“When you see, just see. When you hear, just hear. When you think, just think; and when you know, just know.” ~ The Buddha
“…Suppose, from a single tube of red pigment, an artist paints two pictures; one depicts a vase of poppies, the other, a dress stained with blood. We might admire the poppies but dislike the bloody dress (or the other way around). Yet both paintings were created from the same pigment. The image of the poppies did not spring from a tube labeled “Red Lovely”, that of the dress from one stamped “Red Ugly”. Why prefer one picture to the other? Beauty and its opposite don’t reside in material form. They are meanings twisted up after the fact, by the mind.
During a moment of Just Seeing, you wouldn’t think the word “red”, “ scarlet” or “flower” when viewing the poppies, or the word ‘blood” when eying the other picture. There would be no impulse to name the shapes. Nor would there be any interest in the aspect of perception that obsesses us in daily life: the details of the shape, the mundane meaning of the image. Neither the positive connotations of poppies nor the negative associations of blood could affect you while eying the forms (such judgments can’t arise when the mind stays in the immediate present).
- Just Seeing – Insight Meditation and Sense-Perception by Cynthia Thatcher, Buddhist Publication Society (BPS), Kandy, Sri Lanka (2008)
When “Just Seeing” mental agitations cease, and one abides in peace.