By Manny Mansbach
Register now to join Manny for a 5-week course, The One Who Knows, beginning Monday, October 7.
Ajahn Chah’s term, The One Who Knows, refers to an innate knowing in us. Sometimes people use the term “Buddha Nature” to speak to this understanding that we’ve always had that knows about life. This quality of awareness can be a profound refuge, especially when we are able to clarify it and take that quality as the vantage point through which experience is known. One truly wonderful thing about it is this knowing is not something we have to acquire, but is an already an existing quality of our true nature!
Learning to rest in The One Who Knows is not a self-improvement project, but coming to know in accordance with the truth. As we come home to this knowing, our lives can settle and clarify. Ajahn Amaro speaks about it this way:
In this class we will keep bringing kind awareness over and over to what we are doing, encouraging a simplicity and clarity of heart and mind that facilitates a shift of identity from thought-structure identification into the spacious experience of the present moment.
By Manny Mansbach
We humans tend to seek certain kinds of pseudo-refuge in the familiar, focusing on landing in a place that is known, seems safe and secure. We can become off-balance, disoriented, anxious, even afraid while waiting for what we think will be easier, until the employer calls with the job offer or the weather turns more to our liking, or we reach a new understanding with someone we’ve been in conflict with. There is value, we tell ourselves, in sailing in open, unprotected waters, but often we find ourselves longing for the refuge of the harbor.
There’s nothing at all wrong with returning to the safe harbor of the known, but when we have difficulty finding ease in the gaps between our comfort zones there can be wide swaths of life that become uncomfortable. Depending on how we relate to these “in-between” places, we may be mildly, moderately or severely vexed. If the distress is habitual, socially embarrassing, strongly identified with or reinforces a negative self-esteem loop, then it can become quite limiting or even debilitating.
Finding ease and freedom in these “in-between” places can be some of the most difficult and most important work of our practice. This talk will offer some direction for how we can “mind the gap” and struggle less when we are asked by life to swim in deeper water than we like or are accustomed to.
Join Manny and other sangha members for a sitting at 7:00pm and talk at 7:35pm.
Blog posts are written by various IPV and guest teachers. Biographies can be found on the Teachers page.