This first and basic Practice of True Beauty might best be titled “Practice Perceiving“, but I got into a, er, discussion with one of my professors about the differences between “sensing” and “perceiving”, and in the end I just left this Beauty Practice titled “Seeing”. Seeing is really a metaphor for all sensings, both of the physical and intuitive sort. Opening up to our visual capabilities is a great place to start, but our eyesight is only one way into the universe of perception. Indeed, perception is not dependent only upon our physical senses, but our intuitive senses as well.
Too often we are on “auto pilot,” not truly aware of our surroundings. We are not truly seeing/sensing and being in relationship with our environment and the stimuli that is coming in (let alone what we are putting out, another chapter). Auto-pilot, the short-cut method has its advantages of course. It is efficient, necessary at times when speed and efficiency are the qualities and outcomes that are desired. But if not? Or shouldn’t be?
Too often we are just on that insidious auto-pilot: “Green. I know this.” And we inspect/explore/perceive no further than what we have on mental-file from previous perceptions.
So, look out your window. How many colors of green are there really, how many are truly available for you to really see?
To practice Seeing:
1) Challenge your own assumptions. What aren’t you noticing? Make a conscious attempt to get off your automatic pilot.
2) Play the “What color is…” game with yourself and/or family. What color is the grass in a field? What color are the windows in a building? Trust me, there is pink grass!
3) Notice what you don’t notice. Can you recall the building on your corner that you pass every afternoon? How many stories is it? What is the color of the inside of the shoes you have on?
There are further layers in and implications for the Beauty Practice of Seeing, but this is enough to get one started. Try it!
It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive. ~ Charles W. Leadbeater