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A place to discuss Full Presence Mindfulness, Time Space Knowledge and more

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    • #1219
      David Filippone

        Here is the introduction to Michael Gray’s post from the CCI Facebook page…

        Author Michael Gray has penned a new Blog that seems to fit with an ending year, and tracking back in time asking, “How Did I Get Here?’ What a sobering question! How beautifully written is his Blog… it seems like a dream to the character speaking… life… time slipped away right under my nose. And as it goes, in a self-induced spell, I can’t help but focus on the past, because the present seems always just too frightening to face… Could it be a story of our life? Rinpoche writes:

        “The quality of our knowledge proves itself in the quality of our lives. A knowledge constructed of concepts that identify and manipulate pre-established structures yields a world that is crowded, rigid, compressed, and impenetrable. Human suffering is built up in layers of increasing solidity, each layer a further misreading of a fluid dynamic… The limited knowledge that confines us in this way is shaped and confined in turn by limited space and time… If we could somehow open space or time, knowledge would become available in a new way. We could move out of the narrow angle in which we have been wedged to explore [more] space… We could reach out to know knowledge directly… No longer confined like an animal in its pen, we could start to live a richer way of being. “

        “By devoting ourselves fully to knowledge, we may be able to direct the course of change, so that time and space do open and insight flows freely, supporting a deep sense of well-being. Yet unless the underlying structure imposed on time and space and knowledge is transformed, such change may be temporary: as though the angle that confines us widened for a time before narrowing once more—settling into a new but just as confining ‘order.’ We are used to knowing within a system or ‘order.’ Most often we imagine that the ‘order’ has always been in operation, not recognizing that this ‘always already there’ is an aspect of the knowing that the ‘order’ permits and embodies.”
        …’Knowledge of Time and Space,’ by Tarthang Tulku, p.287-89 [Emphasis added]

        Continue reading the post above…

      • #1218
        David Filippone

          Here is the introduction of Michael Gray’s post from the CCI Facebook page…

          Author Michael Gray has written a new Blog at the link below. He is considering fundamentally, quite important questions:

          –What do I actually imagine will happen when I die?
          –Do I experience an inner life that I feel can continue after I die?
          –Am I failing to hear a message that this inner being is trying to tell me?
          –Am I hearing what I have learned to hear and ignoring what remains unknown?
          –Can I be open to a mysterious presence that is probably prior to, more fundamental than, and more vital than what I have been conditioned to notice?

          After considering these questions, he leads us to a quote by Rinpoche, to perhaps an even more fundamental consideration…

          Continue reading the post above…

        • #1217
          David Filippone

            Here is the introduction to Michael Gray’s post above, from the CCI Facebook website:


            Author Michael Gray has written a Blog entitled “Into the Light’, in which he reveals: “When I was two years old, I drowned in Lake Ontario, and I sometimes wonder if I had something like the experience that adults the world round have reported… I wonder if this is more a fantasy born of unrealized longings than anything that pertains to the phenomena of light as we know it, here and now, in this world. Those of us gifted with sight can attest to the importance of light in our travels among the things and people of this world. It makes sense to appreciate the presence of light in our lives. And it is comforting to hear that a version of the light we know—transformed into a welcoming warmth in place of the light of a sun we don’t dare look at directly—may one day welcome us into its arms. It is comforting to hear that this kind of light is almost universally reported in near-death experiences.

            Later he mentions “light– the medium that carries…understanding, clarity, and caring.” And I then experienced a flash… I recalled Rinpoche writing in Chapter 15, of the book, ‘Time, Space, and Knowledge,’ [perhaps one of the most important chapters of all the TSK books.] Rinpoche writes equating clarity and knowingness

            “We have seen that open-ended clarity can be found even within the obstructing presence of ordinary knowing—and in ordinary ‘not-knowing’ and confusion, as well. Both ‘ordinary knowing’ and its correlate ‘not-knowing’ can be thawed or cultivated to yield this luminescent quality. By working with appearance, refining this quality of clarity in everything, it becomes possible to use this clarity itself rather than ‘mind’ and ‘things’ as our orienting guide. As a result, our view of reality changes still further. It no longer seems broken up by knowings, lapses of knowing, confusion, limits to knowledge, and so on; nor is it apportioned into space, time, or discrete identities or substances.

