I’ve been facilitating a meditation group at the Silver Lake Public Library and recently came to realize the very act of prepping for each session is a meditation unto itself. How meta!
Each week, I browse through various mindfulness books and websites and pull related quotes and/or passages on a topic that I find inspiring in some way to share with the group. We then meditate together, and I wrap our session with a relevant mindfulness exercise for those who might be interested in exploring the week’s topic further.
Last week, it occurred to me that the material I curate for the group might also be of interest to the folks reading this blog. So, I’ve decided to start sharing it here with you in a regular series called, “Mindfulness Mashups.”
The first installment of Mindfulness Mashups is on the topic of “seeing.” More topics to come…
Meditation Mashup: Seeing
“The true journey of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having fresh eyes.” -Marcel Proust
From Coming to Our Senses by Jon Kabat-Zinn:
“We see what we want to see, not what is actually before our eyes. We look but we may not apprehend or comprehend […]. One way or another, our minds will often obscure our capacity to see clearly. For this reason, if we wish to experience life fully, and take hold of it fully, we will need to cultivate intimacy with and train ourselves to see through or behind the appearance of things—the stream of our own thoughts, which colors everything in the sensory domain […]. We may have to tune our seeing just as we tune an instrument, to increase its sensitivity, it’s range, it’s clarity, it’s empathy. We can say the goal would be to see things as they actually are, not how we would like them to be or fear them to be, or only what we are socially conditioned to see.”
From The Zen of Seeing by Frederick Franck:
“We do a lot of looking: we look through lenses, telescopes, television tubes… Our looking is perfected every day – but we see less and less. Never has it been more urgent to speak of seeing… We are on-lookers, spectators….We are ‘subjects’ that look at ‘objects.’ Quickly we stick labels on all that is, labels that stick once – and then for all. By these labels we recognize everything but no longer see anything.”
Suggested Practice: The Color Blue
From How to Train a Wild Elephant by Jan Chozen Bays
Become aware of the color blue wherever it appears in your environment. Look not just for the obvious instances, such as the sky, but also for subtle appearances and for all variations of blue.
You’ll notice that you start to notice blue everywhere, and it might have a certain pop to it.
Bonus “Seeing” Practice:
For an added “seeing” practice this week, check out my found playing cards collection online…
Several years ago, a colleague of mine showed me a collection of playing cards he’d found on the streets of NYC throughout the years. And, within days after he showed me his collection—I started finding playing cards on the streets, too!
I’ve since photographed every playing card I’ve ever found (in all corners of the world)!… After reading this—maybe you’ll start finding them, too!
Do you have a topic you’d like to see as a future Mindfulness Mashup?… Leave a comment in the comments section below or drop me an email.