There is a term that originates from the old Buddhist scriptures. It exists both in the language of >Pali< and >Sanskrit< and reads as: >Yathābhūtam<. (The >m< at the end, which should have a dot underneath, is actually pronounced >ng<.)
It describes in just one word what a Buddhist practitioner actually tries to achieve when he uses a tool like meditation to cultivate his mind. It explains how we are supposed to see things.
Yathābhūtam is composed from two parts, >Yathā< and >Bhūta<.
Yathā (adv.): as, like, in relation to, after [fr. ya˚; Vedic yathā; cp. kathā, tathā] and Bhūta: grown, become, born, produced, nature, as the result of [pp. of bhavati, Vedic etc. bhūta]
So, one possible translation would be: “[Seeing things] as they have (be)come to be.” This is quite correct, however I think it feels a little heavy for everyday use.
In modern publications you often find the translation: ” Seeing things as they really are“. Basically, this is the simple goal of all our practice. > Seeing things as they really are<.
Not, seeing them as you want them to be. Everyone can do that.
Not, as they should be or someone requires them to be.
Not, as every religion claims things are, even though they somehow never come around to prove it.
Not even as they clearly appear to us through our thicket of conditionings and neurotic character traits.
This is a lot harder than it sounds.
Let’s say, we manage to actually do it. What are these new and never realized characteristics of all things, when we finally come to see them as they really are? What is the true nature of things?
Again, the Buddhist teachings will provide us with a simple and straightforward answer:
The true nature of every conditioned thing is threefold:
First – We realize that all things are impermanent. Absolutely everything is subject to the nature of change. Everything we know will one day fall apart.
Second – No matter how hard we try, no matter how far we run, we will never find a place in life that is free of suffering or unsatisfactoriness. It can’t be done. Trust me, people have tried. A lot.
Third – Nothing in our life can rightfully be labeled as >Mine<, >Me<, >I< or >Self<.
That’s it. Simple enough, right?
It is so simple and brilliant, that one might even choose the term >Yathabhutam< as the title of one’s blog.