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something to (not) think about

You are asked -- temporarily, of course -- to lay aside all of your philosophical, religious, and political opinions, and to become almost like an infant, knowing nothing. Nothing, that is, except what you actually hear, see, feel, and smell. Take it that you are not going anywhere but here, and that there never was, is, or will be any other time than now. Simply be aware of what actually *is* without giving it names and without judging is, for you are now feeling out reality itself instead of ideas and opinions *about* it. There is no point in trying to suppress the babble of words and ideas that goes on in most adult brains, so if it won't stop, let it go on as it will, and listen to it as if it were the sound of traffic or the clucking of hens.

Let you ears hear whatever they want to hear; let your eyes see whatever they want to see; let your mind think whatever it wants to think; let your lungs breathe in their own rhythm. Do not expect any special result, for in this wordless and idealess state, where can there be past or future, and where any notion of purpose? Stop, look, and listen... and stay there awhile before you go on.

- Alan Watts, Tao: The Watercourse Way

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