Meditation: rest the mind, view

When all is said and done, meditation is about watching the mind. One learns to notice the usually not noticed off the cushion, thus how one is perceiving the world, a situation, and one’s self. During a meditation session, one also cultivates watching the mind. One watches how thoughts come and go, arising out of nowhere, disappearing again if one lets the thought do so.

The great masters of all Eastern traditions have instructed to “Watch the mind.” They have often encouraged one to “observe the observer,” and to notice that “the mind has no center, no periphery, no location.” Each of these instructions are related to the sense of sight. References such as location, periphery, or where center might be require the visual context of direction. Direction –even that of horizon, close or distant– are visual references.

The image below is of Ushnisha Sitatapatra. Note that her eyes are numerous, even innumerable. Each of head has three eyes: the two like you and me plus the Eye of Wisdom at her brow. But, she also has at least a thousand heads, with the heads of Awareness/Wisdom characterized by or demonstrating the activity of one of the five Buddha Wisdoms. Additionally, the rings just inside the flames are concentric circles of eyes. This image is a mirror to the onlooker. You are this full range of Awareness, too.

It is said of the mind (thus of Awareness) that it is close “like one’s eyelids.” Yet, we don’t see our eyelids! “Ah, there’s the rub” regarding Awareness.

About Donna Mitchell-Moniak

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