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Melli O'Brien



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All the Light We Cannot See

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today I'm going to talk about skepticism

versus discernment and curiosity.

So there's an old Zen story about this.

There was a man who was born blind

and he said, "I do not believe in

the world of light and appearance.

There are no colors, bright or dull.

There's no sun, no moon, no stars.

I don't believe that anyone

has witnessed these things."

Now, his friends tried to argue with him

about this, but he clung to his opinion.

"What you say you see are illusions,"

he said."If colors existed, I

should be able to touch them.

They clearly have no

existence and are not real.

They have no weight, no substance.

I feel no substance, no

weight where you see colors.

So clearly they don't exist."

Then one day a doctor was

called to see this blind man.

He mixed up a medicine which he applied

to the cataracts and the blind man's eyes.

And as he mixed this mixture into

his eyes and the cataracts melted

suddenly a whole new world and

reality opened up before him.

He suddenly took in all

the light he could not see.

In some ways we have a similarity

with the blind man, because if we've

not experienced something directly,

sometimes we have this insistence

or this idea that it's not possible.

It's just fanciful thinking.

So when it comes to your own mind,

for instance, maybe you haven't

had a chance yet to glimpse the

possibilities laying dormant there.

You may have heard some teachers

or some wisdom traditions, or even

modern neuroscience talking about

the possibility of easing suffering

and stress and finding a sense of

wholeness, oneness, and inner peace.

But if you've never felt it

yourself, you might have a lot of

skepticism and doubt about that.

Now it's important to know that skepticism

has its purpose and we don't want to

just go around believing everything that

people tell us and being kind of naive.

But on the other hand, skepticism

can block us off from new

experiences and possibilities.

So rather than seeing skepticism as

an altogether bad thing, I'd invite

you to just make a slight pivot and

reorient to a healthier curiosity.

So think about being an investigator,

an explorer of your own direct

experience, rather than just believing

or disbelieving what somebody tells you.

So just being interested and

open to exploring mindfulness

and meditation for yourself.

Giving the practice a go for a

number of days, weeks or months

and then checking in with yourself.

Is this making a difference?

What kind of difference?

In this way we can find our own direct

experience to be the most important

part of our discovery process.

So instead of coming to this practice

already having made up your mind, instead,

we lay aside our assumptions, preconceived

ideas and opinions, and instead make the

effort to know and see for ourselves.

So as always, thank you for your

practice and your presence here

with us and just inviting you now

to settle in for today's meditation.

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