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      David Filippone

        Image: ‘Round My Hometown’ by Chris Padgett – Flickr



        “We might think of zero as a remark by space, a saying that expresses an allowing. Space shows itself in zero. As the symbol of form, the place-holder, zero speaks in all language and in each connection. As the voice of space, it is knowledge communicating with time and space, making the meanings. Knowledge draws the circle that gives zero shape, and zero in turn communicates what knowledge chooses to shape. Zero makes possible the ‘what’ of ‘where’, the form that holds meaning, the moving from point to point.”

        …’Sacred Dimensions of Time and Space,’ Tarthang Tulku, p. 50-2

        Note, the photo above could represent, “a definitive kind of wholeness that coheres.”  If you click on the photo and inquire into it, you may discern it is composed of many circles that ‘cohere’, they hold meaning: color, tone, shade, texture, local time, and more—communicating space and allowing knowing to make meaning.  You can dwell for a time in this knowing before moving on.

        The above quote from Rinpoche reminded me of a class exercise we did in which we inquired within: How do you appreciate space?  In this practice I noticed ‘zero spoke’, in the language of the senses, opening a deeper knowing, invoking an encomium from the heart.

        PRACTICE: Appreciate space, focus on breath, and breathe in space and breathe out space… Nourishing, healing, calming, breathe in the cosmos, now add everything that occupies space, the entire environment, all there is…

        We were inquiring into space to counter the usual way we engage it:  as distance or separation between objects, or as a background for a narrowed focus on objects, such as ideas, and stories and the emotions about them. We habitually focus on the surface of ‘things’ and relate them to other things in a ‘thing oriented perspective’, where space as an experience is largely ignored. In doing so we miss an important quality of life…the freedom to be fully present.

        What is THAT experience? Often it seems seeing ‘how’ things are coming to my attention, not just the reasoning of cause and effect, (this happened because of that), but rather, noticing the hidden judgments, and assumptions in play, and FEELING into the arising of whatever is happening. For instance, a string of thoughts arise from somewhere, eventually dissipating and vanishing somewhere. Or even when writing this, what to say now is arising from, as Rinpoche says, “Beneath the surface interactions of entities situated in a presupposed field, prior to the pre-established knowings.”  Or perhaps another way to say it might be where the unformulated is formulating into a zero point of arising.

        Can you ‘feel’ into’  a sense of the not-known from which things arise? I can intellectualize and identify that feel as ‘my’ sense of self, this is what ‘I’ feel like, my total somesthetic sense, or… I can feel but NOT identify with it. In that non-identification, flavors arise in the feel prior to the pre-established knowings of the tasting space;  sound arises just before naming the musical facets in the felt silence of the listening space; or in the visual of windblown emerald and jade colored leaves waving outside my window suddenly impacts my heart… in the open allowing space of knowing, prior to my descriptions of it.  In the immediacy of inhabiting, presence is being the moment… time, space, and knowing all together.


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