Tag Archives: perception

2015-August Shinnyo Podcast Mirrors and Seeing You

2015-August Shinnyo Podcast Mirrors and Seeing You

  • Paradise, Almost.
  • Embracement and Nothingness
  • Waking up and Making Some Coffee (not just thinking about it)

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Looking at your Self in a mirror
http://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2012/08/07/157743116/does-the-mirror-reflect-how-you-feel

What do you see when you look in a mirror? Do you look at your hair, face, expressions, youth, aging, acne, whiskers, grey hairs, lines, dirt, oil, makeup, hemlines, shiny shoes… What do you see?

A mirror [ ˈmirər ] – a reflective surface, typically of glass coated with a metal amalgam, that reflects a clear image.

But what do you “see” in that image? Do you see your beauty? Your flaws? Do you see only what you want to see? Do you see what others see? Do you hesitate to look in a mirror?

A mirror does not judge, it merely reflects. Light and dark. Whatever is there, is there, or not. A mirror that is slightly askew, that is, seen indirectly at an angle, shows you something not directly in front of you. It can show around a corner, or something off to your side. Or a view from above or below. The light or shadows are a reflection in opposition, meaning you’re actually seeing the reverse of what is really there (unless adjusted by an optical reversing lens or otherwise image-processed.)

How you see something in a mirro
https://emmybella.wordpress.com/images-in-plane-mirrors/

Seeing your self (or Self, metaphysically-speaking) is often considered a first step towards what is expressed in many different words: enlightenment, heaven, Nirvana, truth, Shinnyo, happiness, contentment, harmony, and even peace. Regardless of how you perceive everything and everybody around you, if your own self-image isn’t clear, or acceptable to you, then it reflects on and changes how you interact with everything and everybody else.

This concept of reflection is what we can also witness in how other people (and animals) communicate and interact with us.  The words someone uses to talk with you, especially individually, are intended for your ears to hear (or eyes to see, or to touch). They aren’t really good or bad, or supportive or critical, until you interpret their meaning. Otherwise, they are just words. This is the same as when you like or dislike what you see in a mirror. It’s pretty amazing how much actual power you have over what and how you feel as you perceive the world around you.

Similarly, if you can develop your sense of how others see things, learning how to step into other’s shoes and walk in their footsteps, so to speak, you begin to see why Shinnyo refers to everyone else becoming mirrors of you. The way they act and treat you is not so much a consequence of their specific intent in one way or another, but a reaction to what you represent to them.

My friendly facilitators Steve Snyder and Michael Benner, now over at TheAgelessWisdom with whom I spent many days, weeks, hours and years in my college years learning from and with, always used to say, “Your own Love flows through your own love for You.” This translated into something like, you can’t really give what you don’t have. If you look in the mirror and accept what you see, others will, too. It’s when you can’t or won’t accept what’s there, that others become confused and don’t know what you’re really about. And if you fabricate something else about that reflection, it becomes really difficult for others to see things the same way.

Animals in their purity of absorbing the world around them, often are the clearest mirror to your own behavior. And, similarly, so are newborn babies. They perceive the world as it is. They learn from what has happened to them in the past. And that often forms the basis for how they perceive something new. When an animal has only known a world of kindness, it doesn’t really know what aggression or meanness means. Trainers often point out that you can say whatever words you want, but it’s the intent, emotion and feeling that the animals are reacting to, and learning.  That’s also why it’s crucial to do as you say, and say as you do. People learn from what you do, and not so much what you say. Mirrors show what you are, and not what you say you are.

“Be gentle, love life, and take care of each other.” — Michael Benner

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/* For more information and discussion feel free to e-mail me at jlui at jlui dot net, or twitter @jhlui1; With Gassho _()_, James*/

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2014-09 Shinnyo Buddhism Podcast – Attract or Avoid: Perceptions in Life

2014-09 Shinnyo Buddhism Podcast – Attract or Avoid: Perceptions in Life

  • Attraction and Emotion
  • Avoid the Void
  • The Nature of Perception
  • It’s Still a Rock
  • Revealing The Path

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Mice_trapsDo you believe there is a difference in strength between attraction and avoidance? Or to put it a colloquial way, which would win in a fight, being attracted to something/someone or avoiding it/them? Let’s take a look at some of the attributes of each and see how your own values line-up.

Attraction, as every similar form of influence, has both a positive and negative nature. The positive seems almost obvious, being a form of emotional enrichment and satisfaction. The negative qualities might be that attraction can negate objectivity and perspective. You can really like something that turns out to be really bad for you, or having a fondness for someone, which is either not returned in-kind (unrequited love, for example).  Attraction could be considered a way of breaking away from patterns or repeating behavior, or conversely becoming stuck or addicted to the same — all because of the emotional triggers involved.

fawn_hidingWhat about avoidance? At a number of levels, avoiding something or someone is related to safety and self-preservation. Avoidance triggers the “fight or flight” responses. We can become driven by preferences, which can block awareness or create limits in many ways. We might avoid foods, avoid traffic, and avoid confrontation to only become limited in our tastes, isolated from collective activities, and form barriers to our interactions with others. If left unchecked, avoidance can develop into fear, which has its own dire consequences.

Both attraction and avoidance are behaviors triggered by perceptions.  Ultimately it is the action you take as the result of a perception that determines the positive or negative result. Do you realize that for someone to argue with you, they must care about you enough to want to influence your opinion? That’s a form of attraction, even though you may wish to avoid the argument.

At my work, my group often wonders why we receive so many of the service requests that seem completely out-of-scope for our group’s responsibilities. Then I noticed, we tend to be really quick and redirect the requests to the appropriate specialists, and don’t tend to let a lot of requests pile up in our queues. Our group is perceived to be able to handle the redirections gracefully, and even though we complain about having to do it, it turns out assignment to our group is the path of least resistance for the service operators.  When assigned to other groups, the requests either get ignored (avoidance), or await for a customer to follow up before action is taken. Ours is handling everything efficiently, even though the only incentive (attraction) to us is to keep our waiting queue clean.

Enlightenment is often attributed with a greater awareness of the truth, reality or absolute nature (jpn. Shinnyo.) And inside this awareness, even the most basic ideas of good and bad are discovered to be also triggered by perception. In nurturing your mind to begin to see as-is, where-is, what-is instead of only seeing attractive and avoidable things, events and people, you start becoming aware of many things, including how diversity and uniqueness, are at the same time bound by identicality and commonality. Every rock, stone and pebble, regardless of size, shape or substance, can also simply be called a “rock.”

How many other adjectives are similarly driven by perceptions?

  • Good and Bad/evil
  • Right and Wrong
  • Tasty and Yucky
  • Best and Worst
  • Friend and Foe
  • Like and Dislike
  • Famous and Anonymous
  • Opportunity and Misfortune

avoid-attracting-thomas-jefferson-377829As you continue along your life’s path with open eyes, mind and heart, think about what you perceive through your senses. Remember that we’ve had thousands of years of reminders about this same concept whether you called it The Law of Analogy, Positive Mental Attitude or are assessing Your Life IQ. You may discover one day that The Path is simply wherever you place your next step.

Which one is stronger? It all depends on your perception.