Focus – the knowledge aspect of the establishing activity of the senses

Photo courtesy of: ‘Waves’ by dimitrisvetsikas1969 / 8637 – Pixabay

From my porch, I’m looking out over a field of very tall grass; windblown uncut that is roiling green. At the edge, the farmer cut a wide path. He will return and cut the rest at some point, but now the path lies flat and golden in the sun, like a beach at the edge of a sea of green. The blustering wind in the leaves overhead sound like waves, and my vision of a green sea seems to cause an internal shift… a bubble pops… and I’m a young man again, sitting on the porch steps of a beach house in Cape May, sipping morning coffee, smelling salt air, seeing/hearing the ocean waves crashing on the beach a hundred yards away – the sun and coffee warm, the moment vast.

This is a description of a moment that I jotted down after the fact. As a description its meaning moves through time as a story-line in linear time. There is more I could have included in the telling, such as how I felt, what was seen while looking at my sun tanned arms and muscular legs, the feel of the coffee mug, the seagulls calling, the dominance of blue – so much more. All the senses were in play in the present as they were with the memory. And linear Time just opened… The interesting thing was the relatedness of the two porches, the two seas, the two warm and vast experiences, the present and a memory overlapping, like receding surf on shifting sand…

A day has passed, the view changed, the world turns and moves on. I’ve returned to looking out over the field, but the farmer has cut and bailed the hay. The field is different yet the same. The ‘knowing aspect‘ during the practice seemed to allow boundaries between past and present to shift and merge, identities became transparent, two moments separated by decades united within a sense of intimacy in the vital and alive present moment.

About David Filippone

I have been a student of Tarthang Tulku’s Time, Space, Knowledge (TSK) vision for over twenty-five years. For the past twelve years, I’ve studied TSK and Full Presence Mindfulness with Jack Petranker, director of the Center for Creative Inquiry (CCI). I have also participated in programs offered by Carolyn Pasternak of the Odiyan Center. For the past several years, I have curated the CCI Facebook page, which is often TSK-focused, and I serve on the CCI Board of Directors. The CCI Facebook page can be found at the following link...
This entry was posted in General TSK Discussions, 2010/2011 TSK Online Course, memory, space, time. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Focus – the knowledge aspect of the establishing activity of the senses

  1. Pamela says:

    Thanks David for such a sensory experience – I could see the vivid green of the grass undulating in the wind, hear the sound of the wind flowing through the leaves, smell the coffee and the sea, and feel the warmth of the sun. Your title kind of threw me off though – that may be my lack of exposure to formal TSK. From your description, I had more of an impression of an allowing than a focusing, that there was no effort, and nearly no thought involved; and that the senses kind of took over and transported you to that other connected time/space. All very beautiful, thank you again.

  2. David says:

    Thanks Pamela,
    Funny, your descriptive summary of what I wrote took me right back to that expansive moment, for the moment I described became a new experience of intimacy that I now can carry forward, available at just the right new moment. :-)

    The title of the post is taken from the most recent TSK course that Jack Petranker taught, “The Feel of Sensing”, Spring 2011. One of the exercises Jack had us work with was from “Knowledge of Time and Space”, page 392, and Jack said, “looking at the knowledge dimension of the ongoing establishing activity of the senses, rather than just what gets established on the one side, and the one who is establishing on the other.” Rinpoche says regarding the senses as fields that establish our reality, “within their activity of establishing, original intimacy remains open for discovery and appreciation.”

    Jack went on to say, “Once you tune in to the senses without the strong sense of identity, then all of these different dimensions of experience, including these stories that we make, or that are going on in the background, all that becomes available. It is an aspect of our experience that is not directly from the senses, but is intimately affected by what goes on in sense experience. If we open sense experience, in that we connect to the activity of sensing, then we open in the specific sense, and become tuned into what our stories are about, what’s going on. It would be a mistake to assume that just returning to a life of sense experience will produce intimacy. However, if we recognize that a world is being created, and in part it’s being created by the senses, and a construction of a field that draws or builds on time, space, and knowledge, and that we can connect with time, space, and knowledge, that is what gets us closer to intimacy.”

    So what you read were my practice notes for the exercise. Happy you connected with them.
    Best wishes,

  3. Anonymous says:

    Loving this D…not only do you give us a vivid description, you also give details that are important to the creative inquiry process…using your tsk tools to open endless possibilities for wonder of now experiencing…*

  4. David says:

    Thanks Erin,
    And thanks to TSK for showing me how to open experience to a fullness that as a younger man, I often missed, was too busy pursuing something to notice, was frequently comparing or judging what was not good enough, instead of allowing whatever was arising to fully present. Not that I’m a wiz at any method, just grateful that TSK came into my life.
    Best wishes Erin,

  5. Erin says:

    Lovely the way you describe the green waves of the trees and the way the moment linked to another time and place along a beach. A “sensory wormhole” :)

    I agree with Administrator about experiences in a way that feels familiar. You bring us to the porches in both scenarios, whether by familiarity or imagination.

    It’s difficult to imagine Not being open to sensory activity and memories! How much more the world, and we, are alive…are present…when we openly experience, and recall, such moments. It’s really very beautiful, isn’t it?

  6. David says:

    Thanks Administrator! So nice of you to say. :-)

  7. Administrator says:

    I really appreciate your writing. It is so vivid and inviting. Once I start there is no stopping. You convey your experiences in a way that feel familiar.

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