Middle-paths social problem

Robin Woods, modified 2 Months ago.

Middle-paths social problem

Posts: 174 Join Date: 5/28/12 Recent Posts
I know this sounds ridiculous but I'm REALLY struggling with this atm. 

What are you supposed to do with your eyes when you're walking past people and there are no thoughts in your head? I find it really awkward. I don't know whether to smile? Mentally recite metta verses at them? Just look at the ground? 

can anyone relate to this?! 
thumbnail
David Matte, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Middle-paths social problem

Posts: 91 Join Date: 8/3/19 Recent Posts
Hi Robin,

If you find that awkward, does that not begin with a thought in the mind?
​​​​​
I think all three options you mentioned are appropriate to whatever you feel in the moment. Or you can always just look in the direction you're walking, smile and ignore the eyes of people?
thumbnail
Jim Smith, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Middle-paths social problem

Posts: 1030 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Robin Woods
I know this sounds ridiculous but I'm REALLY struggling with this atm. 

What are you supposed to do with your eyes when you're walking past people and there are no thoughts in your head? I find it really awkward. I don't know whether to smile? Mentally recite metta verses at them? Just look at the ground? 

can anyone relate to this?! 


There is something much more important than what to do with your eyes. It is the question, "where does the awkward feeling come from?" How does it arise? Why does it arise? How does it end? Where does the feeling that you are an entity with eyes experiencing an awkward feeling come from (observe the observer)? These questions are not to be answered with words (logic), they are to be answered by understanding that comes from observation (experience).

You have an awkward feeling, that's one feeling. But you don't like that awkward feeling, that dislike is another feeling (you are judging your feelings thinking them good or bad, liking and disliking). Ask the same questions about the dislike. How many layers are there? The activities of the mind arise from unconscious processes, you don't produce or control them consciously, they are not you or yours. Can you stop judging your feelings? Study liking and disliking within your mind, that is what creates separation of self and notself. When you stop liking and disliking that separation goes away.

If you are mindful of the important questions, worrying about what to do with your eyes will not seem like a problem, you won't be lost in your thinking. When you are lost in your thinking,  the sense of a continuous solid self can arise, but when you are not carried away by your thoughts and feelings because you are observing the activity of your mind, you begin to see beyond that sense of self. Actually you will be grateful for worry because it teaches you liberation.

Practicing like this all day long as your mind produces problem after problem will help you make progress much faster than just sitting in meditation where everything is quiet and there are no problems. Sitting meditation (particularly samatha meditation) can help you quiet your mind so you can be mindful in daily life. But daily life is where the dukkha is, that's where you should practice most. Observe the activity in your mind: thoughts, emotions, impulses, sensations. Notice the sensations in your body that accompany emotions. Observe dukkha arising and ending. Observe the observer.

Breadcrumb