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  • Mark Brafield

In the eyes of the Buddha ...

' the eyes of the Buddha, everyone is a buddha. In the eyes of a pig, everyone is a pig'. Buddhist saying.

I recently wrote about the importance of the anterior cingulate in the brain, likening it to the role of Salieri in 'Amadeus' (see 'K 361', 28 February 2018). The anterior cingulate is that part of the brain that filters experience according to what it regards as important, and what it regards as important can be re - programmed according to what we decide to concentrate on.

I was thinking about this further when I recently read a modern - day parable in the wonderful collection of Buddhist wisdom, 'The things you can see only when you slow down' by Haemin Sunim.

A Buddhist nun oversaw the construction of a meditation hall in her temple.

She recounted that 'When it came time to place tiles on the roof, I saw tiles everywhere I went. I noticed the material they were made of, their thickness, their design. And then, when it was time to install the floor, all I could see were floors. And then it suddenly dawned on me; When we look at the outside world ....we see not the entire universe, but a limited one that the mind cares about. However, to our minds, that small world is the entire universe. Reality exists because our minds exist'.

Sunim comments that 'what our mind focuses on becomes our world'.

It is the anterior cingulate that focuses the mind, and it focuses on what we decide is important. Focusing on the positives, therefore, is no mere cornflake-packet psychology; it literally creates a more positive world for you to experience, move into, and in which to find your being.

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