That ticking next
to my bed:
I’m reassured to believe it
is my watch.
The breathing I hear—
Some is mine.
Some is my beloved’s.
I’m glad I know it is her
With eyes closed,
I hear clicks, creaks and
No worries, because I
Thermostat, furnace, house
Cat jumping, furry feet on
The sliding sound, if I
recall correctly, is the back door.
I assume someone I know let
the cat out.
How do I know?
A sharp pain in my foot—
If someone were close, I
might think they had pinched me.
But I didn’t hear anybody
near my foot,
So I assume we are alone
and a nerve has fired for no good reason.
Outside at night I’m not
disturbed by the large metallic booming sounds,
Since I know there is a
railroad yard over yonder down the hill.
How much I calm myself by
assuming sounds and sensations are what I think they are.
How marvelously I assume
the nature of my world based on how I believe it to be.
we are very still with our eyes closed, it becomes clearer how we make
of the world with memory, association, imagination and assumptions.
of the time we don’t even notice what we hear. Sounds give a sense of
and awareness of events we may not see, but the familiar ones fade out
awareness. They nevertheless fill out our nearby world, and we assume
know what is going on.
With five or six senses
working together, we can get a detailed impression of our environment.
impressions usually blend to make a coherent whole. Our creation of
view is so convincing that we take it as real, objective and true. We
mistake our assumptions for reality. If we want to experience life
in its suchness, we need to know when we are making up stuff—when our
experience forms our present experience via assumptions.
Try being very still with
your eyes closed and just listening to the sounds that reach you. Feel
the sounds and notice when you are labeling them and when you are
making assumptions about them. Watch your mind change direction when
new sounds occur. Open
your awareness to the soft or familiar sounds that you normally ignore.
Try this with each sense.
Isolate it as much as you can for a while, and observe how it
contributes to your awareness.
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© 2003 Tom Barrett