Look at the world with quiet eyes

(Image copyright: Hazel Haddock 2015)

 

Theologian Howard Thurman recommended that we "look at the world with quiet eyes."  It is an intriguing phrase.  Usually we more resemble cartoon creatures whose eyes are popping out on springs: "I see something I want!  Give it to me!"  Then our arms extend, reaching out to acquire that object.  Our fingers flex, ready to grab on to what we want in order to keep it from changing.  Our shoulders strain to hold on even tighter.  Our heads rigidly turn to this object so as not to lose sight of it.  Our bodies lean forward in anticipation.  It's a moment of grasping - or an hour of grasping, or a day, or even a lifetime - and it's very painful.

All too often we seek happiness in the wrong places and in the wrong ways.  We cling to people and experiences and objects as though we could glue them in lace, while ignoring the precipice of change upon which we are standing.

When we practice looking at the world with quiet eyes, we develop a degree of calm and tranquility.  The surprising discovery is that this quietness isn't passivity or sluggishness; in fact, we can be fully connected to what is happening, and have a bright and clear awareness of it, yet be relaxed.  This quality of calm isn't deadened or coldly distant from our experience - it is vital and alive.  We find that the world will come to fill us without our straining for it.

As we release that momentum toward clinging - no longer falling into the future, ignoring what is here as we obsess about what we don't yet have, fixating on defeating change and insecurity - we calm our minds.  Such calm is its own special type of happiness, one of composure and strength.  In that alert yet relaxed state we find peace.

Above taken from Unplug - Sharon Salzberg


The art of meditation gives us the opportunity to look at the world with quiet eyes.

 

To maintain some momentum for your practice, you may like to consider the latest offering I have created - Compassionate Breathing, which is a wonderful resource to turn to when you need some support in your sitting time.

 

For ongoing classes and meditation courses please view the offerings available here

 

 

[Image: Shutterstock under licence]
 

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