Mirror of Zen Blog

What’s In the Mirror of Zen?

Over 33 years of teaching this art, and even engaging the deeply personal struggle to main consistency with meditation on the mat, and carry it into the world, the hardest obstacle about sitting in silence for most people is possibly the first-fear of being freaked out by judgeless seeing of whatever might appear.

Witness this, a wild bear’s first encounter with an image of itself in a mirror, as captured on a scientific camera. Study the freak out, and then the reaction to destroy the mirror. This is called “the mirror test“, and it supposedly measures the amount of self-awareness across different species of animals. Elephants and dolphins, and some other fish, are known to exhibit signs of easy self-awareness, heading towards what we develop, though some of these studies are also questioned. But the possibility is there, it is innate.

Yet the resistance to looking in the mirror… The resistance to look into the nature of self, and only remain involved in busyness, relationships, meetings, apps, and art. All hustling to make money. You can see the resistance in the bear, as I see the resistance in so many in this world, and even sometimes in myself, especially when I am weak.

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