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Narrowing Thought - Wide Awareness


Thinking mind has the capacity to look at a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, lift out a single piece, and say this is the entirety of the experience. There's no difference in that and looking through a narrow straw pointed at the sky, declaring you've seen the entire universe. This tendency to oversimplify and make grandiose and unreal conclusions based on limited perception is where the trouble begins for so many of us.


We often live our lives based on a set of narrow assumptions handed to us by an unexamined, untrained mind that doesn't truly understand itself or reality. The wide angle view... the right brain, wise-mind perspective is often lacking in being attended to. Zen invites us to notice things as they actually are. We could let go of these preconceived notions and cultivate present-moment wide-angle awareness. By being fully attentive to the current moment, we can begin to see through the mind's distortions and experience genuine Reality more directly.


Zen intentionally encourages us to move beyond the limitations of conceptual thinking and cultivate a direct, wide-angle understanding of reality through practices such as meditation and wide-field awareness. By engaging in these practices, we can begin to question and let go of narowing thinking, assumptions, and conditioning that shape our perception and beliefs, leading to greater clarity, and less agitation/suffering.


The path to liberation from the mind's distortions and assumptions lies in the practice of meditation, inquiry into what is the wide-angle view of what's happening in the present moment, inviting us to drop the narrow straws of thinking we can look through, and discover wide-angle compassion. By BEing This Path, we can free ourselves from the limitations of the thinking mind and live with a more direct and authentic understanding of ourselves and the world around us. In doing so, we can begin to see the entire jigsaw puzzle of life, rather than just a single piece, and experience the vastness of the universe beyond the narrow confines of minds assumptions.


一Dignity and Grace

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