Learning to See

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Many years ago I read a book by Krishnamurti about seeing. Essentially, he said that most of our perception is very limited because it is overshadowed by the intellect which is fueled by ideas from the past.

It is like a reunion with a high school friend – your memory of him subconsciously colours your perception and expectation of him now. To perceive your friend properly, as he is now, you first have to be quiet and let go of the past. This requires quietening the babbling monkey-mind with its baggage of memories and judgements. Then be open to what is happening.

Unsurprisingly, this kind of innocent perception is extremely uncommon in our over-excited society. Most of us are too caught up in our own thoughts, judgements, expectations and memories to really be present with what is happening in front of us.

If we were to be quiet for a moment then we would gain more information from our senses – richer colours, deeper sounds, expanded taste and many, many layers. We may also discover a sense of joy, unboundedness, beauty and aliveness that is always all around us.

A peaceful mind reveals a whole new world – one which we have never seen before. This inner freedom, accompanied by its companion, refined perception, gives rise to spontaneous feelings of joyful appreciation, unconditional gratitude and a well-wishing for all life.

The real voyage of discovery is not to see new landscapes, but to see with new eyes.

Tip: instead of straining to look and listen, allow light to fall upon the eyes and sound to innocently enter the ears.

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