Each time when you look at the mirror what do you see? Obviously you will see your own reflection. But rarely do you notice that you are actually looking at the mirror. The mirror and the reflection are entirely two different things altogether. One is where you identify the reflection in the mirror as you in it whereas the other, merely a unique object for mirroring. There are great implications to both kinds of seeing. When the teaching says seeing things as they really are, it is about noticing the object that brings about the projection. In this metaphor, it is about knowing there and then that the mirror’s work is to reflect, to project what is being look into.
And that is exactly what happens to the way we experience our lives. Are we experiencing life with the awakened knowing that it is purely the play of the mind, or that the experience you are in is very real? Both are different ways of seeing altogether. One is recognizing the mechanics of the mind and its potential and that what is “out there” is just a projection, whereas the latter is that what is out there is as real as what is in here. Out there and in here occurs because we did not see the entire setup is the mind. What separate us from the image and our seeing is merely a mirror – that is all it is. In fact it is not even a separation since what is within the mirror is merely a reflection of the seeing, not supposedly another separate object as it seems to be.
When you realize the entire experience is actually the mind conjuring itself, you will be amazed by how effortless your being can be to each moment – neither resisting or holding on as both are amazingly unnecessary since there is nothing to hold or even to resist except an imagination of the nature of ignorant, thinking that there is something out there.
Using the metaphor of seeing the mirror instead of your reflection, I invite you to explore the process of seeing that you are already in now. Experiment to acknowledge that the ability of seeing itself of seeing objects all around is the mind, and what it sees is the mind’s reflection. In other words, “seeing” is the mind’s work. The body that you see of yourself is the projection or a reflection of the mind. The body is an object of the mind. Then expand this consciousness over to your hearing by noticing hearing is happening and the object that is being heard is a reflection of the mind.
So explore seeing as seeing, smelling as smelling, hearing as hearing etc. Do not repeat it like a mantra but rather, do it with a conscious awareness or knowing that what sees is the mind itself, what hears is the mind itself, the very consciousness that we have taken for granted.
In the same way when thought arises in the mind, notice it as the mind rather than what the thought is about. It takes a little conscious knowing, a little awareness to look at that situation differently. In fact awakening is not a kind goal-getting result that is awaiting you somewhere in the future. It is about the potential realization in the here and now where the way you look at things changes – it is merely a change of perception. And this can only happen when right information is given to you and you learn to explore it from that angle. You may not get it immediately – and it is ok; assure yourself it is not because you are blur, unable, or the practice is difficult but rather, it is about being in the process of adjusting to a new way of seeing due to the presence of clinging nature of the ignorant old way of looking at things.
Slowly but surely, when you explore further in a relaxed manner without hurrying to expect a certain result, you will realize a new way of looking at things in a broader perspective, rather than the narrowing mentality of “I”, me or mine.
Through many a birth wandered I in samsara, seeking, but not finding,
the builder of this house. Sorrowful is it to be born again and again.
O house-builder! Thou art seen.
Thou shalt build no house again.
All thy rafters are broken.
Thy ridge-pole is shattered.
Attained is the unconditioned.
Achieved is this end of craving.