Mirror Perception

“I have found that a good way of maintaining this perspective is to liken sitting to looking in a mirror. When you sit down on your cushion, the state of your mind and body automatically appears to you, the way your face instantly appears in a mirror. The mirror does all the work. …When we first look into a mirror, we naturally focus on our own face and how we think we look to ourselves and others. But if we look longer, and gradually become less preoccupied with how we look, we may start to notice that the rest of the room behind us is also reflected in the mirror. Maybe there is even a window in the room, and the world outside is also glimpsed in our mirror.” “Practice: You Can’t Do It Wrong,” by Barry Magid

(From the “Going It Alone: Making It Work as an Unaffiliated Buddhist” section of the Spring 2010 issue of Buddhadharma.)

I used to think there was an objective “reality” out there, somewhere. I stopped being so convinced over the years as my eyes “played tricks” on me. I would swear I saw something, only to realize that nobody else was seeing the same thing. How I put the pieces of perception together has been very different than how others do.

That doesn’t mean my perceptions have been wrong. Quite to the contrary: my perceptions have been repeatedly validated in the long-run. People don’t believe what I say when I speak, but then find out, the hard way, that my perceptions were accurate.

That’s why people need to listen to the weird people out there. Sometimes, we weird ones are the only ones paying attention.

Those folks that are outside the window, looking into our mirror, have their own perspectives, live their own lives, and vote.

Perhaps we should clean the mirror or lens of our perception. We might see more.


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About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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