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Blindness newsletter theme february march 2014

~ Blindness. Jaya read this poem by Ikkyu (translated by Blyth) on one of the retreats in Tiruvannamalai in January. "Apologies for not knowing the exact origin of the translation," she writes, "as it was giving to me by a friend named Gopal Ram."

If you break the cherry tree where are the flowers? But in the spring time, see how they bloom! The vast flood Rolls onward But yield yourself. And it floats you upon it.

Blindness usually means we cannot see something that is visible. In spiritual blindness, we are unable to perceive what is invisible. And then we get busy cracking open the tree in search of blossoms. What makes us blind to the invisible--what turns us toward what we want someone to do, and stops us from sensing the person's tenderness and aliveness? What stops us from touching our ordinary daily lives with that same tenderness and aliveness in us? In "The Little Prince," you may remember that when the fox and the prince say good-bye, the fox says: "Here is my secret. It's quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes." Can we feel not just the blinding expectation, the hurry, anger, or ideology....but what is it that makes us give ourselves to blinding occupation? And more importantly, what-who-where-when-how helps us see with the eyes of the heart?

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