June 2020

In our first workshop of June, we discussed the fundamental effort of this teaching: self-remembering. The objective of our discussion was to share what members of the school understand by practicing this effort, as well as to examine what several ancient schools have to teach us on the topic. During the week that followed, our practical exercise was to take our meals consciously and with attention throughout, in a state of self-remembering. In our second meeting students were asked to share their observations about the exercise. As many students did verify, the act of taking food calls forth many bestial traits that make staying aware during meals especially challenging. We explored some of the explanations for why this is so as well as found representations of this challenge in famous works of art. In this system we come to the understanding that almost our entire life is spent acting from habit, conditioning, momentum, and accident. It is a difficult pill to swallow, but the system also gives us the map for the way out of this maze of mechanicality. As we venture out, we come nearer to that which is true in us, which is really ours and which is really us. In order to recognize this, a certain space is needed and the topic of our third workshop was making space for Real ‘I’. The pace of life tends to capitalize on our tendencies toward mechanical efficiency. The more mechanically efficient we become, the less space we leave in ourselves to discover our own deeper and truer potentials. In our final workshop of June we discussed one trait in particular that plagues every one of us, which is multitasking. The goal of the workshop was not only to come to a concise definition of what multitasking is, but also to recognize the flavor of what comes the instant before we allow ourselves to be swept away in its whirlwind. Throughout the month we built upon what it means to self-remember and explored several of its aspects; the more intently we learn to remember ourselves, the sooner we catch ourselves when we forget.

Self-remembering is only for those who want it very much and try very much, time is necessary— years, many years. And even if they do get what they understand by self-remembering they will see that beyond that, infinite new distances and new meanings open up, and that the achievement of one stage of it is only the beginning of another.
Rodney Collin