As many of you know, the word Vipassana as the word that the Pali word, the ancient world word for the, that's used for our meditation practice, sometimes which we say we do Vipassana practice. And what I want to highlight is that B pecinta, the root of the word persona means to see. And the V is an emphatic prefix. So it's kind of like to see in some special way, or an important way. And so some of us like to translate it as clear seeing. And then as you know, it's often translated almost the brand that were brought into the brand of Buddhism, insight. translators, insights are insight meditation, and it has the word you know, sight or seeing, and it's, and this ability to see is, and here we're not talking about that only the physical seeing, some people can't see. But it's the kind of the ability to perceive through any of the senses, or to be able to see through the mind's eye, the wisdom eye, the Dharma eye, which is the, the place in the mind where we are really present for what's happening. And there's wisdom about it. There's a penetrating, understanding about what is happening here. And, and, in fact, the experience of real penetration of what's happening in our lives, in the Dharma as we mature, is called opening the Dharma I Dhamma, choco and so opening the Dharma I, the, and so the idea of seeing clearly is also when we open the Dharma eye, we see the Dharma, the Dharma, which is visible here now is clearly seen, the, and then sometimes even talking about it, with a Dharma eye open, there's knowledge and vision. And for those of you know, a little bit about Hinduism, or some of the yoga traditions in the, the word for vision is Deus Sena, which in Sanskrit is Darshan, darshana and which is very powerful word and Darshan is often used for sitting in the presence of a guru, where the Guru is insight, as of seeing the teacher is really powerful. And here in this tradition is seeing the truth, seeing the real Dharma experienced directly is, is very powerful, because the knowledge and the seeing this vision is over and over again, emphasize this tradition. So imagine that you'll leave town on a hike and leave city you're living in a maybe metropolitan area, but there's a mountain on the edges of it. And you go for a nice long hike up in the mountains higher and higher and higher and, and if you don't like to hike, maybe there's a gondola that carries you up to the heights, but you're up to the top. And there's kind of a get to that when you get near the top and there's a tunnel that goes in and you go through, you go through or there's a there's a big kind of say that you get close to the top, and there's a big door, two doors, double doors. And you open these double doors, and you step forward onto this little bit wide ledge on the other side of the mountain. And there on that ledge is this vast panorama of mountain after mountain after mountain, mountain ranges, rivers, forests, birds flying Eagles flying around Hawks.
Clouds, you heard that you're up and tie up in the mountains as a bass sky that is so clear and broad and wide. And it can be take your breath away. It's so beautiful, this natural world and maybe in a healthy wonderful way. You feel very small or you feel like you're part of this amazing natural world that we live in. And but you're on this ledge looking out at it. And it's just a sense of awe but the isn't that you You want anything you don't like leaning forward try to I'm what that I want that mountain and that mountain. And it isn't that you're identifying yourself with the scenery there the rivers in the forest and the trees and say, well, that's mine, or that's how I want to be or it's just like, it's just almost like the sense of self and self concern drop away in a way that back in the city where you knew people and they were concerned, all kinds of social concerns are operating and but here in this ledge looking out at this amazing scene, self concerned drops away. And in fact, there's a kind of self forgetting. And we look across the scene. And some of this where we see seems dangerous, some of the mountaintops in difference. There's a storm brewing and there's snow up there. And you're glad you're not there. Because that looks like it could be quite dangerous to be caught in that storm. But it's far away. Or you see these rushing rivers. And of course, it's pastoral and wonderful from a distance. But you know, if you want to criss cross that river, we treacherous to cross it, it's roaring down. And, and so you can see that some of the paths on the side of the cliff going down to the valley below our treacherous little thin little paths. It'd be dangerous to walk down there, but you're not going down there. So the danger has no fear for you. And it's like wow, this, the beauty, the pastoral nature of it, the peacefulness setting the danger that's there, standing on a ledge, and looking out, and just taking it all in, in a peaceful, open, comfortable way, feeling secure on the ledge, not being for or against anything, just at ease, taking it all in, then you turn around to go back. And it's when you turn around, you find out that you're actually on another ledge that's facing the city. And you look down the city, and some of it's quite inspiring and beautiful. And some of it is just beautiful buildings, tall buildings, and some of it clearly is treacherous and dangerous. And there's smog and fires in places in the city, there are clearly poor places that people learn in squalor and places of excessive well, and, and, and then you know, but there's also the edges of the city. And beyond the edges, there's