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Recognizing Knowingness…

Home Forums Other (non-Buddhist) teachings by Tarthang Tulku Recognizing Knowingness…

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      David Filippone

        [Photo: by David Filippone]


        For my Richard Dixey class, ‘Searcher Reaches Land’s Limits‘, I’ve been working with a simple little practice that, in TSK terms, goes right to the heart of ‘recognizing’ the subtlety of ‘Knowingness’ in experience. It’s a concentration or focusing practice.

        PRACTICE – 3 minutes twice a day [As I practiced it] For Consistency and strengthening the ‘attending’ skill. Take an object like a candle [nice because the flame flickers with movement, helps to stabilize focus] or flower or whatever… concentrate on it for 3 minutes, no more [use a timer]… abolish all intruding thoughts… concentrate HARD… to give a clear message to mind, that this is important, and ‘I’m’ in control… During different sittings, I was focusing on the flower in the photo below… all different spots of the bouquet.

        After doing this for a while, see if you can recognize the fractions of seconds that are engaged in minding activities… ordering, labeling, categorizing, narrating. And distinguish those instants from instants of an openness that is non-ordering, not categorizing, not labeling or narrating… and stay with that open non-doing. It is quite subtle…

        MY PRACTICE NOTES: Just seeing the flower… other thoughts encroach… narrations, sounds of whirring hard-drive, distant traffic, distracting peripheral movements… sudden relaxing as all things seem equal, a microsecond of equanimity… Then, a label of something heard encroaches shutting down the ‘equality’ of everything, a narrative pop-up explaining to myself what I’m doing, realizing my concentration is distracted, I refocus on the object, noticing subtle colors… Then, suddenly everything opens-up to a kind of ‘equality’, relaxing, smooth and uniform… Noticing that, automatically ‘I’, the self, separates from the object in order to notice it. And in that separation, I go from an all-things-equal flattened-space, non-thing open Being, to a controlling meaning-making, history-laden, judging entity. A juggler of ‘things’. Then, time’s up… or perhaps better said… time resumes its flow.

        ‘Savoring’ that openness I realize it seems similar to that same non-conceptual experience of being struck silent by a beautiful sunrise, or sunset, or I notice the innocence of animals, or the laughter of children… or often the silence that comes sometimes at the end of thinking as storylines or narratives drift off. Right there, is a dynamic knowing, and a feeling of unbounded vitality. Savor that…

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