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I noticed someone riding a motorcycle yesterday with no helmet on.

For most of us just reading the line above is all we need to construct a complete story. Perhaps we hold of you that only a fool would ride a motorcycle with no helmet. Perhaps we tell the story of how the ER nurse calls people like that organ transplants waiting to happen. Or perhaps we hold the view that the experience of riding with no helmet gives you better visibility and hearing and dust is actually safer. Or perhaps we believe that the freedom and the feeling of wind going through our hair is the embodiment of what riding a motorcycle is and worth the additional risk. Or just maybe you don’t care one way or the other and you are completely neutral about this. Perhaps your view is based on the idea that you’re tired of the government over regulating us. And your actual view has nothing to do with safety but just the simple right to do as you please without a law that says You must or must not wear a helmet.

All of these factors all of these formulations all of these ideas all of these perceptions. Which one did your mind grab onto in create a story around? Because the fun thing is I haven’t told a story at all yet. I simply placed a single sentence down and if you are like me your mind grabbed it and ran with it.

Our experiences are colored by our views. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to be a police officer and ask the question so what did you see? And then to distill the difference between what they actually saw and what their viewpoint lead them to believe they see.

Once more my practice comes back to the simple idea of avoiding judging. Avoiding being attached to a stuck perspective. Avoiding the One Dharma. To remember that there is joy in simply observing.

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