Meditation: looking but not seeing 3

If you listen to the podcast, some of this is said there.

The instruction given by dakini, Blazing One with a Garland of Lightning, is many layered. The teachings embedded within her words are vast. It is always up to the listener to open the words to their layers as well as to open one’s mind and vulnerability to what one might find within the vastness.

There is the somewhat literal interpretation of the instruction. In this case, there are four lines, each quite specific but, at the same time, vague as to how to accomplish. “Looking without seeing, that’s my eye” is first. How does one do that? And, why is “eye” singular?

In meditation practice as well as all ways of the Path, the practitioner is left to sort out these questions; and that must be so. In fact, it is the wisest, most compassionate implicit instruction to us all. “Figure it out.” “What does it mean to you?” What the instruction means to someone or how he or she might apply its meaning is useful to him or her but might be gibberish to you, be confusing, be already established within you and your awareness, and so forth.

Second, the dakini’s instruction or call to innate knowing floats on the ground of shamatha: tranquil abiding and its impartiality. “Looking without seeing, …” is possible only as a neutrality of emotion-mind-self is somewhat stable. Otherwise, looking instigates an immediate magnetization of preference, projection, hopes and fears, wants and dislikes. Then, seeing is nothing more than a projected fabrication or conjuring of all of the above. However, if shamatha has somewhat established, there will be a fraction of a second of neutral quiescence in the mind-consciousness, an impartial moment in which the something is just a something but not a thing or a person or a story.

You see, we go through the day naming, claiming, and dooming the something to the label and personal relationship that we have to the something or someone. Shamatha practice on and off the cushion provides space between the eye consciousness and the mind consciousness, the feeling nature and what is felt, etc. With that, the sense of self is not re-fueled for a flash of second.

Third, and due to the ground of tranquil abiding, insight can arise; insight will arise. But, importantly, due to neutrality, the insight will not be something that needs to be grasped – almost attacked – but rather, is realized as obvious, as “of course,” as natural.

The dakini can say “that’s my eye,” “that’s my mind,” etc. because these are normal. Insight is normal; it is Awareness being aware. To look and not be interested in seeing is a union of spacious luminous Awareness and being aware. Aware of what doesn’t matter. To be aware is a neutral activity. “Aware of what” is a preference, limitation, and thus non-awareness.

* And this is barely the surface of the layers of meaning.

looking but not seeing 3

About Donna Mitchell-Moniak

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