dutch & Portuguese. Somov is on the Advisory Board for the Mindfulness Project (London, UK). Somov has conducted numerous workshops on mindfulness-related topics and appeared on a number of radio programs. Somov's book website is and his practice website is

Marla Somova, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the co-author of "Smoke Free Smoke Break" (2011).

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APA Reference
Somov, P. (2013). Sense of Time. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 20, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Sep 2013
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