Time travel, or the manipulation of time, has long been a shaman’s tool for healing or research. For instance, a shaman might take a person back into a past life event so that person can understand what happened, or a shaman might travel into the future to explore possible what-ifs. For shamans and magicians time is elastic: it can be stretched like taffy, compressed like cotton or frozen like ice.

One of the simplest ways to begin playing with time magically is to practice the art of the long moment. The art of the long moment is simply the ability to slow our perception of certain events so that we can really see what is happening in present time. It’s called the Cortothalamic Pause. Why do we need such a pause? Because we normally rush headlong through life events at the speed of sound, which doesn’t give us optimum time to respond appropriately.

Here’s the 3 step process that normally happens in any life event:

1. We receive an incoming perception: A person speaks loudly to us.

2. The perception is immediately routed by our flow of associations to a certain place in our memory: In this or a past life, we have memories of loud voices and anger.

3. The perception is assigned a meaning: The person is angry with us.

These three steps happen in less than a second. Less than one second after we receive an incoming impression, we have assigned a meaning to the perception and are already beginning to react. We will assume that the person is angry with us regardless of what the person is actually feeling.

In the regular course of things, our time is compressed in this way. There’s no time to really evaluate the incoming perception and respond appropriately. Do you ever overreact in the heat of the moment and wonder why? It’s because you had no Cortothalamic Pause. You reacted based on memory. In other words, most of us are interacting with life using mechanical reactions from memory – we are hardly ever in the “now.”

That’s where the long moment comes in. If you can slow yourself at the moment you receive an incoming piece of data then you can stretch time. In this long moment you give yourself the power to evaluate the information you have received and give a true response.

How can you practice the art of the long moment? It’s not hard. Twice a day practice the Cortothalamic Pause. When someone asks you a question or asks you to do something, stop everything inside yourself for 2 seconds. Stop all thought and consideration. Get quiet. Then respond to the person. For a long time you won’t actually be able to stop your internal thoughts, but you will be able to see all the mechanical reactions and thoughts that immediately spring up. You’ll be truly surprised at the massive and often chaotic activity that happens inside yourself. It will give you true insight into the way you interact with life.

To enhance the probability of having a long moment, you can include these flower essences as part of your daily regimen:

– Lavender and Chamomile for calming
– White Chestnut for reducing repetitive thoughts
– Thyme for helping to manipulate Time

Enjoy!