"Seeing small beginnings is clearness of sight" Lao Tzu
Fresh, untouched. A blank slate. It's a New Year! Living powerfully & soulfully in the flow of life is all about seeing clearly. We all feel the collective potential of this annual ritual of "newness" but how much of what you are creating this year is coming from your heart? We all want to be happy and in alignment with our life path. Yet our hopes, dreams and goals are often clouded by doubt and sabotaged by our inner demons. Despite our best intentions, we all want to "see" into what is an imagined future and we forget that to powerfully create we must begin with the clear sight of the real present. “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” “Time isn't precious at all, because it is an illusion." ~from The Power of Now, Eckart Tolle
Kurt Vonnegut spoke of himself as "a human (being) rather than a human doing." This powerful insight into our post-modern, technological era suggests that we only give value to that which is outside the self, the doing of life, the achievement, the gain, rather than our ability to powerfully manifest while being not doing. We think that stepping into something NEW means making a list of things to "do" or improve, defining our New Year through negative intentions, failure or lack. Immediately, we begin to load on the weight of change; that list of resolutions. Yet, all the things we must "do" feels like a straight jacket soon enough. What if you were to let go of the list and connect to the fearful magic of unknown possibilities; those places within you that are calling out for attention; calling out for your unique way of seeing, your vision of how your life can be.
The eyes of the Buddha are considered sacred. Not only to signify the Buddha's capacity to see into the soul, but for the presence of a third eye ~ the space of divine mind that dwells within all of us. Having clarity of sight means we are connected to our sacred vision, the place of manifesting from our soul's purpose not just from the technicality of the mind. According to Buddhism, wisdom is seeing beyond external, material things. To see clearly is to know truth, plain and simple. To do so, one cultivates the connection to their inner world, whether through prayer, meditation, some act of reflection or devotion to another. The world is in chaos because people don't use their eyes of wisdom to see. People are distracted and deluded by greed, hatred and ignorance. These impulses of suffering and chasing after desire drag humanity down. This darkness shifts when we shed the light of wisdom and create our lives with discernment. The next step towards living with purpose is to ask yourself if what you are doing, at each moment of your day, is coming from a place of love or fear. There are no other options. Human beings function on the essence of those two emotions. If you feel excited, happy or hopeful about something, you are functioning on love. If you feel dread, worry or resistance towards something, you are functioning on fear. In our lives, whether we look out upon an ocean or a vast night sky, whether we gain strength from living in the moment or from planning ahead, letting go of fear, holding ourselves dearly, exploring the inner realms of our spirit, brings us closer to what we hold sacred.
"Meditation is about seeing clearly the body that we have, the mind that we have, the domestic situation that we have, the job that we have, and the people who are in our lives. It's about seeing how we react to all these things. It's seeing our emotions and thoughts just as they are right now, in this very moment, in this very room, on this very seat. It's about not trying to make them go away, not trying to become better than we are, but just seeing clearly with precision and gentleness." --Pema Chödrön
Eyes of the Buddha
SACRED SIGHT Darsan, or the exchange of sacred sight, is one of the key principles of Buddhist and Hindu practice. The gods "see" you and you "see" the gods. It is a mutually beneficial and empowering trade. Throughout South Asia, the eyes of gods are painted on in a special "eye opening" ceremony, that animates the statue, image or building, literally calling in the ability to "see" the worshiper and the worshiper to be seen. If seeing is believing, the sight of the sacred connects us with our faith. When we are seen we receive divine blessings. Traveling to sacred spaces is also considered a life changing blessing, leading people to journey to the Ganges, Mt. Kailash, or their neighborhood temple, to see and be seen by the divine. When I was 30, I took my first pilgrimage. I went on a four week trek to Nepal to celebrate the milestone birthday. Little did I know but that watershed journey opened an intellectual pathway that led me to pursuing a doctoral degree in the art and culture of India. It also sparked my own spiritual awakening.
Boudanath Stupa, Katmandu, Nepal
The stupa at Boudhanath, outside of Katmandu, was unforgettable. White washed and monumental, the soft mounded shape evoked the snow peaked Himalayas. The eyes of the Buddha, painted on all four sides, never let you out of the their sight. Circling the central mound sun-wise, the quiet process of walking, led me to discover the sacredness of my own inner landscape.