Knowledge in Action - Reflections

    Table of contents
    No headers

    I wrote these reflections for the Ways of Knowing class the week we discussed Knowledge In Action.

    I had written a series of questions that were the result of a process of looking at the general question "What is Knowledge in Action" and then noticing and remembering some of my in-the-moment insights.  I wasn't seeking some ultimate / final insight or epiphany - just exploring the question.

    When I returned later to those questions to consider them further and to write this report, I immediately noticed a familiar and almost compulsive temptation to answer the questions by just going down the list and thinking about them and then writing something down.   I resisted it because to me that's not contemplation, it's a mechanical mental process of remembering things I think I know.  One thing I've learned is that for me this is associated with using a computer, which I guess reminds me of offices, work, and productivity.  For this reason I do most of my creative writing with paper and pencil.

    I also had an urge to do this right away after writing the questions.  Instead, reviewed them and then let go of the questions, in order to let them "work in me" for a couple of days or overnight.  I've had some success with creative projects by letting them simmer below awareness, and take the insights as they pop up, or near when they are "due" (for a scheduled project).  Intuition is the thinking we do without being aware of the process.

    If there are a couple fundamental principles about this topic, I think they are first, that I don't experience doing particular things in particular situations, but rather that it is me doing those things.  Awareness is the context in which all activities occur, that ties them together and allows knowledge to transfer between life moments and activities -- awareness of self, in its many subtleties. But what has to tie those bits of knowledge together is memory, the ability to retain some essence of awareness and not convert it purely to simple concepts.  This type of memory makes it possible to recognize and assess trends and differences in what otherwise might be a stream of disconnected moments, and to know how practices are working.  What ties them together is the self.

    I think knowledge -- cognitive ideas based on experience -- plays a role in skillful means.  I've explored and familiarized myself with internal "voices" and their various emotional qualities, both painful and positive.  I have a sense for a variety of different capacities of mind, feeling, and movement.

    My somatic meditation practice is a foundation for cultivation of a unified presence.  This combines full body relaxation, a feeling of having a still center, attention energy extending into space around me, and a secure feeling of settling on the earth. 

    Body sensing is a big part of that awareness and memory, tying the different parts of the self together in a sense of presence.  There are some distinctive full-body experiences states that I associate with this state.  Body energy seems calm and slowly flowing and follows the "mind" -- by which case I mean attention and intention combined, a sense of feeling and moving braided into a single sense.  This quality feels "healing" and I find it can help dissolve tiredness and emotional patterns.

    I recognized another state while I was in a cafe recently.  My feet felt relaxed and settling into the earth and my head felt high and spacious, and in between, my body a big empty space that received and responded to the qualities of events around me.  That feeling of "space" is not just physical -- it is an experience that I'm able to engage with a wider variety of events in an open and flexible way.

    Tag page (Edit tags)
    • No tags
    You must login to post a comment.
    Powered by MindTouch Core