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Reply To: Practice Notes on Memories

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David Filippone

    I recently found these quotes that relate, in my opinion, to this tracking back memories practice while anchored in the present.  As this Tracing a Memory practice may demonstrate, tracking back a remembrance, without getting lost in the content, can reveal the “multifaceted complexity of all phenomena.”  See the following excerpt from, ‘Searcher Reaches Land’s Limits, Volume II,’ by Richard Dixey, Excerpts from Chap. 67, p. 310-11, [Emphasis added]:

    The word ‘reality’ refers to a construct we develop based on a map. While the map may be derived from the territory of experience, experience itself is totally without the boundaries of a map. Indeed, actual experience is beyond any concept we might have for it. In ‘tracking back… we can observe that every event that occurs has a multilayered complexity beyond any possible description… However, if we engage directly with experience empty of concept instead of living ‘according to’, new potentialities arise. As we begin to see the multifaceted complexity of all phenomena, whether in the natural world or in ourselves, the perceived limitations we have constructed begin to melt away. We then find ourselves becoming more at ease with the extraordinary richness of each experience. There is no moment or experience that is inherently limited. We do not need to seek or crave a better moment…

    PAGE 354, PARAGRAPH 2 [Revelations of Mind]: The more closely we are in contact with time—perhaps a hundred thousand times more closely attuned to time than the passing of a nanosecond—the less prominent a role identity plays and the less binding our attachment to habitual patterns. Unable to sustain its accustomed tasks, mind’s regime relaxes its grip, enabling us to operate it differently. Since problems and obstacles cannot arise in such a clear and open environment, we have an opportunity to experience a new freedom of mind.


    When we are fully engaged we do not experience the passage of time. Our ordinary experience of time is linear, a seeming forward momentum and movement. Clock time is a mechanical tracking of this movement. Our identity is contingent on linear time because it requires the projection of a present moment in which names and concepts, the building blocks of our narrative, can arise. This projection requires points of reference, both a spatial location and a time marker, the key elements in the making of remembered experience. But once we are fully engaged there is just experience; there’s no geotag marking space and time. Past, present and future are no longer useful metrics by which to access our experience. Events simply manifest in ever expanding displays. You could say they are unfolding ‘in time’, but time is elastic. As we become attuned to experience and fully engage directly with it, clock time simply stops. Unable to sustain its accustomed construction of time, the mind’s regime relaxes its grip.”

    I thought this was an eloquent expression of what might be understood while engaged in Tracing a Memory.  One might see the benefit in doing a personal history, tracking back the important milestones of individual growth.  I remember tracing back my personal hot buttons. For instance, as a younger man why was I so quick to anger.  What were the triggers?  When I had a knee-jerk reaction resulting in sudden anger, what happened, ‘how’ did the anger develop?  Going into it, like Tracing a Memory, noticing what comes up, and then looking into the gaps in the remembrance, seeing what arises, noticing and then looking into any fuzzy or unclear gaps to see what else comes up.  The essential attitudes to hold when engaging the practice are patience, and caring for my self, as if I were my own child, and also waiting in not-knowing for what may reveal… perhaps nothing, or perhaps the “multifaceted complexity of all phenomena.