From "Seize the Day, 366 Tips for Living"
(Chatto and Windus, 2001)
When we dare to doubt what we are told and take a fresh look at what’s going on, we are in for lots of pleasant and fascinating and useful surprises. A new and more satisfying way of life begins to open up, just by noticing what we see.
For instance: If you find your travel in the rush hour, to and from work, tiring or boring, just notice that it’s the scenery that’s doing all the rushing about while you take a nice rest. If you find your eyes getting tired and tensions developing in that region, just notice that you are looking out of one huge and relaxed Eye, and not out of a pair of tiny screwed-up peep-holes in a box. If you feel ill at ease with some people, shy, or often too self-conscious, just notice that what you are looking out of is not a face but a huge and tranquil Space for taking in those faces. If you are scared of spiders, or the possibility of cancer, or of death, just notice that this Awake Space that you really are at centre is quite safe in all emergencies... This is a small sample of the welcome surprises that are there for the noticing.
As a young man my curse was morbid self-consciousness, with all its embarrassments and anxieties. I was cured by refusing to “see” what I was told to see, and looking at myself for myself. And I went on to find, over the years, that the same medicine cleared up all the other big problems of my existence. Truly, I can’t imagine a happier way of life—in which you are warmly invited to participate.