I always thought the idea of the middle path meant moderation – half way between the extremes.
But perhaps the extremes are our left and right hands. Hold them up close in front of your eyes. All you can see are the palms of your hands – the two extremes.
After some practice you start to see that there is a small gap between your two hands and as you focus your attention on that sliver of blank space beyond your hands you realise it isn’t nothingness that you are looking at – there is a whole world out there.
The middle path is not just a variation on the blinkers in front of our eyes, it is a vast, bright open everythingness that we have been living in all along. And who, gazing upon the miracle that is life, would choose to live with their hands back over their eyes?
Thanks to our highly evolved brain we order our existence through an overlay of symbolism – most commonly language. This means that our world is shaped and expressed through a filter that falsifies and simplifies every aspect of reality.
The right brain remains largely unattended in modern life, still receiving all the input it has been so finely tuned to sort through and make sense of. The output from this silent, non-linear partner can be felt, if we attend very carefully to our thoughts and physical sensations. Very, very carefully. The ancient limbic system still processes messages using a mirror technique. In the same way that very young babies, without an online prefrontal cortex, mirror the facial expressions of their parents and learn about emotions, the right and left brains exchange information through physical and emotional sensations. Continue reading