the broader world beyond me. I started slowly examining how I approach ideas and people, especially where my approach brings opinions instead of discovery. The practice I'm learning from this author is to question my perceptions and consider that where there are perceptions, there is also deception.
As I read this book, I remembered a training process where we sat in a circle looking at a large box in the center and reported what we saw. We quickly realized that we only saw the part of the box we were facing if we sat firmly in our positions, which was part of the instructions. It was irritating not to be able to move around the box to see more of what we were facing since that was the obvious strategy to learn more. So, we decided to ask questions to find out what the other people were seeing. And the aha moment came when we realized how immovable we often are in everyday life, work, and relationships, and how that prevents moving from our perception to see something outside of what we already hold to be true.
The practice to see more clearly that Thich Nhat Hanh teaches is about:
• Easing off perceptions
• Understanding the errors of subjectivity
• Questioning certainty
• Allowing others to remind us of behavior that is not kind or skillful
• Looking beyond appearance to touch reality and see things as they are
As I practice seeing more rigorously, I realize how opinionated I am and how that prevents me from seeing more clearly. I easily recognize when someone else is opinionated, but up until now, I thought they were stubborn, not me! Thich Nhat Hahn reminds us that we must look at each other beyond our perceptions to see our true nature. HOW TO SEE is a small, illustrated book of only 110 pages, but each page is so dense with enlightenment that I'm reading it over and over.
If, as the saying goes, a life unexamined is not worth living, then this book helps start a gentle examination.
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PAULETTE LOVES BOOKS!
She is an avid reader on many subjects and shares inspirations for mindful practices based on the stories, philosophies, and teachings shared by authors worldwide.
She believes you can find the secrets to living a profoundly happy and healthy life in the pages of many a manuscript authored by masters and novices alike.
Paulette shares what she's learned in easy-to-apply morsels as she practices the insights in her approach to mindfulness, communication, conflict, and just being yourself.
Write to Paulette if a book you love has changed your perspective. Or read one of the books she's listed here and let her know what you've taken away as a personal practice.