By paying attention, we can begin to notice how often our ideas can mislead us.
My martial arts teacher Stephen K. Hayes had a rare opportunity in the mid-1980s to go into communist-occupied Tibet and visit some of the temples and sites there. When he came back out, he went to Dharamsala, India, for an audience with the Dalai Lama who wanted to hear details of what he saw in Tibet. After their conversations, the Dalai Lama asked Mr. Hayes where he was from. It turned out that the Dalai Lama's oldest brother, Dr. Norbu, was a professor at Indiana University, and he suggested they get together when Mr. Hayes got back to the States.
Later, when the Dalai Lama came to visit Dr. Norbu, Mr. Hayes was asked to assist with security. At that time, the US government would not recognize His Holiness as a special dignitary, due to the political tensions with China, so would not provide Secret Service protection. Ever since then, Mr. Hayes has been a friend of the Dalai Lama's family, and still occasionally helps with security. A couple of weekends in the mid-1990s, he invited me to go along with him. It was a magical experience. It was one of the times when I was most mindful, and it also helped me become more aware of what mindfulness is not.
Wherever we went, our team was quite diligent about searching all the rooms for potential explosives or hidden ...