this vast green plains, grasslands, and beyond that other mountains and oceans and rivers. And then the city is just part of this wider, big circle and you see it all, but you're high on this ledge. And again, you are there's right now there's no inclination to be judging it to be, for or against it, it just all seems to be in the context of this vastness of the natural unfolding of this universe. And you're sitting on the ledge just watching it. And again, even though you'll go back down to it, defining yourself by it, being caught by desires and this and that doesn't exist, it's just kind of taken this wide field. And there's a stillness and a quiet within you as you gaze out upon the same. So maybe this, this analogy is pointing to the ability to be gazing out of the ledge of your eyes, if you can see. physically see that? You know, there's kind of like that's your mountain top on your head and, and the ledge is your is your, you know, the maybe the bottom rim of your eye socket. And you're looking out? And how do you look? When you look out into the world? Do you look
within an agenda? Does your looking sir, serve as the servant of your fear and anxiety? darting around looking how to make yourself safe? Does your looking Is it a servant of your desires looking what you can get to the next thing next things? I think that some of us you know, we sometimes get pulled into web surfing and there's the eyes are looking and looking and getting and going to the next thing and they're busy. They're not at rest at ease just looking at the scene. Or do they is a seeing in the surface of what's wrong the aversion we have or is the seeing you know, how does how is that seeing Oh, Or is it just like settling on that ledge and the mountain looking out on a scene, a natural scene that we don't have to identify with. We don't have to judge. We don't have to have any agendas with, we just gaze peacefully with a calm eyes, with the relaxed eyes, soft eyes, taking it all in with in a nice way. When I first went to practice in Thailand, I practiced in a small monastery, meditation center outside of Bangkok. And it was an interesting place with a variety of things. But there was a man there a monk, who was explained that he was extremely mature practitioner, a deep, deep meditator. In fact, I was told that he could, he had attained something called nirodha, summer potty, that he could sit in a state of suspended animation, a certain kind of state of cessation, unmoving, for seven days, he can just drop into this deep, deep state. And, and so I don't know, but he could actually do that. But that's what I was told. But so, so I met him and I talked to him. And the thing that was so remarkable about him, was looking into his eyes. And it wasn't like his eyes were deeply receded exactly, like physically receded. But there was something about looking in his eyes, that he felt like looking into this amazing depths, kind of like being on that ledge in the mountains, looking out of this huge natural scene are looking out at the night sky, and it just so deep and vast, there was something about looking at his eyes, they thought, wow, this man is deep, there's depth there, spaciousness there. And some of it was that his eyes, were not darting around. His eyes were kind of at rest and at ease. And it wasn't like he was staring at me. But he wasn't not looking at me. His eyes were not bulging out, his eyes were not pulling back. He was just there. And he kind of there was a field feeling inside I had, that this man's mind is not really it's not agitated, it's at ease. And in that ease, he's just looking. And kind of like looking and there's no one. I mean, what one thing that one way it's talked about sometimes in terabyte and Buddha's image, some of you might not like this kind of description, but is is that all the lights were on, he was fully conscious and awake, was like a house where all the lights were on, but no one's home. So, everything was firing, everything was clearly there and but there was no place of self though center, he was holding on to no contraction around self, be myself in mind, it was kind of this vast emptiness that they experienced. So to see, to be able to see is if it and become free, is a phenomenal thing. Because as we begin practicing, as we practice, and we start seeing, understanding, feeling that our the way we see is all these things are sticky things are kind of stuck themselves on to the seeing. And we don't just see,
clearly, we see, with desire, we see with fear, we see with judgment, we see with interpretations, we see with bias, we see with bias about who we are, we see about projections and ideas and identities. I'm this way I'm that way I have to do this I'm supposed to do that. And all these ideas are sticky and they stick on to the eyesight or the perception that we have. And, and sometimes it's really clear that they're agitating. And with an agenda the mind has the eyes or the perception, the hearing whatever it is, is darting around and moving and wanting and but when there's no another sticky stuff then there's just seeing and it's kind of like if the small clears and the or the fog clears and we see after a long time, not Seeing it, how clear the air is. And we see the mountains in the distance we don't normally see. It isn't so much that we're seeing anything. But the absence of smog, we see the clarity is clarity a thing. It's not exactly a thing. But the clarity is there. The same thing can happen with the mind, the mind can become clear. And, and there's no self preoccupation, self assertion, there's no self