It’s Time To See The World In a New Way
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes” – Marcel Proust
Our mind is truly an amazing tool that we are all blessed to have, a work of art really. The human brain is the most amazing creation in the universe, but no matter how amazing it is, it also has some significant limitations.
It’s important that you become aware of its limitations, that you understand how it keeps you from seeing reality.
The problem is our minds are constantly categorizing everything; they never stop analyzing. The problem with letting our minds think uncontrollably is that we become removed from reality. It is important that you go into this yourself and see why is this so?
Whenever you become consumed with your thinking processes you are lost in your past or imagining your future. We imagine so many things, that we can’t tell what’s real anymore. We confuse reality with imagination and imagination with reality.
The moment you really understand what this means to you and your life, the horror of the situation has the power to change the course of your entire life. You realize that you are not in control, that you are simply a victim of circumstances, moods, thoughts, emotions, and the various personalities that you carry. Life just happens to you.
You live so long in this space that the past and future become more real then the present. It becomes easy and comfortable to live in your imagination, no matter how many conflicts it causes in your life.
Of course everyone knows and feels that living in the present is the best way to live, but when you try to live in the moment you see how much work it actually is, how unnatural it has become. It seems impossible. Most people now practice living in the now by constantly “thinking” about being in the “now”, yet this still involves thinking, it’s a nice trick the mind plays.
Thinking is absolutely necessary; it’s a beautiful instrument when used sanely and rationally. But when it becomes the master instead of the servant, things go astray, you go haywire.
Why does the mind do this? Well, all our thoughts are simply a response from memory and its main job is to protect itself at all costs. It convinces us that thinking is the most important thing in our life.
It knows that if you live in present, it will die, that all the beautiful fictions that we carry about ourselves will end. We have too much invested in our memories, our ego, we believe it’s who we are, so the mind learns to become extremely cunning. They are not you, let them go. But once you learn to just “be” for longer periods of time, the present will once again become more real and your past and future become less real. It will loosen its grip on you.
One way to step away and give your self space from your thinking mind is to just observe your surroundings without inner verbalization. When you verbalize something you start to think and analyze, and thinking is removing yourself from living in the now.
The mind is basically language, remove language and the mind becomes empty, what’s left is pure awareness. Then when you observe your surroundings or yourself, you are simply “seeing”, just the pure act of seeing without making any interpretation of what you’re observing.
All there is, is the seer, the act of seeing, and the seen (object). Normally we always see through a previous image stored in our brain, we give whatever we see a label, but the label is not the “thing”.
When you look at your girlfriend, you really don’t see her, you see her through the thousands of images stored in your brain. You’re living through images and not making direct contact with the world.
New Eyes Exercise
Go to a Location that is beautiful to you. Sit in a comfortable position, quiet your mind by meditating for 10-20 minutes. When you feel calm and relaxed just observe your surroundings; watch that you don’t try to make any interpretation of it. Just take in all the sights and sounds.
If this is new to you, you will probably catch your internal dialogue saying things like: “wow.. this is so beautiful”, “that sky is an amazing blue”, etc. Don’t pay them any attention, just let them float across the vast consciousness of your inner space. They are just temporary visitors on their way out.
Just remember that as soon as you identify yourself with those thoughts, you have removed your self from the experience. Your mind has analyzed it and given it a label, by giving something a label you have defined it and take out the essence of what makes it beautiful.
To not become identified with what you are seeing, realize that you don’t see with your eyes. The reality is that you “are” seeing “through” your eyes, the eyes are simply an instrument.
The conscious entity inside you is what actually sees. If you can constantly remember this, deeply feel it, you will be able to simply be a passive witness. When you become identified with the instrument, you become identified and attached to whatever it sees.
Meditate on this: Who is perceiving through the senses? Just simply sit quietly with this one idea
Living In The Now
Just practice feeling and experiencing what you are seeing for a few minutes at a time, later you can make an interpretation and contemplate your experience. The more you go from thinking to feeling, the more you will be living in the “now”. The body is a here now phenomenon, it is never out of the present moment.
Learn to see everything that is going on around you. You can do this by not focusing your field of vision on anything in particular. Learn to simply see with your eyes and using your whole field of vision by not fixating on one single point.
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