TSK p.139 says that we may try to break out of our sense of being trapped in ‘lower time’ by practicing meditation or other spiritual disciplines… The book, ‘When It Rains Does Space Get Wet,’ p. 41 adds: “If you have background in a meditative or spiritual tradition, you may want to reflect on this claim… Would a different understanding of time change the way you approach such teachings?”
Look into this question. Where does it lead you?
Decades ago, before discovering TSK, during the day I engaged in meditative practice that, in simple terms, focused on allowing the mind to calm down revealing ‘space awareness‘, while observing what arises in a choiceless way. At night, I engaged in the practice of the Tibetan Yoga’s of Dream and Sleep, which carried the waking meditative focus into my dream-time. Observing dreams and the space in which they arose provided a refined sense of how what arises in mental space as constituted by a ground of openness. This intense day and night focus on space helped me be more comfortable resting in the moment, without an overpowering urge to go off in a particular direction with emotionally ‘charged‘ thoughts. Because of some peak experiences, I became too focused on repeating those experiences. Without realizing it, that kind of ‘amazing‘ space, or space perspective became a goal that I began to look for in daily meditations for a long period of time, years actually.
When I discovered TSK, I found resonance with the sections on Space, but Time had an unexpected, and significant impact on my understanding. Working with Time I began to understand that while I had developed an affinity for resting in, and exploring my own depth in spatial terms, I was also using it in certain ways to avoid life, to avoid what might be too painful for me to face at times in daily living. I began to learn the unfolding of experience was a function of my own structuring of time, that I was complicit in my own experience, and how I was influencing its unfolding. I began to delve into the Self, I focused on various internal states and feeling tones that accompanied experience to uncover clues as to the root-patterns that formed, which I have come to identify with as my sense of self…in particular, those patterns defensive in nature, for they tended to become behavioral norms that distort a more balanced growth.
I used numerous psychological books, as well as meditation to aid me in quiet observation, and inquiry into the open dimension of mental space. This analysis allowed direct observation that ego development is a process of building mental structure in open mind. I began to see in a direct way how the linear threads of the earliest stories, and my layers of ‘worlding‘ over time, had become my milieus and background that I attempted to attach to, and have serve as my nested location for this body and sense of ‘me‘.
I have learned through TSK that this taking for granted, of ‘worlding‘, of nesting in the familiar and habitual, has a numbing effect on experience. Rinpoche uses an analogy in LOK that experience is deadened or sedated when we are ‘worlding away’, like feeling our way through our structured lives once removed, he says it’s “…as though we were trying to experience the feel of a fur coat by touching it with gloves on.” LOK p.129
Somewhere in the TSK books Rinpoche suggests that understanding Space without an understanding of Time leaves us unbalanced, and that was my discovery. I couldn’t just dwell in mental space and live a productive and vital life, I needed to live in time, be time unfolding, know the intimacy of my space AND the vitality of living my structuring of experience.