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Perception is artificial and personal

We can prove to ourselves that perception is artificial and personal by remembering how often people disagree about the beauty or ugliness, deliciousness or distastefulness, pleasantness or unpleasantness, of a particular work of art, architectural style, item of clothing, type of food, or musical composition. Moreover, opinions often vary over time and space, from decade to decade, from country to country, and from earlier points in our life to later ones. For instance, we might have disliked classical music when we were younger, but now it is our favorite. Our perceptions also change according to circumstances.

Yellow roses might look very beautiful when we see them in a summer garden, but seem unpleasant or even cause us pain when we see them at the funeral of a friend. In the same way, when we are ill, foods that we enjoyed on many occasions might seem disgusting or repulsive.

- Bhante Gunaratana


Source: Bhante Gunaratana from the book "Meditation on Perception: Ten Healing Practices to Cultivate Mindfulness"

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