(27) LIVING HERE – Seeing What Is

November 21, 2013 | | Comments 0

Picture 121

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
Henri Matisse

Explore a flower, hold it in your gaze, in your hand, smell it, touch it, see it with reverence that acknowledges its very being and the beauty of its existence. Then you will simultaneously contact that same beingness which you also are. Not as a separate thing, “me” and “the flower” but as one thing; one seeing, one spirit in all its myriad expressions.

“Truth is in the silent observaton of what is and it is truth that transforms what is.”
J. Krishnamurti

Seeing what is asks of us one thing: willingness. We must be willing and therefore able to remain open and vulnerable, receptive to the point of recognizing directly that the inherent nature of life is founded in uncertainity. For the person seeking security, that unknowing produces fear, discomfort and often, disease. Indeed, as Jesus said: “the son of man has no place to rest his head.”

In aware living, we live in a total spaciousness – a willing accomodaton of all possibilities. A place that’s uncluttered by feared or desired scenarios, uncorupted by all the minds preconceived notions about life and the supposed living of it. Indeed, the shallow mind (there’s no such thing as a deep mind) is always sorting and sifting for answers that will conclude, resolve and dissolve a distinct uneasyness with its not knowing what is “true”. It’s a “fools errand” – a search for a truth which it can never know, being a looped and binary, data-sorting system which separates and therefore isolates. All it can ever find is an elaborated – perhaps even elevated – conception of truths formed by, and limited to, verbal discriptions about what is, in its considered opinions, true or false, right or wrong, good or bad, etc. All of which is well and good…as far as it goes!


In simple, uncontrived openness, we see life unfolding and revealing itself moment-to-moment; we meet and are met by reality as it is.For instance, we may recognize those little entrenched hostilities from our early childhood that seemingly set us apart; those powerful “do and do not’s” we were schooled to believe in by parents and peers, siblings and society.

When most of us look at a flower or a person, our minds automatically label what we see. The observer here is our mind; it judges, evaluates, accepts and rejects from memory, from the past, from experience. The mind is the past. It takes our fresh, alive experiencing of now and translates it with stored, stale and substituted fragments called “memory” and “experience”. We – most of us – live in that past and its projected future 24/7. (I recall that an ancient Zen teacher named Bankei, when referring to how memory works, noted that memory is like being on the deck of a moving ship, losing your favorite sword over the side, but marking an “X” on the rail where we lost it!)


Indeed, the center of all conflict – personal, regional, national and global – is the pettyness of our conditioned and cultured minds. As J.Krishnamurti puts it: “Conflict is the denial of what is.”

In truth, we do not have problems, if we do not have reference to, and belief in, our opinions; if we look and see what is with an affectionate awareness, we have a direct relationship with the actual, and we can act rather than re-act, in a natural and spontaneous way that’s obvious and relevant to a given situation. To truly see is to look without thinking about what we see. To look at a flower or a person or a trash container without the prejudged image that we have of it, or the predetermined word that we have for it. To simply see what is without knowing ie. labeling, what is. (This is not to dismiss the very useful and functional role that thought can and does play in imaging and making things like bridges and travel plans)


That which delights in the flower is our common nature; it is what we are. This awareness is like the scent of a flower, subtle and pervasive, seen yet unseen, known yet unknown by any mere mind-made measurement or descriptive representation. What is a flowers nature? From where does it come? The nature of you and the flower is identical; it is the nature of Self, of reality, of existence. And this Self nature is love.

Eckhart Tolle has some relevant advice here: “The enlightened consciousness is rooted in the unmanifested, and ultimately is one with it. It knows itself to be that. One could almost say it is the unmanifested looking out. Even with a simple thing like visually perceiving a form – a flower or a tree -if you are perceiving it in a state of great alertness and deep stillness, free of past and future, then at that moment already it is the unmanifested. You are not a person anymore at that moment. The unmanifested is perceiving itself in form. And there is always a sense of goodness in that perception.”


To contemplate the flower is to introduce our self to our Self. To know our being not only sensually or as a thought, which is of course all well and good, but to intuit our subtle underlying essence, to apprehend that that which sees and that which is seen are one and the same mystery, and to tremble like flower petals in this gentle breeze of subtle recognition. This is the movement of life, moment to moment. At once, living and dying. At once, here and not here. At once, known and not known.

You and a flower are majesty enfolded in mystery.

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