In MIDL Mindfulness Training 44/52 you develop your sensitivity to movements of attention towards the experience of the sense door of sight. Learning to observe awareness of seeing creates a grounding for mindfulness within daily life and also the ability to observe attraction or aversion as they arise towards what is seen. This sensitivity allows you to soften into your relationship towards what is seen, deconditioning any habitual pattern of attraction or aversion through mindful non-participation. Submit Your Question
Your Question: Aren’t there times when we should look and not just see? By refusing to look aren’t we exhibiting privilege? There’s so much ugliness /injustice in the world — how can we ignore all of that?
Stephen Procter: In MIDL we are neither suppressing or running away, we fully experience anything that arises at any of our six senses regardless of whether it is pleasant or unpleasant. The world is full of suffering, this is the reality of it, we do not avoid it but we also do not suffer within it.
In this training we are not trying to suppress the eye sense but rather we are investigating the eye sense to develop understanding between its function and its the relationship with the mind and with the body. The important part is not the sight but rather our relationship to it, keeping in mind "How am I relating to this?".
It is at this point that we observe attraction towards that which is pleasant and aversion towards that which is unpleasant. It is at this point that all suffering arises and in MIDL it is at this point that we soften into our relationship towards what is being experienced.
Your Question: I fully understood your words about the happiness or suffering that not being aware of "seeing" can create, but I need to understand further how to just "see" in daily life and not judge or observe with a mental comment.
Stephen Procter: Being aware of the sense of sight in daily life is not done to stop the mind from producing mental judgement or commentary, it is used as a reference point for observing habitual patterns within the mind. Every time there is a mental participation through the sense of sight the eye will focus in on what the mind is interacting with, this interaction can be observed and softened.
Just as you have trained to use the sense of 'touch' such as your feet touching the ground, as an anchor point from which to observe liking / disliking, resistances, thinking etc in daily life. In the same way any of the Five Senses can be used to anchor your attention. You can use sight, sound, smell, taste or touch as an anchor point for observing the mind and its interaction with the world so that you can 'soften into' any resistance or longing that arises. All five of these senses can only be experienced 'now' making them the perfect grounding point from which to observe habitual patterns within your mind.