Direct knowledge

Today’s post is taken directly from my subscription to Ocean of Dharma quotes from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. How timely! His writings are so clear and elegant.

In the study of Buddhist philosophy, from the start one tries to transcend concepts, and one tries, perhaps in a very critical way, to find out what is. One has to develop a critical mind that will stimulate intelligence. If one cultivates intelligent, intuitive insight, then gradually real intuitive feeling develops, and any imaginary or hallucinatory element is clarified and eventually dies out. Finally, the vague feeling of discovery becomes very clear, so that almost no doubt remains. Even at this stage, it is possible that one may be unable to explain one’s discovery verbally or write it down exactly on paper. In fact, if one tried to do so, it would be limiting one’s scope and would be rather dangerous. Nevertheless, one finally attains direct knowledge, rather than achieving something which is separate from oneself. This can only be achieved through the practice of meditation, which is not a question of going into some inward depth, but of widening and expanding outward.

In other words, you can know about something and you can experience something, and they are not the same. Critical mind and intuitive insight are code for left and right hemispheres of the brain, in my opinion. Much of the growth from meditation is actually experiencing more right-brain awareness, which is, hmm, not encouraged in most of our modern educational systems and workplaces and culture.

The yoking of left brain intelligence and right brain intelligence is perhaps a “side effect” of yoga and meditation. Or perhaps the real purpose. Who can say?

If you want more brain balance, you can start with a pranayama practice, nadi shodhana, alternate nostril breathing. 

To subscribe to Ocean of Dharma quotes, go here:

To learn how to do nadi shodhana, there are small distinctions, but this video teaches the gist of it in two minutes:


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