See with Open Eyes
Weaving our way through the day, how deeply do we really see? Walking by strangers on the street, do we just register their outline, the colour of their clothes? A coarse assessment to determine whether they are friend or foe? Or do we notice the lines on their faces, the play of their eyes? Do we get a sense of their stories, their hopes, their fears - the life that is shaping them day be day, moment by moment, just as we are being shaped?
Can we feel beneath all of this, and see our own heart-essence reflecting in theirs - can we enter the genuine knowing that there is no separation at all between us and them?
We tend to be aware of only a tiny fraction of the information that swirls in the spaces we traverse. We have learnt to tune most of it out. Choosing instead to live inside a private kingdom of our own perpetual conjuring. Recreated every moment by the sleight-of-hand of our cognitive process - a filtering of partial perception through a dense thicket of ideas and beliefs.
We do not see how we predetermine so much of our experience of life. We only know the end result, and for the most part it feels very real, very familiar, very convincing.
To see with open eyes is to break down the walls of our private kingdom.
On one level it means to relinquish the armour we use to filter our perceptions. Armour that is stored in our physiology - in the squint of the eyes, the tension in temples, the friction of the optic nerve and the resistance of the visual cortex in the hindbrain.
On another it means to set aside the deep layering of views and beliefs we cling to for a sense of safety. Beliefs that condition the reactive patterns that emerge throughout the body in response to our perceptions - the recoil of the neck, the twisting of the gut, the contraction of the heart, the curtailing of the breath.
It takes courage and patience to learn to see with open eyes. It is no simple feat to rewire the body-mind in this way. But every stone we remove from our kingdom wall allows an expanded view of reality. And every wall we take down entirely reveals more clearly that the outer and the inner are really one and the same space.
To see with open eyes is to allow our perceptions to wash through us and blend with the love outflowing from an open heart. It is to live without fear, in the recognition of oneness.