In yesterday’s class, I gave students the task of going out into the University community and finding: a) something visual that catches your eye (it can be as simple as a color), and b) some piece of writing or a phrase (such as an EXIT sign). A couple students came back with the phrase Seeing beyond the surface, which had been printed on a flier.
Well done. That phrase sums up the focus of the class as well. We are here to see beyond the surface.
The Irish poet John O’Donohue wrote, “So much depends on how we look at things. The quality of our looking determines what we come to see.” A phrase I often repeat in my own classes is, “Beauty is the depth at which we see something.” When we see something from a deep place, or when we see the depth in another, we see the beauty. As Dajian Huineng (the founder of the Southern Chan school of Buddhism) said, “The meaning of life is to see.”
May we all see at great depth today.