Photo: ‘Ripples’ by Jan Haerer – Pixabay

It’s interesting the way Rinpoche explains how to transform negative experience whenever it’s been activated. He explains that expanding our perspective or FOCAL SETTING can be effective, because it does away with limits and boarders that we tend to set up in advance… mind-sets we live within. In ‘Dimensions of Mind’, he says:

“In order for there to be a problem, there have to be limits. Limits establish identities; you could say that they capture the identity in the act of defining. Once the identity has been established, we apply labels. At that point, problems emerge almost immediately… [However] When you expand the original focal setting enough, the points that define identities disappear… without borders, all the limits and concerns simply vanish. They no longer have any meaning.” p.155

“We start from the openness of space, but we end up limiting space itself. We turn it into territories, marked out by the borders that give identities. We ZONE space into domains where only certain kind of activities or ways of knowing are allowed, and then we live within those ZONES… Because in this process everything gets measured out… We can only see the images that have been identified and the colors we are accustomed to. We can only think with the symbols we already know how to apply. We can only sense what our ordinary ways of sensing allow…. IT IS JUST THIS ZONING WE NEED TO OPEN UP.” p. 158-9

“We want to expand outward from the center of the zone we find ourselves in. First we focus on the center, so we become aware how space has been shaped into precise forms, like wrinkles in fabric or RIPPLES IN WATER. Then, instead of trying to smooth out the wrinkles or calm down the ripples, we expand them… start right there… Keep the feeling, keep the position you are stuck in, but stretch it out… go to the edge, then go further. At that point ask… where is your zoning now? What are you still insisting on? What are you fighting for? …When we are caught in anxiety or desire, we keep cycling through the same mental reactions again and again. That’s what it means to be trapped in a zone.” p.160

The image of ripples can help release this kind of fixation. Let whatever you are feeling ripple outward. Just be aware of the ripples… you discover that as soon as the ripples move, the character of the zone is already gone… The change does not come from the outside, based on something you have done. There is no doer. There are just very small variations, instant positions—field changes… It is more like an attitude, and you bring that attitude to every dimension of experience.” p. 161

At the link, a student recorded his practice notes, working with ripples…
Rest In The Ripple

About David Filippone

I have been a student of Tarthang Tulku’s Time, Space, Knowledge (TSK) vision for over twenty-five years. For the past twelve years, I’ve studied TSK and Full Presence Mindfulness with Jack Petranker, director of the Center for Creative Inquiry (CCI). I have also participated in programs offered by Carolyn Pasternak of the Odiyan Center. For the past several years, I have curated the CCI Facebook page, which is often TSK-focused, and I serve on the CCI Board of Directors. The CCI Facebook page can be found at the following link... https://tinyurl.com/ybyfolcf
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  1. Michael Gray says:

    Your practice notes from three years ago remind me that I scarcely ever relax and sink into my experience. Even now that I am practicing more, and receiving the benefits of concentration and balance–sometimes with a sprinkle of wider perspective–relaxing into the natural flow of time and space (which needs no nudge from me to simply be present and available) remains ellusive. A steady sense of intentions and my failure to ever completly carry them out, keeps watch from the background.

    But I appreciate your report from the field. It reminds me that Rapunzel is waiting to let down her hair for me to climb up. All I need to do is ask.

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