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Reply To: An Open Moment

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David Filippone

    Sharing the initial CCI Facebook introduction and quote that lead into the poem posted above”


    As TSK students, at some point we’re faced with a perplexity, a pickle, a Catch-22… we want to discover open mind… the blank availability out of which all our thoughts, and feelings arise. So we think about that primordial space… we imagine it. Unfortunately, when we imagine this space, we are creating a thought ABOUT it, which is NOT primordial or zeroless space we seek. Rinpoche writes…

    “In order for thoughts to appear… [there is] a blank availability… But just as with physical space, this ‘no-thing’ is in fact the opposite pole of ‘something’: the indispensable prerequisite for substance to arise. Starting from the ‘zero-point’ of thought, points take form as solid, and [the prior] zeroless space disappears into the dichotomy of substance/nothingness… substance proliferates, and the transitional constructions of multidimensional appearance give way to a reality that has already been established.”

    “It might seem that we could cut through these complications by going to direct experience, prior to all thoughts. But is this alternative really available? We do seem to experience and act non-conceptually; for example, when we perform a habitual action such as walking without having to think about each step along the way. Yet even if such everyday ‘NO-THOUGHT EXPERIENCES’ are in one sense undeniable, THEY ARE ALSO INACCESSIBLE. AS SOON AS WE FOCUS ON SUCH AN EXPERIENCE, WE MAKE IT AN OBJECT OF THOUGHT AND THUS LOSE THE EXPERIENCE ITSELF. If we claim we can rely on the experience without describing it, this claim is again the product of thought.”

    “We are caught in a dilemma… Though there may be awareness without thoughts, it is not clear how this awareness can be transmitted forward into the next moment in order to be known without thereby making it the object of the thinking mind… In its initial arising, its popping up, THOUGHT APPEARS to be dimensionless. Even if a transition to dimensionality follows at once, THERE MUST STILL BE AN INSTANT WHEN THE ARISING THOUGHT IS NOT YET COMMITTED TO ITS CONTENT; WHEN IT REMAINS FREE TO TAKE VIRTUALLY ANY FORM AT ALL.”

    “We have grown accustomed to thoughts that establish a world and are themselves established, defined exclusively in terms of their content. But IN THIS INITIAL MOMENT, THE THOUGHT IS UNESTABLISHED, AND THE WORLD IS UNESTABLISHED WITH IT. Could we stay with the freedom of this being unestablished, savoring its flavor?”

    ….’Dynamics of Time and Space’, by Tarthang Tulku, p. 54-6 [Emphasis added]