Vipassanā

In coils of wave, winding in dance, the sea
Is too fluent to feel it’s own silence,
Only for the sure gaze and grip of shore
It would not know itself to be the sea.*

(John O’Donohue)

The protagonist in the science fiction novel I was reading used the Buddhist reflective practices of anapana, vipassanā and metta.  Since then, I have used these to add nuance to the Hebrew pause or selah I already use – to be quiet, to be still.

Anapana is about observation and I use it to gather, to be open to all that is around me, including the words I am reading.  

Metta is about loving kindness, which I understand to be extending to others something of what I have gathered.

In between comes vipassanā, a special seeing, to understand, take to heart and find resonance.

This seeing and understanding is our third eye, not seeing the surface or simplicity of something, nor even its complexity, but to see the wholeness of something in a simplicity beyond complexity:

The sense of wonder can also help you to recognise and appreciate the mystery of your own life.**

(*From John O’Donohue’s Echoes of Memory: Expectations.)
(**From John O’Donohue’s Eternal Echoes.)

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