Some months ago, while driving up the road to my house, I was suddenly struck by the beauty of the trees. How long had it been since I’d really seen them? I still remember the first time I drove down this road when I was looking to buy my home. I remember how immersed I was in the beauty of the pines, how green and tall they were and so many. After buying the home, they just became a backdrop a familiar sight. I no longer seen them with the fresh eyes of the first time.
Is it possible for us to see the world in this way with new eyes?
It seems to me that most of us live this way. The first time we visit a place it is fresh and new, we see it just as it is with nothing added. But over time we build up memories and ideas about the place, and after that we are seeing part what’s in front of us and part what our mind thinks about what we are seeing. We don’t do it purposefully, it just happens that way. We are conditioned by living. Life imprints upon our minds, and we see the world through that filter. When we see this way, we are not able to take in the totality of what we see. We begin to have partial experiences.
If you have ever been to a new city or country that you’ve never been to before you will know what I mean. It’s just different. There is nothing there that you’ve been imprinted by before. It is just fresh and new, it just is as it is. But if you are there for more than a few hours your mind starts to become familiar with it, and the freshness is no longer there. That familiarity is just the workings of your mind. Your mind is busy building ideas. These ideas are helpful in day to day living, but when we get stuck in them we miss out on seeing the world as it really is.
This experience is as close as we can get to seeing fundamental reality. It is an opportunity to see the world with fresh eyes.
I have this fond memory from a time long ago. I was very young and had moved to a new State, Arizona. It was really hot there but during the winter it would get cold, well at least what seemed cold to Arizonan’s after being acclimated to over 100 degrees every day during the summer. I remember it was cold enough that there was ice in the mud puddles. I had bought this new tea from the store. I made it in a Styrofoam cup and went out by myself and sat on my porch and drank that cup of hot tea. I can still see in my mind the steam rising from the cup, the comforted feeling I had while sitting out in the cold drinking that cup of tea. I can feel my hands truly holding that cup and taking sips. My whole being was immersed in that moment. Somehow the conditions were just right, so that in that moment, I was able to fully experience drinking the tea.
All of us experience moments like this in our lives. They are the memories that seem to stand out above all others. We even spend the rest of our lives seeking to recreate those moments, but they always seem to miss the mark. The moments we are trying to recreate are just mind fragments, rather than the actual experience.
To be immersed in fundamental reality, and experience this moment just as it is, is the ultimate experience. All beings chase it, even though they don’t know it. But all we have to do is drop our ideas, and see things with fresh unfiltered eyes, and the whole world opens up. It is then that we can experience the world in this fresh way with no hindrance of mind.
It is possible for us to live in this way, and see the world this way. When you unify your body and mind and do something with your entire being the ideas naturally drop away, and you experience things as they are. When you do this you experience the moment with your entire being. Just breathe, and relax and take one step, that’s it, that’s all. Take that step with all of your heart and mind, in that moment you are unified, and can experience the moment it it’s totality and freshness.
When you are fully here, you see the world with those fresh eyes, and everything opens up to you. You can step outside on a breezy day, and if you look up at the trees with your whole heart and mind, you will see every single leaf dance on that tree. You are taking in the totality of the moment with all of your being. This is a complete experience.
Take any object that is familiar that will fit in your hand. A stone, a marble, a pen, a cup, anything familiar. With our regular eyes, we see shapes, colors, and all kinds of descriptive things. We feel and see past emotions and situations from the last times we saw these objects. All of these impressions cloud our present perception of this object now in our hand. Knowing this, however, brings up our clear perception instantly, and we can see the object with our new eyes.