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A WORLD OF NOT LOOKING AND NOT LISTENING

by Venerable Master Hsing Yun (1927 - , Fo Guang Shan)
English translation: Fo Guang Shan International Translation Center

One who truly knows how to listen, listens to the sound of silence.
One who genuinely knows how to look, looks at the inner world.

At these words, I closed my eyes and stopped looking. In a world of darkness, I lit a light in my mind, finding everything on earth right there—in my mind. I learned to look inward, not outward; at the nonexisting, not the existing; at the real, not the illusory; at myself, not others.

Walking down a long corridor three months later, I opened my eyes again. The sights—green hills and bodies of water, and white clouds in a clear blue sky—were too beautiful to be fully appreciated. After a period of self-reflection, the hills and water were still the same as I had seen them, but the feelings I had were much different from what they had been in the past.

To this day, I can still walk in the dark or climb stairs in ease—without using my eyes. Things in the world would be much more accurately perceived if we use our minds’, instead of our physical, eyes.

── from Hsing Yun’s Hundred Saying Series: Perfectly Willing