misperceptions

A few more thoughts on these fluctuations of the mind...

In all ancient languages there is so often one beautiful word to cover or describe a feeling or something that isn't phrased in our English language. Sanskrit words are a joy to study. To break down and really understand, then apply in these moments that were previously indescribable.

The Vritti's can be described in five different movements. Pramana (correct perception), viparyaya (misperception), vikalpa (imagination), nidra (sleep), and smrti (memory). These movemements or fluctuations are not all good or bad and can all be helpful in different times. What is interesting what shows up by default or when we are out of connection? I am particularly interested in the positive practice around Viparyaya.

"We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are" 

The Talmud

Viparyaya describes the misperception when we lack understanding, knowledge or the view of the bigger picture. Those moments where we think we understand, however we haven't got all the information for the full picture. We jump to assumptions or we make quick judgement and is mostly harmful when our perception and the reality of something do not match. Who cannot think of a moment when we haven't done that ? In any interaction or action, a quick leap to decide something before we have the full view. Then we end up stuck in our shame or confusion, or even in our own distorted process. When the involvement of our Samskaras come in, our past conditioning or when our ego leaps in to save face. What do we do ??

With an extreme amount of awareness around this quick movement of the mind in this direction of misperception, we can catch it and transform back to Pranama. An open mind and a capacity to adjust allows us to ask questions and admit when we are wrong so that we can move misperception in a positive direction. By accepting events as they are and being able to move forward with a helpful attitude can gently bypass suffering and anxiety.

A practice...

Come to a meditative seat
Settle in and sit for a moment, a few deep breaths to quieten down and become still
Begin to be aware that the mind moves in notable, observational ways
As you watch become more aware of any tendency in your perceptions
Keep watching. Slowly, cultivating awareness gives you a way to understand what is arising
Watch for particular perceptions of scenarios, situations or your knowledge in certain areas
Ask your self - is there any perceptions that have new information?
                         can you admit you are wrong in your original perception?
                         are there any questions you can ask further?
Slowly begin to watch your mind open and your capacity for a new perception or reality to open up
This begins the process of citta prasadana, the purification of the heart mind. This is the slow and gradual process where we get to move diligently and sincerely. Where we relearn to be clear as we register events accurately, compassionately and with neutrality.