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I was reading a book based on Buddhist Tantra Yoga and it prompted some thoughts about Tantra Yoga and this is the first in a three part series that resulted. One of several benefits of keeping an inward focus is that it allows you to see the world as it truly is.

As long as you are caught up in controlling your environment and changing things to be more to your liking, there is a irresistable tendency to see the world based on your goals and desires. If you have an outward focus, you will tend to see the world as reflection of yourself. If you view others as competitors who have to be beaten else they will take everything from you, you will see everyone around you in that light. A thief can not really believe that people are not always trying to steal from him. These hidden biases color our vision of everything.

When I hear a person tell a story of something that happened, some portion of the story will be the facts, what actually happened. However, most of the story will be about the reasons and feelings that caused these events Of course we never really know what motivates the people around us (it is hard enough to know our own motivations as so much can be driven by hidden or repressed feelings and desires).

For me, everything beyond the simple facts of what happened is really about the person telling the story, not the people in the story. If the story teller talks about a great conflict with adversaries competing desperately, that may or may not have been what really happened. It only says that that is how the story teller viewed the story, in essence, what the biases of the story teller are.

Of course it is also possible that the story teller had the story right and there really was a great deal of conflict. However, if the story teller tells of such conflict with eagerness and excitement or with aversion and distress, then it is suspect. The motivations could well be exclusively the creation of the story teller from the biases driven by his or her outward focus, both desires and fears.

In contrast, if the story teller describes the motivations of the parties with kindness and compassion, empathizing with all perspectives without either endorsing or negatively judging any motives, then it is likely that the story teller was able to see the situation as it actually was.1 One of the benefits of maintaining an inward focus is that you can have true vision and, suprisingly enough, be more effective at changing your environment as you can actually see things as they are (whatever they are) and deal with them as they are without any desires, fears, or aversions of your own. Of course the changes you can make won't be motivated for your personal benefit as that would only be possible with the outward focus which leads to deluded views.


1 On occassions I wonder if it is my own biases that cause me to see views based on kindness and compassion as true and not others. Is that simply my own version of rose colored glasses, my own personal biases? However, that does not seem to be the case. It is not that I don't see cruelty or power struggles. It is just that when I see them I am not moved by them. I understand and accept those motivations and have chosen to not be driven by them. Having made that choice, I can empathize with people who have made other choices and have kindness and compassion for them. I have chosen another path and have benefitted from those choices. That being that case, I simply hope that at some time in the future, other people will make the same choices I have made and will receive the same benefits.

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This page was last updated on August 5, 2007