“The World Is As You See It”

“The World Is As You See It”

On the morning of September 4, 2018, I meditated and then stopped at Le Pain Quotidien on West 72nd Street where I sipped a latte and spent a few minutes writing. I love capturing the flow of insights that surface with such clarity and ease after meditating.

It was such a pretty day, I was drawn to Central Park, just a half a block away. I strolled through the park and then sat on a bench to check my iPhone for email and text messages.

A contact in my Facebook messenger list had sent me a text message comparing New Hampshire and New York, describing New York as brazen.

At that moment the breeze felt soft on my skin. Mesmerizing rays of sunlight were shining through the tree tops. A musician in the distance was playing a poignant rendition of “Moon River” on a trumpet.

I thought of Audrey Hepburn and recalled a tender moment with Tim, watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s late one winter night, just months before he died. I also thought of a famous quote from The Yoga Vasistha:

The world is as you see it.

The sages of Yoga had a deep understanding of the power of language to create reality. It’s not only what we say; our thoughts have the power to shape our reality.

A parting thought to ponder, from my meditation teacher, Sally Kempton: The sages say we create worlds with our thoughts and then we live in them.

This is the question: “Are we creating what the Buddhists refer to as a “hell realm”? Or a world, a life, that is sweet even with all of its udayalaya, its ups and downs.”

Even with all of life’s heart-wrenching losses, and also its moments of great tenderness, love, and joy, we have the choice to increase suffering and create a hell realm for ourselves and everyone in our orbit, or to create and live in a world that is beautiful.