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Lions Roar : March 2006
what? One never knows. It is just being without any qualification. Are you being Jack? Are you being Jill? Are you being Smith? One never knows. This may sound rather vague, but it is not as vague as all that. There is a very strong energy. A very powerful thing is taking place. There is a shock, the electricity of being pulled back into the present constantly: here, here, here. It's happening. It's really taking place. There is an interesting dichotomy here: on the one hand, we don't know what it's all about. On the other hand, there is enormous pre- cision and understanding. Such directness is taking place. That is the state of vipashyana, a state of realization or insight. You begin to see inside your mind on the level of nonverbal awareness. Nonverbal cognitive mind is functioning. You may say, "Now I hear the traffic. Now I hear the cuckoo clock. Now I hear my wristwatch ticking. Now I hear my wife yelling at me." But you also have to say: "I hear but I don't hear at the same time." Such totality is taking place. A very precise something or other is happening. That is the state of vipa- shyana. It is nonverbal and nonconceptual and very electric. It is neither ecstasy nor a state of dullness. Rather, a state of "hereness" is taking place, which is described in the Tibetan Buddhist literature as nowness. Nowness is sometimes referred to as the fourth moment. That may sound more mystical than what is meant. You have the past, present, and future, which are the three moments. Then you have something else taking place, which is called the fourth moment. The fourth moment is not a far-out or extraordinary experience as such. It is a state of experience that doesn't even belong to now. It doesn't belong to what might be, either. It belongs to a non- category-which provides another sense of category. Thus it is called the fourth moment. That is the state of vipashyana, or the state of non-ego. The Tibetan term for this is Ihakthong dagme tokpe sherap, which means "the knowledge of egoless insight:' It is a very real experience in which nothing can be misunder- stood. It is such an overwhelming experience. The experience comes at you. You experience it precisely and in great detail. With that point of view, you are able to work with yourself and your life situations because there are constant reminders taking place in everyday life. All kinds of little hassles arise. You for- got to pay the telephone bill, and the message from the phone com- pany is getting heavier and heavier. They are about to turn off your phone or sue you. Your motorcycle is about to catch fire, because you are over- revving the engine. Your grandmother is dying. Your family heritage and parental relationships are calling for your commitment >- page 92 48 SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2006 '"d ::r: o """Ì o 0:; >-< ::r: e ti C/J o Z C/J ::r: o """Ì t"rJ I:'""'" I:'""'"