perceiving the eternal



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Why couldn't you and I interact with the people in our lives from a peaceful state of enlightenment? It seems it should be technically possible. Have you tried it? Why does it seem so difficult? Because two things are in the way:

1. your body's automatic response to stress (and insults and hurt feelings)

2. already existing habits (how you interact habitually, how you habitually perceive things, etc.)

And perhaps also, the perception of the Great Truths needs to be reinforced. Practiced. Repeated. The perceptual habits are narrow minded and puny. If you want to see the world from the point of view of the eternal, you'll have to practice it until you automatically see the world that way.

Awhile back, I had some difficult interactions with some I work with and I was upset about it. So I wondered, "How could I perceive the eternal here?" I imagined the person as an old man on his deathbed regretting his behavior so many years ago and begging me to forgive him. I imagined me an old man on my deathbed, looking at the abyss of eternity stretching before me and looking back at my life and realizing how truly unimportant these issues are and how truly meaningful love and connection are.

And after thinking this way for only a few minutes, those upsetting interactions didn't seem nearly so upsetting. In fact, they didn't seem like any big deal.

I think we could play with this. How can we see the eternal in our everyday life? Have you ever had a profound experience? Or a religious experience? Or had what you might call a glimpse into the eternal? How can you live the truth of the reality you have experienced? How can you do that more often?

articles on buddhism for the 21st century

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
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