To view anything with fresh eyes is to see it as if for the first time. When you look at a flower field, no thoughts arise as to mowing it or weeding it. When you see a loved one, no plans or resentments come into your mind. You can be mindful without fresh eyes and you can meditate without being given them, but you cannot have fresh eyes without simultaneously being mindful and making a meditation of whatever you’re doing.
To view anything with fresh eyes is a gift of grace. Like anything to do with grace, which we cannot earn but instead arises out of divine love, we can only clear the way so that we might have fresh eyes. For me, meditating is the best way to open that door. The light bounces off the green hill and streams down the culvert like water, often, when I rise from meditation. The little gnats and flying creatures that dance in the rays of sun seem to me fairy creatures from legend. Natural beauty is astonishing and marvelous – miraculous even – when I first finish meditating.
It is as though we may sometimes perceive past the very surface of things, and see something of the divine love that is manifesting.
In Zen Buddhism, we often refer to “beginner’s mind” – the attitude to approaching everything as if for the first time, as a beginner in that place, time, and activity. To have fresh eyes is to have a beginner’s mind that is wiped clean of identification and attachment. Except that beginner’s mind is a practice, most of the time, and fresh eyes are a gift. To receive them, you must abandon yourself – all that muddy ball of ego and planning – and you must be willing to be a brand new student and child of God.
With fresh eyes, miracles are frequently witnessed. That same world that is dark and threatening when we have constricted consciousness becomes amazing, beautiful, and joyful. The doorway to the Kingdom, that so many people call secret, is the current moment – but the key is your eyes.