Have you ever attended an art class, or a drawing class? Quite commonly one gets different drawing tasks. Drawing objects, hands, faces and so on. So let's say you got a task of drawing a chair. A chair! Easy! We know the concept of a chair. It has a plate to sit on, 4 legs with same length to keep it stable, and maybe a vertical plate to support our back.
So, let’s say, you were given the task of drawing a chair, and they put a chair on the floor in front of the group. You start to draw. Maybee the plate first, then the four legs with the same length and then the back supporting plate. Looking at your drawing you might feel or discover that there is something wrong with it. It doesn't look quite like the chair on the floor. What is it? What’s wrong? As you examine the drawing and the chair on the floor, you might suddenly discover ... AHH!! Not a single one of the legs on the chair at the floor are the same length from where you sit NOW. They all actually have different lengths.
I know this is a very basic and simplified example, but anyone who has tried to draw anything knows the difficulty of drawing something. It's not really about moving the hand correctly, although some skill is required, it is more about really seeing what you are drawing. And, our ideas, our thinking about how it looks, makes it more difficult. It’s obstructing our clear true seeing, because we’re attached to the concept more than the reality of it NOW. We actually believe our thoughts about something more than what “the eyes” actually see, “the ears” really hear. Thoughts are obstructing us from really seeing moment to moment. What is NOW?
There was an experienced art teacher that knew this, and in his art class he made the participants draw portraits from photographs, but he instructed them to turn the photograph upside-down, and just draw bit by bit exactly as they see it.They did so and when they were finished and turned their drawing upside-down, they were amazed by the similarity.
So imagine how this works in the complexity of your life, your everyday life, your relationships with your beloved one, with colleagues, with friends. Or what about you, yourself, thoughts about the “I”? How much do you really see or hear? How much is just assumptions, thoughts, ideas, illusions … that in loops just creates new assumptions, thoughts, illusions and ideas? How much do you live in your own thinking dream world? And how much are you truly here, now … seeing moment to moment, WHAT IS NOW? Nothing ever stays the same. Everything is changing. Always.
This is ZEN practice, returning to moment, returning to true clear seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling. Clearing the fog of thinking. Breaking through illusions. Simply by the practice of returning to the moment. Here. Now. This is where your life IS. Always. This is the point where true insight, wisdom, compassion and love evolves and actualizes. This is where we must be. Here. Now. Pay attention!
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