To see is that specifically human capability that opens one up to empathy, to compassion with all that lives and dies.

Merely looking-at the world around us is immensely different from seeing it. Any cat or crocodile can look-at things and beings, but only we humans have the capacity to see. Although many of us, under the ceaseless bombardment of photographic and electronic imagery that we experience daily, have lost that gift of seeing, we can learn it anew, and learn to retrieve it again and again the act of seeing for the first time, each time we look at them.

When the eye wakes up to see again, it suddenly stops taking anything for granted.

Leaf, rosebush, woman, or child, is no longer a thing, no longer my “object” over and against which I am the supercilious “subject”. The spilt is healed. It is at once de-thing-ified. I say yes to its existence. By “seeing” it, I dignify it, I declare it worthy of total attention, as worthy of attention as I am myself, for sheer existence is the awesome mystery and miracle we share.

Frederick Franck, world-renowned author and artist has taught thousands how to see the world- and life- in new, active, and deeply meaningful ways.

From: ZEN SEEING, ZEN DRAWING by Frederick Franck. Used by permission of Bantam Books, a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.

Vol 16 Issue 2 page 4

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