What do meditators mean by a mirror? - The beauty that you see in another is a reflection of your inner beauty. The anger that you see is reflection of your anger.
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meditation gold coastAn experiential understanding of how we reflect ourselves in the 'other'. (8/11/2003)

When we talk about someone being a mirror, what do we mean? First we need to clarify some concepts. Object and subject.

If there is a chair in front of you then the chair is the object. You are the subject. If you close your eyes and remember the chair, then this memory is now the object. In meditation we endeavour to witness both the object and the subject.

The next concept is the mirror. The moon may reflect in a lake. The lake mirrors the moon. If we look at the moon in the lake we are seeing a reflection of the real. The real moon is in the sky and we just need turn to see it. Scriptures provide us with knowledge which is a reflection of the truth. As seekers our task is to find the original source of the knowledge.

So what or where is the mirror? The mirror is the Mind with a capital 'M'. The mirror is all of who you are. It is your consciousness. It encompasses the conditioned mind and the unconditioned mind.

Another subject for contemplation, is that to see an object there has to be light. The quality of the light falling upon the object determines what can be reflected and how it is reflected. What is the light that illuminates the object? Is it the Divine? When the sky is covered with thick cloud we do not see the sun, however. If the clouds should part a little, and the sun is in the right position, then it may allow a beam of light to illuminate a bird which flies underneath. Or consider the analogy of theatre and film making. It is possible, with careful placing of lights for a light source to be invisible, it is only when an actor moves into the light path are we aware of the light, or even the actor if the stage is darkened.

We reflect the 'other' in our mirror. When you look at a beautiful woman her beauty is a reflection of your inner beauty. When she is angry she reflects your anger. The important thing is to drop the judgment about what is good and bad about the reflection, and just be aware that it is a reflection. When she rejects you, why does it hurt? Why do we fear rejection? Why do we fear our emotions? Put that aside for later contemplation and let us get back to the concepts of mirror and reflecting.

Remember a time when you first met someone and you found yourself falling in love. Choose a specific moment when you experienced their beauty. What you experienced was a reflection of your inner beauty.

We are clear that the 'other' is the object but where is the mirror? When you bring your awareness back into your subjectivity you will find the mirror. It is the same knack that you use to witness in meditation. To help, it may be useful to remember a time when you examined your own reflection in a mirror. Now examine the 'other' as if you are looking at yourself in a mirror. When you see the other you see yourself. How does it feel? Do not judge the content. It does not matter what is reflected, just that you have an awareness that something is reflected from the 'other' and that you have an experience of yourself.

Let the other become a window to the divine, then allow your Awareness to take you through the window to have a direct experience of the divine.

When I look at the beauty in my new found love, why is there so much fear if I am seeing myself? What is this fear of the self?

Everyone and everything in the world offers me an opportunity to explore my reflections. There are so many faces and each one of them is a unique reflection of me. It is like being in a dream populated with characters and monsters, being aware that I am dreaming, but not knowing how to wake up, and who would I be if I woke up?

My boundaries are becoming less well defined, less physical and less real. It is like being stoned. Now that I have an experiential understanding that I can be reflected by others, I feel compelled to be with people, to get to know them in order to know myself. I want to experience my beauty and my ugliness, my truth and my lies, my goodness and my badness. But who is the one who desires this?

It feels like the mirror is beginning to shatter. I feel terrified that the object of my love may change form and reflect something else, she could turn ugly or become less desirable. What then? Do I take comfort in what I see now, or do I have courage to explore the rest of the reflection?

My current framework is that my Awareness is not something contained in the body but in fact the body is contained in the Awareness, that is in the consciousness. I perceive all humans and animals in the same way. Our physical body gives us a well defined boundary that allows us to play this game called life. It is as if, we are avatars in a computer game. This body and mind gives my Awareness an opportunity to explore the world and its inhabitants. Such wondrous creatures to meet, touch and talk to. Such opportunities to explore the sensations of this body. __ © Author Abby Eagle


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