Saturday, January 1, 2011

Leaves of a Tree

"When facing a single tree, if you look at a single one of its leaves, you will not see all the others.  When the eye is not set on any one leaf, and you face the tree with nothing at all in mind, any number of leaves are visible to the eye without limit.  But if a single leaf holds the eye, it will be as if the remaining leaves are not there."   -Takuan Soho, "The Unfettered Mind"

How can we truly view something without looking at the whole?  A leaf is but a very small part of a whole tree, a word is only a fraction of a sentence.  Making it a habit to view and understand things as a whole opens the eyes and opens the mind.  It clears the mind to view something as a whole without judgment, accepting what is in front of you without bias.
I believe too many times in our society we judge things on the the foundation of one small part. This is not mindful, and is also a fallacy of thinking.  We are also living in a "go-go-go" kind of time and society, and don't want to take time to appreciate others for who they truly are, the tree for all of its branches and leaves, or the flower for all of its parts.
It's the whole which we need to be mindful of.

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