Being senseless

I met an old blind man this morning. I didn’t know he was blind until he gently touched my shoulder and asked if his destination was nearby. I quickly felt sorry for him, for his blindness. I told him that I would let him know when he needed to drop off.

However, he continuously – at least once in every thirty seconds – asked me whether his destination was there. “I don’t want to walk too far,” he excused.

He suddenly reminded me to the non-attachment class I took earlier this year, especially the attachment from senses session, arguably one of the most difficult sessions I had during the course.

“Nature is balance. When you accept that you are not physically perfect, nature has its own way to balance your imperfection,” said my teacher during the non attachment from senses session.

Looking at the old man, how he slowly stepped down from the bus, how the palms of his feet probed the road surface, how his hands touched and felt the air around him, how his nose sniffed car smoke, and how his ear protruded upward like a bunny, it proved how nature gave him ways to balance his imperfection. His life might be slower, but at the same time, his other senses seemed getting sharper.

Sadly, as my Ayurvedic teacher told me, we tend to not realize and appreciate the significant role of our senses until we (nearly) lose them. He reminded me the importance of training our indriya – sense organ – when they’re still working well.

Pranayama, ahara, trataka are among the many practices to train some of our senses. Forget about how those practices would improve our life, think about keeping those senses alive, working and beneficial to life.

Thank you old blind man. You may be less perfect than me, but you have shown me how not attaching to one of your senses are actually possible to continue life. Better, you reminded me to be grateful to my senses. I think you are the one to l feel sorry for me.

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