A Lightness in Your Being

by Friends of Godwin


Normally when we see things our complete attention is not there. So what we can do, and this is what is sometimes very useful about nature, is that we can cultivate this way of looking at things by examining something very clearly, very closely, and at that time your whole attention, your whole awareness, is on that object that you are seeing.

If we can learn to do this in relation to seeing our senses are really awakened. There’s a freshness that arises, there is a lightness in your being. I think as children we had this quality, but maybe with our pre-occupations, with our anxieties, with our thoughts, they are there most of the time and we try to see things with such a mind, so we hardly notice things.

When we develop this quality we can see small things, little things, much more clearly, so that these ordinary things can become extraordinary. In the Buddhist texts there are some very beautiful references to monks and nuns living in the forest and they describe very minutely what they hear, what they see.

Another word for this is to develop a kind of sensitivity in a positive sense to seeing things, hearing things, smelling things, feeling things, so your whole living is alive, is fresh, is new, is innocent. In the Dhammapada, a very important book in the Dhamma, it is said that if we do not cultivate this awareness, this alertness, we are like dead people. We become alive with this quality.