How to See through the Looking Glass

After a week at a Zen retreat, I’m still not sure what “zen” means. However, I can share a bit of my experience on the other side of the rabbit hole — as Daniel Silberberg describes in his book (from which I read in this video for Looking Glass Lane). When I STOPPED and LOOKED DEEPLY (as is the Zen way), I experienced the illusion of my life. I realized that everything… yes, everything is not as it seems!

Everything is only what I think it is.

Here’s a “Mad Hatter” thought that was introduced to me last week: You never really meet someone new. As the Thich Naht Hanh’s monastics explained it… when you meet someone for the first time, you are really meeting “habit energy,” i.e., pre-conceived ideas about the person based on their reputation, their clothes, their mannerisms, etc.

Has anyone ever said to you, “You’re much funnier/nicer/taller than I expected!” That’s because our heads are so full of thoughts that it’s rare that any actual new input has no room to roost! It is nearly impossible for us to see someone or something with “new eyes.”

It’s new eyes that allow us to see WONDERLAND. That freshness is what I understand to be ZEN.

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon. Click the links for Practical Mommy’s recommendations for travel car seats, affordable and fun diaper bags (skip hop bag), and the best-selling crib brand, Da Vinci Crib.


  1. I like this! New eyes. Eyes of a child, perhaps? No preconceived ideas.

    This reminds me of the interview I had with the family of the kids I am now watching. We toured my house. We talked. I almost shut the 3yo in the closet because I didn’t see him go in there. Later, back in the living room, the 3yo looks at his mom and says,

    “I trust her!”

    It was hilarious. I can just imagine her explaining to him how they were coming to meet me to see if they could trust me. It makes me smile. Kids. Always telling it like it is.

  2. …finding a way that is wonderously lost. i love this. these are my new marching orders to myself. “now go out there and get wonderously lost suzanne, would ‘ya!” thanks for the nudge…

    jennier, that story about the kid is precious. they DO always tell it like it is. and they feel you more than anything, don’t ya think? feel they trust you. they don’t base trust on an “almost shut closet door” or anything!!

  3. Yes, having “beginners mind”.