Photo courtesy of: ‘Breath’ by Engin_Akyurt – Pixabay


The shift from a ‘thing’ perspective to an appreciation of space, and the increasing emphasis on intimacy, are linked… It is possible to see, directly, a ‘timed out’ interaction and this shows quite vividly, the presence of a pervasive space… We might say that the ‘quantity’ of this ‘space’ is indeterminate or even infinite. It is a matter of how much ‘knowing’ (not a SELF’S act) is used to know ‘time’—which then shows or measures out ‘space’ (and derivatively, utilizable ‘volume’ or ‘room’). This has important consequences for our own lives. As long as we consider our experience to be made up of ‘things’, our lives and capacity for appreciation and fulfillment are constantly being restricted or locked up.
…’Time, Space, and Knowledge’, Tarthang Tulku, p. 153-6

Is there a way to remain undeceived by meanings and referrals, and dichotomies of exclusion, where one feels separate and apart from the immediacy of experience? Yes, not unlike cleaning the palate in order to fully taste…

Sit quietly and attend to the presence of sounds. You can use speech, music, or any sounds that happen to appear. Do not get trapped in the labels and significations that sound bear, but concentrate on the quality of the sounds themselves. This amounts to LEARNING TO SEE MORE DEEPLY INTO ALL COMMUNICATED PRESENCES, rather than being stopped by their surface partitioning… Let your awareness be sensitive to the inner quality and energy of the breath itself. Then you can discover that breath itself has many subtle tones. Try to integrate an attention to sounds with a keen but gentle attention to your breathing and your throat center… Rather than doing one and then the other, let the two ‘attendings’ ‘marry’ so that they become a sound-throat-breathing unified presence.
….’Time, Space, and Knowledge,’ by Tarthang Tulku, p.187

I sat calmly, focused on the feel of breath arriving and leaving the body, air like space entering and leaving, and then renewing, which provided a kind of centering presence, where everything was happening. All senses were felt as available, if not actively inputting. For instance the sense of smell felt like an available blank, not active. However, I felt the tactile… chair, the cool air… LISTENING was quite active as outside blustering winds, thrashing leaves and branches involved degrees of amplitude. It was as if ‘listening space’ was like a sail that caught the turbulence and EXPANDED as loudness or intensity demanded. As the sound of wind and vehicular traffic became more intense, my boundaries seemed to expand way beyond my body, and at the same time within me, I was aware of more knowing. Space seemed to balloon and I became aware that all being experienced outside and inside was happening INSIDE me. It seemed easy to drop the habitual need to name and label what I heard… there was no me filtering, controlling, or judging the experience. There was room for equilibrium… a replenishing appreciation of the moment.

I was aware how different this feeling was from my usual way of momentary perception, and the immediate move to narrow it down, to ENFOLD the initial experience into many flattening summaries or points in order to more easily manage my moments, and remember them… like a filing system of bits of my life. This experience of a glimpse of a more unified presence of sound & breath doesn’t ENFOLD so much, but instead, allows for UNENFOLDED experience.

The ‘unenfolded’ quality indicates that this energy has never been obscured or folded up into any hidden centers of presentations, but is primordially available, promoting physical vitality and longevity, as well as a new sensitivity to ‘time’ and ‘knowledge’. It also leads to a much healthier and more fulfilling subject-object interaction.
…’Time, Space, and Knowledge’, Tarthang Tulku, p.188

About David Filippone

For more than 25 years I’ve been a 'student' of the Time, Space, Knowledge vision (TSK), not a teacher. And I write from an inquiring student's perspective neither proclaiming nor declaring. I figuratively sit in awe at the feet of a master, Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche. For the past 12 years, my personal TSK guide has been Jack Petranker, Director of the Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages, and the Center for Creative Inquiry (CCI), past dean of the "Tibetan Nyingma Institute", and author of "When It Rains Does Space Get Wet?", "Inside Knowledge", and other TSK related books and articles... I've also received TSK instruction from the late, Carolyn Pasternak of the Odiyan Retreat Center... As a volunteer for the past several years, I've been curating the often TSK focused, CCI Facebook page at...
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