IN THE TIME OF THINKING – What does that phrase mean to you? Do you discover it in your experience of the exercises we have been working with?
The word ‘intimacy’ relates to deep within, the essential nature; intrinsic… to the inmost depths of the mind. Most have experienced physical intimacy with another person, and also intimacy with places, and things. It’s when the usual running narrative in the head diminishes to the point when unity between two ‘things’ happens, free of head-stories, and the structuring activities with which mind engages. And at least for that moment, myopic self-absorption surrenders… we let go. While each moment can be seen in sequence, like ‘beads on a necklace’, each bead can be opened to reveal…
In that instant a different way of knowing is available, one that does not require conceptual constructing of what we know. That freedom allows for a no-distance contact between a subject relating to an object. This intimacy can also happen with ‘thinking’. And I believe that is what Rinpoche means by the phrase… IN THE TIME OF THINKING. When we think of thoughts as mind-things, observable objects, we create the distance between the observer and the thought. But IN THE TIME OF THINKING we drop the distance, and unite with the thinking… no longer separated by the distance between subject and object. We are no longer observing the thought-thing, but rather, become the thinking event. When this happens, Rinpoche says:
“Once we can specify THE TIME OF THINKING in thinking, thinking offers its own feedback. It constructs and conducts in a way that is more truly transitional and less bound to the structure of substance.
“We can move into greater intimacy with what is presented, touching what is actual in the experience of thinking and making direct contact with awareness. In intimacy, lines of communication form. We are not confined to linear or circular structures, but can return to the multidimensionality of appearance. Feedback invites a new sense of the whole. When thoughts unfold from one to the next, inviting us to lose ourselves in the endless progression of their content, the world becomes linear. But in the time of thinking, other dimensions are available. There is the arising of the thought, the activity of thinking, the transition between thoughts, and the one who is thinking. The depth of these added dimensions can become a doorway into an unexpected realm. A simple question may open the door: What is ‘inside’ the string of beads? Can we ‘go’ there?” DTS pp. 251-2
It’s an interesting question in that TIME AS A UNITY IS DIFFERENTLY EXPERIENCED… the initial point of perception is open, the shutter on the lens is unblocked.
“The thinking mind is no longer obligated to construct a reality, and thoughts are no longer structured by the need to arrive at a specified destination. Thought residues seem less solid, their power less strong.” DTS p.250