Table of contents
    1. 1. Introduction

    This was written for Kira's Ways of Knowing workshop with discussions and reports (here  here  here  here  here).  See also:

    Introduction

    I'd like to consider the general theme of "Knowledge in Action" or to use another phrase, "Skillful Means".

    Don't try thinking about what "skillful means" means, however, or what you've heard about it - it's just a concept or Big Word that in no way can define or carry the reality of you as a human being, with your unfathomable capacities for living life in intelligent and skillful ways.

    I won't set the direction using big words like Intuition or Awareness, but if you feel this leads your insight toward deeper understanding, by all means feel free to go at this in the ways that work best for you.

    To contemplate (an issue) is to "open up" the question in your experience.  Here are some questions that go at the matter from different perspectives.  We're not trying to answer or discuss each of these.  Skip the answers and go for the knowing and see what is evoked.  Any way "in" is a good one.

    * * *

    Do you experience yourself as a person with capacities as compared to someone who can do particular things in particular situations?

    Do you have good days and bad days, where you're more "on" and "off"?  Do you know what internal or external conditions determine this?

    (How much) do you feel "at choice" with respect to this?

    Do you believe it's possible to cultivate yourself and your capacities?  If so, how?  What are the most important ways you do this?  Do you have some rituals or practices, or other things you do that help or support you in this?

    What are some specific capacities you are aware of, and what do you know or believe about how they function in you or in other people?

    Do you have a sense of your own strengths and weaknesses?

    Suppose we take this area of your experience, and use the label capacity or ability to refer to it.  What area(s) of life do you focus on -- or give attention to -- where you're growing or challenged in a positive way?   Do you have specific intentions and aspirations? 

    Do you have goals or intentions about the quality of Being (presence, creativity, intelligence) that you experience and bring into play?  How is this expressed in action?

    How do you know whether these capacities are present to a greater or lesser degree?  How do you discriminate which way is "up"?   Whether something you're doing is having a positive effect?

    How does this skillful or effective knowing work in specific situations?  Perhaps some of the following questions will be evocative.

    • What is happening in a group, when there is creativity, energy, and a good flow?
    • What motivates and inspires you?  What leads you toward greater freedom?  Can you do something to cultivate this?
    • What do you do ahead of time to make sure that you are functioning "at your best"?
    • How do you approach a creative project?  A challenging situation? 
    • How do you make decisions about complex or ambiguous situations?
    • How do you set your intentions or direction?  Do you gather your thoughts and impressions at the end of the day or as part of your morning routine?
    • How do you work with tiredness, or a distracted mind, or other such states that would seem to interfere with being "skillful in action"?
    • What do you do when a situation stimulates a feeling of anger, fear, confusion, or boredom?  Do you decide what to do or how to be with it?
    • We are "relational" creatures.  What are your aspirations with respect to relating?
    • Are there different kinds of "intelligence" -- for example intellectual, emotional, task-oriented?  Does this also include some kind of "spiritual" intelligence?
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