WKC: Willingness, Know-how and Capacity

Willingness, Know-how and Capacity -- this is a framework that Ken McLeod presents over and over again in classes and retreats.

WKC (TAN34) (from TAN34 -
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"Now how this happens in practice--it takes time. One has to work at it over and over again usually best done for relatively short periods. So you really practice that clarity aspect and that's why I had you over the last couple of weeks just dropping into that clarity because we live in the world the way we do we're not monastics, we don't live in monasteries, we don't live in secluded environments. The way we approach practice of this type isn't developing states of attention and trying to hold onto them or stabilize them that way but developing the facility of returning, returning, returning, returning and resting. And you know that that's the way I've taught you in meditation, rest in the experience of breathing whenever you find yourself distracted. Return to the experience and just rest there. So it's resting in the experience of everything. And it's the same with this clear mind. When you can, know that clarity, then you just drop into it and rest there. Whether you're washing dishes, gardening or talking with someone or actually practicing meditation. You just drop into it and rest and when it dissipates it dissipates you let it go. And then you drop into it again. So there isn't any sense of trying to hold onto something or work at something. You just drop into it and rest. And that's where you get don't be distracted, don't fall into distraction, or like I've said, no wandering, no control, no work. And you do that and if you have the opportunity to do retreats then you can do this for like ten days at a time or three weeks at a time. We did a Dzogchen retreat which is what people do. You just keep doing this all the time and you build up a momentum. It becomes cumulative and you begin to let go of things more and more deeply and things can really open up.

But it all depends on three qualities which you've heard me talk about before. One is you have to be willing to drop into that clarity and it's not the way, it's not the mind from which we ordinarily function and being willing to drop into that clarity involves letting go all kinds of conditioning and habituated ways of doing things and ways that we're very, very comfortable with.

The second quality that you need is to have the know-how to do this. There's a skill involved so you aren't falling into this kind of self-delusion. A lot of people think they're doing something when they're really just thinking. So that is something I have been trying to teach you through this whole course and through the retreats.

And then the third thing is developing capacity and that is what I was referring to a few moments ago, where you actually build up the level of attention that enables you to do this first in relatively simple situations like meditation or doing routine manual tasks and then gradually in more involved situations where there are strong reactive emotions are parading or you're having conversations or interactions with people and you still have that same ability to drop into that clarity, rest and actually function from there. And that takes years and years of training to do that. But that's basically what were involved in. Okay, how is this for you? Is this making sense? Somewhat helpful?"