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Lions Roar : May 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2012 47 Now, let’s just take a taste of clarity. • First, just rest in open presence. • Then turn your attention to the object on which you’ve chosen to focus. Thoughts, feelings, and judgments about the object will almost inevitably arise: “This is pretty.” “This is ugly.” “This is—I don’t know—it’s just a glass.” You may even won- der, as I did many years ago when I was first taught this prac- tice, “Why am I doing this?” The point of the practice—the “why” of it—lies in the next step. • After focusing for a few moments on an object, turn your atten- tion inward, from the object to the awareness that perceives not only the object, but also the various thoughts, feelings, judg- ments surrounding it. As you do so, a very gentle experience of what many of my teachers called “awareness of being aware” emerges. You’ll begin to recognize that whatever you see, however you see it, is accompanied by emotional, and cognitive residue—the stuff that remains from being a neglected child, a failure in the eyes of parents or teachers, the victim of a schoolyard bully. When we turn our awareness inward, we begin to decom- press the images we hold about ourselves and the world around us. In so doing, we begin to use the process of distinction rather than be used by it. We begin to see how past experiences might turn into present patterns. We glimpse the possibility of a con- nection between what we see and our capacity to see. ♦ From Open Heart, Open Mind: A Guide to Inner Transformation by Tsoknyi Rinpoche with Eric Swanson. © 2012 by Tsoknyi Rinpoche with Eric Swanson. Pub- lished by Harmony, a division of Random House, Inc. Reprinted with permission.