When you look without grasping, the whole universe is looking out of your eyes. It’s an opportunity to see what it is to move without a sense of a central me. ~ Mukti

A lot of us feel more alive when we are traveling to places we are not familiar with or to countries and cultures we do not know because during those times our ordinary thinking is diminished and our perception is heightened by all the new experiences that are flooding our being. In other words, you become more present.

Have you ever been on a trip or voyage to an exciting new place and a friend or family member is still talking about issues and problems from back home? That’s the voice in the head being predominate even though there are all kinds of opportunities to see and experience new things. Their body may be traveling through time and space, but they are still in the same place in their head as they were back home.

This unfortunately, is the every day reality of most humans. Once something is perceived, it gets named, labeled, judged, categorized as “good” or “bad” and then lumped in along with everything else in the “known” world. In fact, if you wake up to this process you will find that you are perpetually unconsciously naming everything. And this endless naming empowers and establishes the ego as your predominate point of view.

If that naming ceases, even for a moment, then the limitless inner space of the Present Moment opens up and the ego is no longer your central point of reference.

Try this simple exercise:

Select an object that does not remind you of anything from the past (either positive or negative). While remaining relaxed and alert give your complete attention to every detail of this item. If any stray thoughts come up, let them go. We are trying to pay attention to perceiving and ignore the thinking. See if you can take in the experience without the voice in your head judging, assessing, valuing, or devaluing.

Now listen to any sounds and do the same non-judging practice again not making a distinction between positive or negative. As you make progress looking and listening in this way you may notice first subtly and then more substantially a sense of calm. This stillness may be perceived first in the background but then it will progress into the foreground until your entire field of consciousness is suffused with the peace of the Present Moment.

~ Eckhart Tolle www.tolleteachings.com

Perceiving Without Naming