Heart of Wonder

“The best test is this: If what is being read does not emerge as a fundamental theme in the ongoing practice of daily life, the project of our inquiry has not been fully taken to heart.” – Tarthang Tulku, from the Preface, Knowledge of Time and Space.
I’m asking myself, at Jack’s request, “What’s this whole thing about my motivation for studying TSK?” The first thing that comes is that TSK has benefitted me, over the last forty years. How that?

It’s a way of attending to the real life of my life, and as a natural result of this kind of attention, real life expands. The discipline (in the sense of learning) that comes with practising TSK has resulted in increased freedom over the years. One way it has done that is: Now I find myself curious about consciousness itself, rather than (as I used to be) focussed on manipulating my relationship with the objects of consciousness. Relationships flow easily with the revelation of the luminosity of awareness.

So, I’m checking in, in a curious kind of way, and I find… The life that opens up through this practice has a quality which supports my well-being and my care of others…

“What is that?,” I wonder. I can feel its presence. Being has a quality about it….
“Is it ‘wonder’?,” I ask. Yes, that gives a shift in my body, when I say ‘wonder.’ Kind of like, (I can say now) the magic of consciousness – centreless, not measurable –  pervades everywhere. That’s it.
And there’s a sense that all ‘this’ is the play (mobile device, in cafe, typo: ‘pray’!) of something incredibly great, which is living through my individual life. (I’ll never forget the day I actually knew that it was doing me, not the other way around, and that this was a blessing!)

Now, I think one reason that I’ve grown, with the support of this approach, is that it has made me more aware of the underlying personality dynamics that aren’t about my childhood wounds, which are not about the legacy from my poor wounded parents. These personality dynamics structured by views about time, space and knowledge are more from the species inheritance, so a different kind of release comes here. You can go around in circles for years, if all you take into account is your family dysfunction.

To be sure, that’s important stuff to understand, but here is a more profound foundation for angst – unexamined views about the very fundamentals of reality. Understanding how I constructed (and continue to construct) my self-image out of these reality-basics, helps me understand how, way back then, I worked with the violence of my childhood family of origin, weaving it into a more basic level of dis-inheritance. The fundamental alienation is the giving away of contact with the… (the wonder… the luminosity… the sacred… And more, about real life, which you can fill in, in this bracket, for yourself).

And the beautiful things about TSK is that it doesn’t involve anything sectarian. I don’t consider it Buddhist, or anything, and it has no argument with any other area of knowledge. It’s a great compliment to my Pali-based, classical, mindfulness-awareness Buddhist practice, and to my Focusing practice (based in Eugene Gendlin’s philosophy). I’m so blessed to have found the TSK vision back in 1978. It’s been a reliable companion for a long time.

(And when I open up the CCI website to post this, I see those child’s eyes of wonder, on the home page. Wonderful! Just like that, yes.)

 – Christopher (McLean)

About Christopher

I first read TSK in 1978, and have enjoyed exploring Rinpoche's (printed) work ever since. I'm an insight meditation teacher in Sydney, Australia, and I live in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. I'm also a psychotherapist and a Focusing trainer (Gendlin).
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3 Responses to Heart of Wonder

  1. Jacqueline Redmond says:

    Having read all the readings last night on our TSK course and being a beginner at it .. then reading your words above fills me with a delight knowing that there is no beginning .. or end! At least I think that’s what I mean. I love the pointers that you raise and am struck by the ‘unexamined views about the very fundamentals of reality’ and the ‘I actually knew it was doing me, not the other way round, and that was a blessing.’ That raised further questions and curiosity! Thank you.

  2. michaelg says:

    This is wonderful, Christopher. You spiral down to something deep, through layers of personality and it’s wounds, illuminating how even if we learn to understand our past such understanding is not a place to stop. You stitch the intensely personal into a tapestry that is universal.

  3. csherwood says:

    Wow, Christopher! This is fabulous: so rich, so clear. Thank you. I particularly appreciate your sentences: ‘Relationships flow easily with the revelation of the luminosity of awareness.’ and ‘ (I’ll never forget the day I actually knew that it was doing me, not the other way around, and that this was a blessing!)’
    I will draw what you have posted to the attention of the UK TSK Study Group. I think they will find it very helpful and inspiring.

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