Darśan: Seeing the Divine Image in India before spending a semester together in India.

She has the monumental task of training 13 Americans to see differently while in India…

"> Sacred Optometry: Opening my Eyes in India | Forum for Theological Exploration

Sacred Optometry: Opening my Eyes in India

By: Tyler Sit
January 24, 2014

The next five months will allow time for me to adjust my myopic vision of the world and my blurry sense of human nature. A time to make richer the vibrant color of God moving around me and in me.

The assignment is to see. My professor assigned us to read Diana Eck’s Darśan: Seeing the Divine Image in India before spending a semester together in India.

She has the monumental task of training 13 Americans to see differently while in India: see the world differently, see ourselves differently, and—perhaps—see God differently.

Our program’s base will be Dharamsala, where the Dalai Lama and Tibetan community have settled following their exile from Tibet. I decided I should see a little more—not just to superficially sight-seebut to peer more deeply into this shared planet we call home before I enter church ministry.

This is experience is a matter of:

  • Seeing beauty: Dharamsala lies in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, which have inspired authors, poets, and priests alike.
  • Seeing justice: While I still have much to learn about the tension between the Tibetan community and China, I do know that the action that Tibetans are advocating for themselves is some of the most interesting—and non-violent—advocacy happening today.
  • Seeing God: Sight has always been an important way to encounter the holy, and Eck’s book is about establishing a visual hermeneutic and seeing the unique way India has used materiality to bring people to sacred epiphany.

I approach this semester as a follower of Christ and because I am a follower of Christ it is imperative to seek out my global neighbor and God’s revelation in the world. For me, this has always been a matter of the heart and hands, but in the US sometimes we don’t trust the task enough to our eyes.

The next five months will allow time for me to adjust my myopic vision of the world and my blurry sense of human nature. A time to make richer the vibrant color of God moving around me and in me. I hope these reflections can be an awakening experience and that they help you to see the world a little differently as well.

Seeing is my homework, but perhaps opening our eyes anew to God’s world is an assignment for all.




Tyler Sit is a seminarian at Candler School of Theology who is pursuing ordination in The United Methodist Church. His interests include embodied theology, environmental justice, and photography.

*It Is important to note that while vision will be a theme throughout Sit’s writing, he nonetheless acknowledges that this may be exclusive to the visually impaired, and he gladly affirms God’s unique revelation among the blind community.

Tags...: Inspired Leaders, Thinking Out Loud, Shaping the Future


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