Cleansing the Doors of Perception


Cleansing the doors of perception everything would be seen as it is, infinite

William Blake

Just looking. Seeing things as they are. Just hearing, just smelling, just looking. This is mindfulness, and in this sense mindfulness can be a warm awareness that encompasses all, our whole experience inner and outer. The breathing meditation is to cultivate this deep awareness of everything we do.

There doesn’t need to be labelling, there doesn’t need to be judging. Just a deep awareness of the inconceivable depth of conditions and formations behind each flower, behind each thought, the endless complexity and unbounded nature of a sentient being.


Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons


Just seeing people, this awareness beccomes metta. There are various levels of metta, or maitri, orloving kindness. If we are very honest, often the way we relate to people is coloured by usefulness, by what we can get, perhaps even by convention. We need to get on with so and so because we work with them or they are in family.  There is ofen an unconscious contract.

Metta is to  assist transformation, moving towards a non-self interested friendliness. In metta we can use others too, we feel good because we love all beings!

The invitation is to try to see them as they really are, as changing beings, with changing interests and dharmas, habits and desires. So cleansing the doors of perception involves seeing them with a friendly warmth however they arise, however they present, seeing them as they are.

So the first level of metta or maitri, is seeing them as people, with loving kindness, on the basis of shared experiences. They too want to be happy, they too do not wish to suffer. So we wish them that, we wish them happy and wish them free from suffering. They too feel, they too struggle and dream and wish. We can wish with them.


Image believed to be in the public domain


Slightly above and beyond this is the seeing of them as change, as flow, of conditions and dharmas. They are not fixed, they probably are not even who you think they are. When you see them as flow, your love becomes more effective. This awareness is more rooted in reality, it transcends your ideas about who you think they are. Indeed it transcends your ideas about who you are as well.

Deeper still, you see that they are shunyata, and you can have love for that shunyata. Love which is shunyata. Shunyata is emptiness, empty of concepts and conditions, empty of emptiness even.


Free Image from Pixabay
Free Image from Pixabay


A being is in fact almost inconceivable, how can you even find the words for the amazing natiure of another being? Breaking through the crust of our limited consciousness of another living being, leaves a trembling, an awe.

Metta then takes new heights or depths, an expression of the inconceivable nature of life and living beings. Metta is a free formless flow of appreciation for a free formless flow of life and living.

And then, all beings, the absolute. The sum of all this incomprehensible interaction and conditioning and change. This indescribable knot of light and time and space.

This ever-widening circle, whose circumference is moving time bound, all events and happenings pushed outwards by past conditions, this circumference is the now, the moment, for all sentience. And it can only exist, must emerge from some sort of space, some empty continuum. Both this and the emptiness from which it arises are all shunyata, all light, all nothing, all everything.


Free Image from Pixabay
Free Image from Pixabay


Here again, the self and other falls apart, there is no perception or non-perception. There is only metta, there is only a warm awareness, a luminescence. There is only light without edges. All concepts must fall away like disused skins of the serpents of mental trickery and limitation.

I invite you to purify, I invite you to look with new eyes, I invite you to see that in seeing there is no seeing. I invite you to also see that there is no non-seeing. Every thought and sight a momentary flash of blindness, a wink of the void.

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