Photo: ‘Silver Needles’ by Andreas Lischka – Pixabay

One more advanced Full Presence Mindfulness class till we break until the next semester… when classes continue in late September or early October. The eighteen classes we’ve engaged with since mid-March have been a gift. Our teacher, Jack Petranker, has focused on essential readings from the TSK books that are brimming with insight. The related exercises we practice bring the content of the readings home as direct experience. That ‘LUMINOUS VITALITY’ Rinpoche suggests is available through the TSK Vision becomes ever more apparent.

Inspired personally by the classes so far, I’ve been working with DTS EX. 23 – CHOOSING THE UNKNOWN. In the past, the feeling of NOT-KNOWING… a gap or lack of knowledge, signaled a deficiency, something that needed to be overcome, filled in, or perhaps even feared, or at the least I should be wary. Rinpoche points out…

Far more often than we usually realize, patterns and events play themselves forward in our lives that we simply cannot explain. Instead of accepting the automatic invitation to blank such experiences out, explain away our ignorance, or dismiss such events as random occurrences, GO INTO THEIR UNKNOWNNESS. Do not expect to turn the unknown toward knowledge; do not expect feedback on your experience that you can make sense of. Just BE PREPARED TO DWELL WITHIN THE UNKNOWN. Let unknownness inspire you toward knowledge.
….’Dynamics of Time and Space’, by Tarthang Tulku, p. 330 [Emphasis added]

…I’m watching an unseen breeze ruffle the tips of pine needles that shimmer silver in afternoon sun against deep-green branches. The shimmering reminds me of Time’s unfolding — changes in the world, of focus, of mood, thoughts, activities, and so on. I am aware of my body and senses immediately, as if rushing headlong into them; a ‘sweep and swoop’ of focus as distance between objects evaporate. I notice underlying feeling-tones — pleasure emerges followed by a hollow of worry, the sense of fleeting temporariness, of life arising and passing… ideas like little trains move out of tunnels of timbre and mood… questions of survival in turbulent times, finance and health concerns, sadness over loss of a loved one… Then something releases, narrowness opens, and concern gives way to appreciation for scent and color… and newness. Warm, pleasant currents rise within prior cooler fathoms, awareness is immersion, a liquid medium…

Like the unseen breeze, I’m aware of a discontinuity, a NOT-KNOWN, and how the currents of what I’m feeling and sensing seem to skip an unseen beat. I’m aware of this when I open space by ‘wondering’, by being open to unthought possibilities, by not accepting conclusions as the final word… I’m aware they foreclose the unseen breeze of possibility that surrounds and permeates… the very UNKNOWN I feared. Rinpoche suggests…

Appearance communicates a fundamental unity of time. Although the nature of this unity remains UNKNOWN, SOMEHOW IT IS ABLE TO MANIFEST AND TRANSMIT KNOWLEDGE. If we allow ourselves to appreciate this inner link between time and knowledge, our own knowledge in relation to time may shift in subtle ways. For instance, we may find that we are more sensitive to future possibilities. We can take this as an indication that the unknownness of time is becoming more available.” DTS p. 331

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 fourteen 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. David curated the CCI Facebook page for five years, which is often TSK-focused, and he currently serves on the CCI Board of Directors. The CCI Facebook page can be found at the following link...
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