The Science of Seeing

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

“Wherever my gaze may fall, may I see with tenderness and respect.”
  • Tibetan teaching
When I heard this quote in a podcast, I had to put down my paring knife and write it down. It immediately spoke to me as something I wanted to hang onto even as I knew that I would only remember to do it every so often. I want to believe, though, that every time I intentionally soften my gaze – even if I’m only looking at my water bottle – something is learned and remembered. All the more so when I’m looking at a person.

Case in point (though kind of in reverse): on a walk the other day, I crossed paths with someone who smiled and greeted me with such unexpected open-hearted generosity for no reason that I smiled to myself for a whole block. It was like I’d found a twenty-dollar bill on the ground except better.
In the spirit of science, I propose an experiment: let your eyes roam around with tenderness and respect for whatever may come into your sight. Note the results.

To the science of seeing,