criticism or self belittling. We don't have to know self apology, the self is not in the seeing, and the perception. And the same thing, we turn inward, we stand on the ledge of the eyes, and we look inside. And we see all kinds of things in there as we go along in practice. And sometimes it said that self knowledge is seldom good news. Because some of what we see is we see our bias and our projections and our fears and our interpretations and our shortcomings in all kinds of things operating in there. And they can be that can be a source of agitation, that can be fuel, for continued identification, ideas, interpretations of ourselves, I'm a bad person, I'm wrong, because I'm doing this and I'm an embarrassment to the Buddhist world because I had an attachment. And, but to be able to sit, sit on the metaphoric ledge of our eyesight, and look back into ourselves. Just like we would look out into the natural world with this unmoving mind, with this peaceful eyesight, not to darting around, not wanting and not wanting, not interpreting, just looking. And of course, some of the things that you might see is maybe not not your best qualities. But you may be you don't have to identify with it or do anything with it. And in fact, if you do nothing, just see it. Maybe something inside will be slightly amused, or slightly kind of liberated. Oh, it just, it just a natural phenomenon. And so we seeing what's there, and this ability to see, with a kind of unmoving mind, or the mind that that piece and address that clearly sees, but it's not darting around, not straining, trying, no strain, no trying to understand no searching, no stickiness of self, me, myself and mine, no self and the seeing, just seeing. And there's something about the eyesight, maybe that can maybe a hearing as well, where, in the seeing and in the hearing. That itself, there's no added we don't, the seeing itself doesn't add so much. But there's a we can see at some point, all the stuff that we add, the judgments, interpretations and desires we have, those are all extra. And to see them as extra, but to see with is quiet, still. Soft, easy eyesight, to see. The Dharma eye that is opened that the Buddhism talks about the Buddha taught but opening the Dharma I
happens when there's a clear seeing, undisturbed to seeing when the mind the heart, the eyesight or the inner eye, is not agitated is at peace. We just, we can just quietly gaze out on the world quietly gaze on what's inside, to see the direct experience as things are, and we start seeing how things arise and disappear. They come and go, how experiences are transient and they move in flux and change. And there's something about seeing in this still peaceful clear, seeing how things are in flux and changing that frees us from the identifications, the attachments, the stickiness of all these ideas and desires and feelings that go along with seeing there's a kind of just allowing this the flow stream of things experiences to happen through. And to appreciate how they everything is just coming and going. And in the going of it, allowing things to come and go and the going of it. Then there also is this freedom from attachments from clinging. There also is this clarity, and simplicity, of clear seeing, of just being at rest at ease on a ledge, overlooking a vast natural world, on an edge ledge, looking at the vast natural world that includes all the things that humans create and a part of it. And maybe be inspired, maybe be free, maybe have compassion, maybe have the heartbreak and some of the things we see. But there's only seeing or say it maybe a little more accurately, there's clear seeing without self caught up in the seeing. And that clear seeing makes room and space for the heart for all other things operate in a kind of a natural way. So both, literally, you might be mindful of your eyes and seeing and see if you How might how you use your physical eyes. Do you use How often do you strain? How often? Are they darting around? How often are they at rest? How often are they just gazing quietly and peacefully like you're watching a river, sitting on the back of a river watching the river go down? or looking at the sky? The clouds floating, just kind of very relaxed and open, peaceful? And how much are they agitated? And the service of desires and fears and aversions. And, and, and then also more deeply in the mind? Oh, is there stuff your mind does that is sticky? So that sticks itself onto your site? And so your site is not so clear. It's and what experience Have you heard of clear seeing? Can this can this idea of an unmoving mind, connect certain kind of way and unmoving eyes, that just sees without getting agitated by anything. Be a reference point for you to understand, and to gaze upon the inner world, of how we do get caught and how we do get sticky. And then in all this complicated ways that you see when you look inward, can you discover how to look upon it, with also within an agitated mind, with an agitated sight. It's all nature. It's all natural phenomena coming and going. And to switch the paradigm of how we see from we see, through the lens of me, myself and mine and self and I, identity, to the other paradigm,
where we just see it as nature has natural phenomena, coming and going. Certainly things that we respond to and care for and take care of when it's appropriate. But without this huge, heavy filter of self gazing upon the world, inward and outward, with mine with eyes that are cool, not feverish, eyes that are peaceful, not agitated. eyes that are caring, not hostile. May your Dharma I open it so thank you