[The following mail message (clipped) went to the community mail list on 12/21/2012. It’s here for historical purposes; nothing was posted on the web for this gathering.]
We had a fruitful discussion at our gathering Sunday evening, exploring the meaning of samma ditthi–“Correct understanding”, “Seeing clearly”, “Right view”. We did our meditation at the end, after the discussion. I felt that that worked better; I’d welcome feedback from others.
I think it became clear in the course of our discussion that one of the main things that prevents us from seeing clearly is that we bring a ton of preconceptions to our seeing: a set of labels ready for attaching to people and things and ideas, the image that we are constantly building and rebuilding of who we are and our relationship with others and with our past, the subconscious or barely conscious fears we carry with us, etc. So what we see is shaped and mis-shaped by those mental formations; it may be impossible, at least without long and directed practice, to see anything clearly and simply for what it is and where it is in the constant process of emerging, existing, and subsiding.