Our preconditioned views often distort reality. I’ve been doing a little reading on some of the Shamanic and Toltec traditions recently and I came across a concept they refer to as “the Smokey Mirror.”
The Smokey Mirror refers to the filter we all have when we view reality. When we see the world through a Smokey Mirror, we’re seeing a view that’s been distorted by our own ideas and beliefs. Our preconditioned views often distort reality.
This concept has helped me understand my interactions with others in a new way. When we are speaking to someone whose “smoke” is very thick, we’re only speaking to their belief system or the filter of what they believe or know. It’s this filter that can make it difficult or sometimes impossible, to get through to the actual person. On the other side, we might be talking to someone who has a very thin filter which gives us the chance to speak directly to them heart-to-heart.
In these ancient teachings, it is said that the key is for us to become aware of how clouded our own mirror is and how attached we are to our own point of view. These teachings are not much different from the ancient Buddhist teachings of the Noble Eightfold Path of “Right View.” Reminding ourselves that my only work in this lifetime is to become aware of my behavior, my limiting beliefs and my emotional blockages that keep me from living a life of peace, compassion and happiness. That our preconditioned views often distort reality.
My mirror is the only one I can wipe clean.
Here’s a practice you might try in addition to your daily meditation practice to bring awareness to your “Smokey Mirror” as suggested by the renowned Toltec teacher Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr.:
With awareness, realize that everyone you come in contact with is viewing the world through his or her own belief system. When you argue with someone, it’s because that person is doing or saying something that is in conflict with your own belief system. When you approach anyone with an argumentative attitude, you can now see how your mirror is the one clouded with smoke.
If you'd like some support in recognizing your preconditioned views and working toward seeing reality in a different light, I'd love to help. Join me for some one-on-one coaching and meditation and begin your journey today!