Meditation: when we are not looking

The instructions quoted below have been engaged thus far from a pure perception point of view, a wisdom point of view. Today’s preamble acknowledges that the same words point out one’s mindlessness.

To look but not see is a common experience; think of looking for something but not seeing that it is right in front of you. The same line refers to all our senses and, therefore, illustrates that we are often or usually quite mindless about what we are eating but not tasting, hearing but not listening, in tactile relation with but not sensing, etc.

The second line, “thinking but not minding,” is a categorization of what’s going on in the emotion-mind complex almost incessantly. All kinds of thoughts repeat, repeat, repeat thoughtlessly. Another example  is projections which are a type of thinking. With them, we are not minding the energy (often critical, judgemental, or negative) being cast along with the projection. Wishing, such as “I wish I had that,” or “I wish the weather would change,” or “I wish he/she would stop,” also arises many times through the day. We are thinking but not aware of the self-importance and self-cherishing in these types of thought.

“Speaking but not expressing” is the next line. Yup, guilty! The habit of filling space with words was robust enough before texting and typed forms of quick communication but now non-sequitors and incomplete sentences, misspellings and auto-filled but incorrect words have reduced communication to inarticulate babble. Both examples, filling space with words as well as language used inappropriately, incorrectly, or inarticulately are referenced in the line “speaking but not expressing.”

“Traveling but not going” – when not in reference to pure perception/sunyata/Awareness – directs one to notice activity generated from impulse and acted upon thoughtlessly. Human beings are constantly in motion but that motion is desire driven most of the time and not noticed as restlessness and distracted behavior as well as not recognized as impulsed by desire. The desire could be to change a moment of boredom into a moment of browsing or cleaning or eating or talking, for example.

A meditation practice must be engaged through the day. The vast majority of one’s day is where the habits of consciousness play. One’s sitting practice is an encapsulation of one’s habits of consciousness. This is very important to understand and is vipashyana. To “look correctly” must begin with ourself, our daily routines and commentary.

A meditation practice also is a supreme act of kindness, patience, non-judgement, and observation of one’s self to one’s self on and off the cushion. The dakinis dance and laugh, the buddhas smile, the meditation masters of the world chuckle spontaneously and have resolved, thus removed, the gene of seriousness. Nonetheless, do these beings live with a sense of urgency, the knowing that there is only the now and its vast importance as the juncture of Awareness-Ignorance, Awareness-Perception, Awareness-Action, Awareness-awareness? Yes. Dakini, Blazing One with a Garland of Lightning, invites us to the same.

  • the quoted vajra song is from Luminous Melodies translated by Karl Brunnholzl. It is available where you purchase books.
  • the image used with the text is called “Ah” by infinitefiend on DeviantArt

when we are not looking 022220

About Donna Mitchell-Moniak

Visit for additional meditations and blog posts.
This entry was posted in About meditation, Meditations. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply