In this pseudo-kōan of an episode, David and Michael ask us to start poking holes in our conception of reality and offer a healthy recipe for ‘getting there’.
Two seemingly simple questions, “Where are we trying to get and where are we if we are not already there”, lead Michael and David down the deeper rabbit hole of how we conceptualize our experiences.
Find more from David at DharmaMoon.com – a website offering Workshops/Courses, Teacher Trainings, Mentoring & more.
The Narrative of ‘Getting There’
David addresses the aspect of our mind that weaves all of our narratives. He speaks to the difference between the truth of our pre-conceptual experiences and the narratives that our mind weaves to make sense of it all.
“The immediate experience is so beyond – so ultimate, in a sense – that it is bigger than any universe that you could ever traverse. Just the experience of a woodpecker tapping on your roof can open up the gateway to a completely non-conceptual perception of reality before any thought enters the mind at all. Pre-thought. Non-thought.” – David Nichtern
Keeping Up With The Speed Of Reality (5:45)
Referencing concepts explored in the book Glimpses of Abhidharma by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, David reflects on the speed at which our mind experiences reality. He looks at how slow the conceptual aspect of our mind is in comparison to the speed at which we experience life.
“They say that it is something like 128th of a second that is a moment of consciousness. Then [those moments] stream together like the frames in a movie into what we conceive of as our continuity of our experience. So, actually, experience is not really continuous, like a film is not continuous – it is a series of frames.” – David Nichtern
Who is Getting There? (10:25)
David reframes the question “Where are we trying to get?” into the Buddhist perspective by first asking ourselves “Who is trying to get there?” A question that begs an even juicier question – “What is left when you do get there?”
“In Buddhism, sometimes you track back and ask, ‘Who is trying to get there? Who will be there at the end of getting there?” – David Nichtern