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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

Are You Blind? He Said...

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Sep 17th 2012


see, hear, speak“Imagine walking along a sidewalk with your arms full of groceries, and someone roughly bumps into you so that you fall and your groceries are strewn over the ground. As you rise up from the puddle of broken eggs and tomato juice, you are ready to shout out, ‘You idiot! What’s wrong with you? Are you blind?’ But just before you can catch your breath to speak, you see that the person who bumped into you is actually blind. He, too, is sprawled in the spilled groceries, and your anger vanishes in an instant, to be replaced by sympathetic concern: ‘Are you hurt? Can I help you.” 

This is a passage out of B. Alan Wallace’s Tibetan Buddhism for the Ground Up and in it he sets an important point for us all to consider. 

Most of the day we’re walking around in our heads filled with stories rehashing past events or rehearsing future ones. Our brain has frozen what life is about, who people are, what the potentials are for us and others. In some ways it makes us blind to the possibilities all around us. 

When we can recognize the nature of being ignorant, the light begins to shine on things we never knew existed before. 

Just like in the story, once the main realized he was ignorant his heart opened to compassion. 

Consider how you might be rushing through life and what you are blind to. Are you blind to the humanity of the grocery clerk who is ringing you up and packing your bags? Are you blind to the emotional imbalance of an angry driver on the road? Are you blind to your own personal suffering of stress, anxiety or depression? 

It’s okay to admit that we’ve been ignorant, in fact it can be liberating. It’s doesn’t represent a lack of intelligence, quite the contrary. To begin to open our eyes to what we’ve been avoiding or to what we haven’t been seeing is an opening to wisdom. 

Consider today what you’ve been blind to and begin opening your eyes to a new life. 

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from. 


Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

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