            There is no longer a ‘looker,’ but instead, only a ‘knowingness’ which can see more broadly, from all sides and points of view at once. More precisely, the ‘knowing’ clarity does not radiate from a center, but is rather in everything, and everything is in it. There is neither an ‘outside’ nor an ‘inside’ in the ordinary sense, but rather a pervasive and intimate ‘in’ or ‘within’ as an open-ended knowingness.” TSK p. 281-2

            Please continue reading the post above…

          • #1216
            David Filippone

              Here is the introduction to Michael Gray’s post from the CCI Facebook page:

              Author Michael Gray has written a new Blog, or might I say, an ‘allegory’ for our time. He begins: “If I was a river, and I’m not saying I’m not, I would thread my way through all obstacles. Without them, I could not continue my journey.” Later, he relates:

              “I remember the countless times I rode on high winds across deserts and fields of grain towards distant mountains, until those craggy peaks, as if replacing the open sky out of nowhere, were suddenly there, reaching up and pulling me into falling rain; and in no time, I was falling and gathering and joining, until there I was, rushing down a steep rock face in a mounting torrent.

              It seems that these days those journeys are shorter, puddle jumping jaunts that are over almost as soon as they begin. Gone are the gentle invitations of the Sun, calling us drop by drop into the arms of the wind, to begin a leisurely stroll across the sky.”

              Continue reading Michael’s allegory on relatedness and ecology of fire and water, [above]:

            • #1211
              David Filippone

                Here is the introduction to Michael’s post above from the CCI Facebook page:

                Author Michael Gray has written another Blog, which in this case is a bit different. He writes as if from a deaf perspective. And when he first shared it I couldn’t help but think of the silence between all the ‘things’ that music involves; notes, rhythms, melody, sounds of accompaniment, crescendos – all the ‘things’ that silence allows… And then I thought of all the minding-activities—those minding ‘things’ that seem to fill the silent space of my knowing… thoughts, feelings, emotions, sensual input, nearly continuous conceptualizing in pursuit of meaning. And sometimes, a glimpse, when the ‘mind-things’ cease for the tiniest of an instant, it is possible to intimately see ‘through’ my ordinary way of knowing… as we say in TSK terms, to know the knowing…

                Please read Michael Gray’s Blog [above] entitled, ‘A Deep Silence Beckons’…


              • #1205
                David Filippone

                  Reading ahead in KTS, Chapter 18, Motion of Time, p. 83, regarding Time’s ‘different knowing’, Rinpoche uses a couple of helpful descriptors that might help us to recognize this different knowing when it suddenly appears. In a TSK Group meeting I desperately tried to describe sitting under the maple trees reading SDTS, just sitting with a paragraph for a half-hour or more, just allowing whatever might arise. And intermittently Time’s ‘different knowing’ seemed to reveal.  Rinpoche writes:

                  The motion of time’s rhythm is not tied to things or structures, nor is it abstract. The sense of time’s rhythm is awake within us; if we stay with this sense, not applying models or engaging the ordinary appearance of objects, we notice within time’s rhythm a specific embodying, a movement without movement, somewhat like floating.

                  For the ‘logos’ of the temporal order, this movement can be thought of as too ‘slow’ to observe. But for the frozen world of substances that the temporal order establishes, the motion of time’s rhythm (and the interactions it leads to) are on the contrary incredibly fast, like the ceaseless motion of particles in the subatomic realm.

                  The ‘bystander-outsider’ can only regard the motion of time’s rhythm as entirely inaccessible, its speed something from another dimension. Human experience cannot grasp it; conceptual models cannot make sense of it.”

