FOCUSING…

Photo by David Filippone

FOCUSING…

For my Richard Dixey class, ‘Searcher Reaches Land’s Limits‘, I’ve been working with a simple little practice that goes right to the heart of ‘recognizing’ the subtlety of ‘Knowingness’ in experience. It’s a concentration exercise.

PRACTICE – 3 minutes twice a day [As I practiced it] For Consistency and strengthening the ‘attending’ skill. TAKE AN OBJECT like a candle [nice because the flame flickers with movement, helps to stabilize focus] or flower or whatever… concentrate on it for 3 minutes, no more [use a timer]… abolish all intruding thoughts… concentrate HARD… to give a clear message to mind, that this is important, and ‘I’m’ in control… During different sittings, I was focusing on the flower in the photo below… all different spots of the bouquet.

After doing this for a while, see if you can recognize the fractions of seconds that are engaged in minding activities… ordering, labeling, categorizing, narrating. And distinguish those instants from instants of an openness that is non-ordering, not categorizing, labeling or narrating… and stay with that open non-doing. It is quite subtle…

MY PRACTICE NOTES: Just seeing the flower… other thoughts encroach… narrations, sounds of whirring hard-drive, distant traffic, distracting peripheral movements… sudden relaxing as all things seem equal, a microsecond of equanimity… Then, a label of something heard encroaches shutting down the ‘equality’ of everything, a narrative pop-up explaining to myself what I’m doing, realizing my concentration is distracted, I refocus on the object, noticing subtle colors… Then, suddenly everything opens-up to a kind of ‘equality’, relaxing, smooth and uniform… Noticing that, automatically ‘I’, the self, separates from the object in order to notice it. And in that separation, I go from an all-things-equal flattened-space, non-thing open Being, to a controlling meaning-making, history-laden, judging entity. A juggler of ‘things’. Then, time’s up… or perhaps better said… time resumes its flow.

‘Savoring’ that openness I realize it seems similar to that same non-conceptual experience of being struck silent by a beautiful sunrise, or sunset, or I notice the innocence of animals, or the laughter of children… or often the silence that comes sometimes at the end of thinking as storylines or narratives drift off. Right there, is a dynamic knowing, and a feeling of unbounded vitality. Savor that…

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... https://www.facebook.com/CenterforCreativeInquiry/
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1 Response to FOCUSING…

  1. Michael Gray says:

    Strange how the hummingbird is going for the painted flower. I guess it’s stuck in a world that has been predetermined for it. Thank goodness, I am free to roam and explore off the edges of the pages of my script. Wait. Am I also a hummingbird forever hovering at the edge of an already depicted world? I wonder what’s inside that vase? Perhaps a scroll from before this time, which expresses a deeper understanding of what it means to be a human being?

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