What Is Looking Clearly?

Looking clearly links the seer and the seen. We are no longer separate from our environment or from ourselves. Distractions fall away, our thoughts become calmer, and we literally see with new eyes.

Through seeing clearly, we are open to a greater sense of being alive. This is what Jesus was encouraging us to do when he asked his disciples, “Stay awake, watch, and pray.”

How Do We Practice Looking Clearly?

By Rev. Paul John Roach

I am a birdwatcher and love to sit in my yard or go out on walks looking for birds. When I first look, little is to be seen. But as I settle in, a stillness and attentiveness develop and I begin to notice the breeze, the movement of leaves and insects, and yes, the birds.

Looking clearly is patient and expansive. It allows and notices. It connects us to a deeper awareness of what is in and around us.

How Do We Practice This Special Kind of Looking?

First, by being willing to be present to what is, without analysis or judgment. There is tremendous power in simply noticing.

Then, relax into the deeper sense of spaciousness and peace that arises from this willingness.

It may sound too Zen to say look without looking. It simply means letting go of striving and searching and instead being ourselves naturally and effortlessly.

Mystic and social activist Father Richard Rohr captures this perfectly in his translation of 2 Corinthians 3:18: “Our unveiled gaze receives and reflects the brightness of God.”

Yes, our choice to look, honestly and without expectation, unites us with the glorious oneness of all things, and we awaken to deep peace in our souls.


No Results