Inkblot test

In fact, everything we encounter in this world with our six senses is an inkblot test. You see what you are thinking and feeling, seldom what you are looking at. (Shiqin, in A View on Buddhism)

I’m having a conversation with someone; they’re talking … and I’m listening.

What am I listening for? … Very likely, my next opportunity to speak. And if that’s the case, I’m not really listening to what is being said; I’m listening to my own assessments, anecdotes and opinions.

There’s a Zen saying … I don’t learn much with my mouth open (or words to that effect). It fits quite well with “Don’t know”.

PS: Do not seek the truth. Only cease to cherish opinions. (Seng-ts’an)

One thought on “Inkblot test

  1. I was told point blank by one flight instructor and one pilot on the same day – ‘You won’t learn anything with your mouth open!’ It hit home. Why had it been so hard to listen to an answer when I’d asked a question?

    It’s a great quote. I use it now with my students.


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