Mindfulness – clearing the doors of perception

 

Mindfulness is a means of cleansing perception. William Blake said that “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite.” When one is a baby the doors have not yet been dirtied. As one grows older the doors accumulate dirt. In fact as a baby there are no doors. There is simply direct experience. There would be no me and you for me and you are nothing but thoughts. Me and you are really just linguistic constructs.

Mindfulness is a means of cleansing perception. The dirt on the doors of perception are thoughts; are conceptions. We begin to label things and then we no longer see things but labels. We no longer see trees but “Trees”. Every now and then we snap out of this day-dream. Our minds give us a brief respite and we catch a glimpse of reality as it really is. But only a glimpse for soon the mind comes back with thoughts of boredom. We try to analyze the experience. Interpret the experience. It is like reading a book. Instead of just enjoying the story, following the narrative, being carried away in the samsaraesque peripeteia of it all we have to evaluate. What does this image stand for? What is this conjunction saying? What’s hidden underneath the surface?

Mindfulness is a means of cleansing the perception. The more one clears their perception the more one experiences peace. Peace is unlike the other emotions. Peace is the space in which the other emotions happen. Peace is the pond, thoughts are the stones and emotions are the ripples. All you have to do for the pond to still is watch. Stop throwing stones and watch. Soon you will see the world reflected.

Mindfulness is a means of cleansing perception. One vanishes. Eventually there is just experience. There has always been just experience. We just tag “I” onto it after the fact. There is never an experience of I. I is inferred. This does not mean to say that there is not a point – a center, a screen – on which experience plays out. There is. But the character of this screen is radically different to anything which we would call an I.

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