Saturday, February 7, 2009

Zen and perspective

I saw Jordan's post about being right or wrong ( and my mind has been musing on perspective for sometime now, so here I am blogging about perspective.

For a long long time, when I had no idea that there could be such a concept as "no-self", I used to believe very strongly in myself, my ideas, my stories etc etc. I starting sitting on cushion and slowly the peeling of onion process began and whoa!! - I was in for some shock. This whole story of mine that I believe so strongly in is just my perspective - at any given time depends on my state of mind and clarity of my thoughts, which is not even fixed, it changes constantly!!! So many arguments that I got into, just because, I believed in something and just could not get it as to why the other person does not see the same thing? Well, it is alright to believe and it is alright to argue BUT it is important to know that what you are seeing is just a perspective and the other person has his or her perspective based upon his state of mind and his conditions. It is like the blind men touching the elephant, we all might be seeing the same thing, the same sequence of events but we have a fixed set of X and Y coordinates in space-time where we stand at a given moment and we see only from that position. Our position is unique, no one else can be in those coordinates, we cannot be in any one else's coordinates. We can get close but cannot stand in someone else's position. Might we respect coordinates of others and their right to it?

For the first time, I realized that there is no black and white, there is no absolute definition of right or wrong, there is no way to pass a judgement without being biased by your own mind. How can we get so passionate about ourselves, give ourselves supreme importance and barge into other's homes and lives as if they do not have a right to perspective? Nonetheless we do, I know I am going to do it as soon as I walk off that cushion. However, I am deeply thankful for the practice, which has enabled me to watch this process. It helps at least once in ten times..:)


  1. Such a sweet and wonderful description of the ever change nature of perspective.

    "Our position is unique, no one else can be in those coordinates, we cannot be in any one else's coordinates."

    We are like a bubble floating on a stream. We can not even return to any "coordinates" we occupied even moments ago. Somehow we fool ourselves by saying otherwise.

    "Might we respect coordinates of others and their right to it?"

    This is a very different question. Some coordinates lead away from suffering and some lead towards. This is reality. Is there a difference between "no way to pass a judgment without being biased by your own mind" and acknowledging that some coordinates are clearly delusional and lead to great suffering?

    I appreciate the time and energy you place in your writing. It causes me to reflect on my own intentions. Your sharing is an inspiration. I have my own baggage and sometimes something it gets triggered. I am going to reflect on this notion of 'rights'. I want to be honest. Mostly in life I just want to be honest.

    Thank you Myochi.

  2. Thanks for visiting Willsimpson. Yes, it is true that some lead to suffering and some away from it. This is why it is important to understand one's own suffering. Your suffering may differ from mine. It is important to acknowledge suffering before it becomes so extreme that it becomes unavoidable pain. I used to think suffering is when there is physical or mental pain and with sitting, I saw that there are more subtle forms of suffering - dissatisfaction in general, which always hangs around. It is amazing what comes up when mind finally gathers to courage to look into itself...:)

  3. Great post Taru. Funny, mine today was similar. Yes, you are right, it is okay to argue, but why would you waste energy on that if in the end it doesn't matter and it is just a matter of perspective?
    With Much Metta,

  4. Welcome back Molly..:) So good to have you back. How was the retreat? I am planning to go upto Blue Cliff Monastery for the long weekend. Yeah, it was a day of perspectives, for one or the other reason, all of us were blogging about it. Uku's post was on the same topic that day.