There are so many ways to become intimate with nature: walking barefoot, bending to smell a flower, dropping sweat on a steep trail, becoming absorbed in the view from atop a mountain, tasting a medicinal plant, feeling wind caress the face, and on and on … Today, I am gazing through a waterfall. The trail actually takes me into a grotto behind the fall so I can peer at the world through a cascade of water and mist. As the falling moisture disperses into the atmosphere, it creates a liquid gauze through which the forest alternately fades and reappears.
This seems so familiar. I am mesmerized by the water but even more by the scene it filters. In every moment our mind filters what it sees. Our projected mental habits prevent us from seeing something just as it is. Like this watery curtain veils the landscape on the other side, our habits of mind veil our experience of everything. Yet, there is beauty in the veil if we understand the nature of mind. We can acknowledge the richness of experience through memories but they need not blind us to what is new.
As long as we know the filters of mind are inherently ungraspable, like trying to grasp a waterfall, we see clearly. The mist is simply an emanation of radiance, the emptiness nature of the wisdom mind. We are capable of recognizing the new without filtering through the old because the filter does not have any substance. It is a cascade of thought with an ancient source flowing effortlessly through the landscape of mind. As long as we do not try to grasp, it flows beautifully and does not obscure the view