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The Daily Dharma – February 3, 2022

Meditation 1 Photo by Mona Hassan Abo-Abda

What makes us miserable, what causes us to be in conflict with one another? It’s our insistence on our particular view of things. Our view of what we deserve or want, our view of right and wrong, our view of self, of other, of life, of death. But views are just views. They’re not ultimate truth. There’s no way to eliminate views, nor would we want to. As long as we are alive and aware there are always views. Views are colorful and interesting and life-enhancing — as long as we know they are views. These Zen masters [referenced earlier in the chapter] are just pointing out to us that views are views. They are asking us to know a view as a view, and not to mistake it for something else. If you know a view as a view, you can be free of that view, beyond views through views. If you know a thought as a thought, you can be free of that thought, free of thought through thought. Views are language, thoughts are language. To train ourselves in language, to open language up, is a practice that cuts to the heart of Buddhist liberation. It is why the Buddha never engaged in metaphysical debate and kept silence in the face of language-trapping questions. 

Norman Fischer
from When You Greet Me I Bow
Chapter: Beyond Language