                  While the chapter may seem dense to read, the description does resonate. On page 85 at the top of the page he writes:

                  Internally, however, rhythm comes ‘before’ the ‘logos’, whirling the points of measured time and space into being, ‘establishing’ the ‘logos’ and its ‘order’. ‘Points’ express the rhythm through which they arise and which sustains them. First they emerge from the ‘body of energy’; only second do they conform to the ‘order’ of the ‘logos’.”

                  The point being made here is, you can experience [glimpses of] times different knowing… and when you recognize this different knowing in your every day experience, it changes everything.

                • #1202
                  David Filippone

                    Several months ago I posted on this forum about our TSK Study Group discussions regarding noticing the seemingly simple, humble moments, and the importance of appreciating them, as a way into that ability to dwell in knowingness.  I quoted a section from the book, ‘Keys of Knowledge,’ in which Rinpoche points out HOW.  It is a simple, but profound pointing out. from Chapter 4, p. 96-99.


                    What Rinpoche seems to be saying, as he does in the above post, appreciation which springs from love and caring, that is pre-verbal, prior to the arrival of ‘I’, ‘me’, and ‘mine’, and sourced from the heart of being, is a different knowing, than our ordinary way of knowing… TIME presents a different knowing as Great Space allows. Rinpoche writes: “Simple appreciation for time and its presentations, free from the demands of need, is itself knowledge.” Read more at the link:



                  • #1200
                    David Filippone

                      I wanted to post here the original CCI Facebook intro to Michael’s post above, from this link:

                      THE WALL AND ME…

                      “We do know that on some level and in some way time passes; that present will pass into past; that memory will fail us; that the time that arises as present will soon enough be gone. But this is knowledge from the outside; knowledge of time as a phenomenon that we observe rather than a truth that we live. Can we truly claim to know present time through such a knowledge, which takes form only with the passing away of time?”
                      ….’Dynamics of Time and Space’, by Tarthang Tulku, p. 78

                      Author and long-time TSK student, Michael Gray, sees the writing on the wall… constructed, partitioned, and closing… a wall is a curious metaphor separating the ins and outs of subjective living, forming the unformulated into meaningful messages to share with others… time unfolds, but as with ‘listing’, we limit, and thus may miss the essence of the movement… on the other hand, were we to embody impermanence… we invite the vitality of living by focusing on the unshaped possibilities of the future.


                    • #1195
                      David Filippone

                        I’m posting the introduction to Michael’s post above taken from the Center For Creative Inquiry Facebook page. See below:


                        You might imagine bricks are like thoughts, putting together stories, building a structured reality… the way we think we know how things are, shaped by our opinions, and presumptions. Rinpoche often writes about ‘how’ we have a hand in building up our world… for instance he says…

                        “Thoughts structure experience by ‘building up’ reality. Together with their content, they communicate the substantiality of that content—a sense of persistent qualities and independent ‘presence’: a special kind of ‘mass’ that exerts its own gravitational pull. This gravitational force in turn shapes what appears ‘to’ and ‘through’ the mind in ways that structure the whole, conforming to the established order.”
                        … ‘Dynamics of Time and Space,’ by Tarthang Tulku, p. 53

                        It so happens, we have the ability to see through the brick walls of our put-together world-view—by examining the bricks. Michael Gray’s Blog looks at this… as a way to open or deconstruct our fabrications… Why? Well… perhaps by opening the present, we could allow for a less confining, ‘bricked-in’ future based on brick-like projections… which might in turn, accommodate a future of unthought possibilities… if we care enough to inquire…

                        AT THE LINK… Continue reading…

                      • #1178
                        David Filippone

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

                          WHERE’S THE OPENNESS?

                          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]

                        • #1162
                          David Filippone

                            Hi Michael,

                            I love your inquiry, perhaps inspired by the quoted questions that Rinpoche posed:

                            “What is beyond the cosmos? What does light reveal when there are no objects to reflect it? Where can we go if ‘from’ is fused with ‘to’? What properties do we discover when noth­ing appears? What meaning does our life assume when there are no more stories to tell?”

