TSK Ex. 26 – Transcendence of Pointings

A while ago I wrote about my experience with TSK Ex. 26 – Transcendence of Pointings, an exercise I’ve worked with numerous times over the years.

baby robins by michael - Flickr

…while watching young birds dancing between green leaves in tree branches, thinking “That too is ‘I’,” the focus I was holding seemed to expand, encompassing much more; not simply an opening field of vision, but sound and tactile sense fields were included resulting in a sense of a more full presence. There was a kind of joining of bystanders, and outside-standers, and a sense of dissolving separation and collapsing distance.

…I realized that the intimacy I experienced as described above, was transcending pointing. Initially, ‘birds dancing between the leaves in the tree branches’ was a series of first-level pointings — that included read-outs of distance, colors, relative sizes, and types — between objects and qualities in a background field of vision as the scene was changing; distinctions in succession, presumed separate from the one apprehending. I was reminded of the following passage from KTS pp. 423-4:

“As the act of knowing unfolds, the image also projects itself into those patterns, contributing the direct ‘feedback’ of immediate experience. In this sense, the image of the object can be said to understand itself, in a process that develops sequentially in accord with ‘feedback’ and repetition. The object in being known reflects the interpretive structure that knows it; the subject in knowing the object is modified by the object it knows.”

And so the read-out process went on in a continuous flow of cognition, measured from a bystander position ‘here’ that was presumed to be fixed. But when the thought came, “That too is ‘I’,” it was as if a contracting muscle relaxed, and there was a relinquishing of the narrow individual and serial pointing. There was no sense of sameness, or distinctions based on meanings, or any sense of a separate ‘here‘. This does not mean that read-outs of movement, color, and form were not apprehended, it just seemed that while the read-out process establishing meaning and connecting points was happening, there was no more weight given to a focus ‘here‘ establishing pointing.

Relinquishing of position, reminded me of that swoop and sweep feeling of opening into depth and breadth of experience, which is also like the ‘generating space‘ exercise where knowingness expands through the awareness of overlapping sense fields.

The logos, or foundational concepts, seems to at first-level, provide for ‘me as sense maker,’ the maker or discoverer of meaning, grounded in the unknown in a search for the known, and at second-level a more immediate participation fully present with what is arising with less weight given to the read-out results, yet still holding open the unknown of further possibilities. There is a kind of trust and welcoming of what time is presenting as space opens, and knowing appreciates and participates in the show without fixing a commitment to conclusions, or final answers.

So the focus on ‘birds dancing between the leaves in the tree branches’ became an open exploration of the space within which these appearances arose as a presentation of time in a multidimensional way, there was appreciation of more than only the specific things mentioned, such as other sensing of sounds and feelings, and the delightful arisings of time-space-knowing without a subject controlling how they were to be fixed and noted.

Regarding ‘no subject ordering experience,’ there seemed to be levels of it, one where there was a mindful awareness of an ordering of experience going on (read-outs and in-puts) that was not being controlled by a separate self (where objects knew themselves), and at a more open and deeper level there was simply witnessing; at that level nothing seemed connected or disconnected. There was just appearance, like ripples on still water.

About David Filippone

David Filippone has been a student of Tarthang Tulku’s Time, Space, Knowledge (TSK) vision for over twenty-five years. For the past twelve years, he has studied TSK and Full Presence Mindfulness with Jack Petranker, director of the Center for Creative Inquiry (CCI). He also participated in programs offered by Carolyn Pasternak of the Odiyan Center. For the past several years, David has curated the CCI Facebook page, which is often TSK-focused, and he serves on the CCI Board of Directors. The CCI Facebook page can be found at the following link... https://www.facebook.com/CenterforCreativeInquiry/
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