                            Rinpoche goes on to suggest: “When the structures of linearity collapse into nuclear time, we inhabit the inwardness of time.”  It seems natural to me to inquire of that openness:  How does that feel? Ordinarily we focus-in, narrowing down, because as you say: “[Everything] is scattered so that nothing appears clearly and unambiguously.”  And consequently, we don’t usually value that view, so we skip our attention over it in order to fixate a view we feel is anything but ambiguous. Because it feels more familiar and safer. I am reminded of some TSK practices designed to counter the devaluing of that seemingly ‘ambiguous’ or more open perspective.  For instance, excerpts here…

                            TSK Ex. 29 – Awareness as a Reflective Surface, in which we are invited to:  “Instead of manipulating your ‘mind’ or knowing capacity so as to seize upon objects and thereby know them, simply allow all objects to ‘be known’.  At first, this amounts to adopting a more passive role than usual, conceding the active role to the perceived objects . . . they present themselves to your awareness. It is as though you, the subject, have become a neutral, reflective medium, like a mirror or the surface of a lake. Everything that draws near is accepted and reflected without your awareness itself doing anything, or changing in any way as a result of its responsiveness.”

                            Also related is…

                            DTS Ex. 22 – Return to Light,  “…look within your thoughts and sensations for the quality of darkness. Become familiar with darkness; be ready to let yourself sink into it without losing awareness completely. Gradually you will be able to sense fluctuations within the dark: moments that are more luminous, when experience seems lucent and free. The quality is one of shining through, of a delightful aliveness. To dwell within these moments is to engage a familiarity with light that makes its own path…

                            Despite what the voices of ordinary experience may say, light is never far away. If our experience exhibits darkness, it is self-constructed. It is as though we had built a box of light, then climbed inside and closed the cover. Now we insist that we are surrounded by darkness, choosing to ignore that the box that shuts out the light is also made of light.”

                            So it seems the value of your questions, and the practice of TSK, is that they open that narrow focus on ordinary experience, allowing us to look within our own constructed constellations of mind, into their open source, and that we might feel that quality of light shining through, and learn to value it too.  Rinpoche writes:

                            “In terms of our daily concerns, such investigation might prove extremely valuable. If emotionality and confusion could resolve into a space-like openness, the quality of experience could shift dramatically.  Interpreting the mind in such terms might allow a different kind of knowledge, accommodating a ‘field’ of mental activity that could support more positive or complete forms of ‘minding’.  Seeing mind as space or opening to space as alive with knowing might encourage new forms of experience: more vivid and fiery, more sharp and clear, more flowing and receptive, or more stable and balanced.” KTS p. 162






                          • #1124
                            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.

                            • #1113
                              David Filippone

                                I decided to include the practice here in the comments:

                                ..this week we practiced a modified version of, ‘Dynamics of Time and Space’, Exercise 18 – Pastness Knowledge, that I call “Swimming in a Memory” or “Tracing a Memory”. The instruction is to [at least initially] recall a pleasant memory, such as sitting on the beach on a sunny day, or having dinner with friends or loved ones, or whatever you find pleasing. After sitting calmly and relaxed, at first you may recall the label you give to the remembrance, then images may arise. Since thoughts and memories are never finalized or complete, as an image arises, and after noticing what arises, focus on the part of the image that is incomplete. It may seem fuzzy, or dark, it may seem like a gap in the arising. Go into the fuzzy part that is incomplete, patiently. Do so caringly, for this is your pleasant memory. As you focus on the incomplete areas, look at them with an attitude of wonder. See what comes up from the incomplete areas. If another related image arises, notice its content, and then focus on any incomplete areas, and see what comes up this time. Keep repeating the process…

                              • #1074
                                David Filippone

                                  Hi Michael,

                                  Love the title of your post, posed as a question.  I found this quote from ‘Sacred Dimensions of Time and Space‘:

                                  Space Teaches Knowledge
                                  In the warm openness of space, learned meanings and imposed purposes give way to spontaneous nourishment. Time’s rigid rhythms melt toward fluidity and flexibility, choices abound, and knowledge has ample time to see. Eagerly, thoughts and senses explore what space means. They discover space accommodation, ever endeavoring to open each point.

                                  Secure within the creative space of the heart, incisive knowledge develops easily and rapidly. The point of every point is seen, all part of the appreciation of space. All objects accommodated by space speak up, inviting: “We are here!” All appearance teaches living knowledge.

                                  Feel of Space
                                  In the house of being embodied, all can become space. Once we enter and abide there, the field-momentum of color, texture, and quality radiate deep vibrancy and warmth—the feel of space coming closer, inviting us, surrounding us on all sides, in all directions. The field fills with light that shines within all color and form.

                                  Nature, art, and music, and all creations everywhere, exhibit the beauty of space in an ecstatic play… The heart can hardly contain such boundless and intense beauty; the spirit can barely accommodate the richness of touching space directly and incisively. Yet once in the womb of space, united beyond barriers, being relaxes, free of any interference, any possibility of loss. Here is freedom. Here is home.”

                                  …’Sacred Dimensions of Time and Space,’ by Tarthang Tulku, p.64-5

                                • #1034
                                  David Filippone

                                    Photo: ‘Dawn’ by Mirekis – Pixabay


                                    EDGE OF THE FUTURE

                                    I love to write, and when I do, I am fascinated by the ‘dawn’.  Of course, the captivating and compelling beauty of the just rising sun… but in particular, the dawning of form… when at the edge of the darkened mind, where the ‘unseen’ fades, inner shadows border the rising’s infinitesimal and rapid movement, revealing a transparent, light-embossing form.  A preverbal realm of swimming symbols and patterns where knowing births felt-meanings that evolve to become interpreted knowledge, or quite often, the words I want to say to express my thought-vision.

                                    Donnel B. Stern, in his book, ‘Unformulated Experience’, suggests, “We cannot step outside language any more than we can experience stimuli outside the range of our senses… [however]… the nonverbal can be acknowledged without contradiction.” He goes on to suggest:

                                    “If we pay close attention, there is often a sensation of something coming before language. Whatever this is, it cannot be worded, though sometimes, after the fact, we feel it was there. We often have the sense that the words we use ‘fit’ the shape of what we wanted to say, or do not fit. There is always a vague meaning-shape, a protomeaning that precedes what we say and by which we gage our success in expressing ourselves.”  p. 15 [Emphasis added]

                                    You might call the point at which the unformulated is formulating the EDGE OF THE FUTURE, Zero, or Nuclear Time. Rinpoche writes:

                                    There are countless special places where awareness of time can open into knowledge. At the edge of the future, time sparkles; in the richness of feeling and energy, time glows. When we find such special places and learn to let them expand or deepen, we discover time coursing through our bodies and illuminating our minds: a dimension wholly inseparable from our own being. Heightened awareness of time as the future infinitive may lead to a sense of new knowledge making itself available. As we experience this openness, the contrast between a future-centered way of being and one guided by past recordings may stand out strongly.” p. 100  [Emphasis added]

                                    “When time presents experience as aesthetic manifestation for knowledge to absorb and to savor, the world becomes spacious, active, and accommodating. Present knowing is linked to the sources of understanding available in the past and the visionary knowledge of the future. Time’s momentum discloses knowledge as self-arising, stable, and self-enriching; this greater knowledge in turn gives renewed access to the hidden power of time active in the dynamic of ordinary life. Deepening knowledge unites with what is available to be known in art, in beauty, and in life. The power of knowledge manifests everywhere, unpredictable and irresistible.

                                    “For knowledge to manifest in this way, it is enough to open up one point fully, allowing the quality of knowing to emerge. Within this openness, space presents space, dissolving the distinction between space and the existent objects space ‘contains’.
                                    …’Dynamics of Time and Space’, by Tarthang Tulku, p. 398  [Emphasis added]

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