Introduction to the Veil Metaphor
developed by Stephanie Noble

A veil is a pattern of thinking about a particular subject, relationship, or aspect of identity. It’s woven from the repetitious threads of thought our attention follows, often set off by sensory stimuli. These threads can weave themselves into a complex web of beliefs, facts, opinions, and stories, that may inform, comfort, or distress us. Thickly woven veils blind us to what is occurring in this moment and even a lightly woven veil can alter our perception of experience. 
We all have a variety of veils, and it’s useful to notice them in our own thinking and to understand that everyone else is looking through veils as well. 
It’s also important to understand these veils are not who we are. They don’t define us. They confine us! So we consciously let them go. We don’t make an enemy of them, but we want to be aware when our attention is caught up in a veil. Sometimes this is purposeful as we study a subject or focus on a project. But many times it just dulls down our experience of being fully present in life.
No one can see our veils but us! They have their own veils about us and the world and themselves. However, if they use the metaphor of veils, they might be able to see when we are caught up in a veil, stumbling around blindly in a tightly knotted veil, acting out unskillfully. And hopefully, that will activate compassion. Aren’t we all stumbling around most of the time?
Because developing this metaphor is an ongoing project, it is shared in a series of weekly dharma posts below.
If you like many of my students and readers find it helpful, please let me know. And if you have additional thoughts and insights that might deepen understanding or expand the usefulness of this metaphor as it takes on new forms, I would be most happy to hear them.

Here’s an introductory talk I gave about the veils:
Unveiling the dharma :: a recorded talk at Marin Sangha

Here are links to the blog posts in the order they were presented:
Veils of perception :: Initial unveiling
Unveiling :: Where the mind goes
Unveiling :: Falling and other trauma veils
Unveiling :: Untangling a knot
Unveiling :: Awakening
Unveiling :: Cultivating Peace
Unveiling :: Letting go of limiting labels
Unveiling :: Shining the light of compassion
Unveiling :: Why such unfriendly skies?
Unveiling :: How to get out of rabbit holes
Unveiling :: Imagination and creativity
Unveiling :: Sensing the Earth Element
Unveiling :: Sensing the Water Element
Unveiling :: Sensing the Fire Element
Unveiling :: Sensing the Air Element
Unveiling :: Sensing the Space Element
Unveiling :: Sensing the Sixth Element
Unveiling :: Don’t turn away
Unveiling :: Cultivating embodied awareness
Unveiling :: When you feel you have leaky margins
Unveiling :: Thoughts of aging have you tied up in knots?
Unveiling :: The Discussion (follow up on aging)
Unveiling :: Weaving self-compassion
Unveiling :: Self-indulgence isn’t compassion
Unveiling :: Feeling trapped? (Five Hindrances)
Unveiling :: Is the veil metaphor really Buddhist?
Unveiling :: Coping with difficult people
Unveiling :: A Guided Meditation
Unveiling :: Cultivating Delight
Unveiling :: You don’t need fixing
Unveiling :: Cultivating a limitless heart
Unveiling :: The gift of simplicity
Unveiling :: A gift where we least expect it
Unveiling :: An audio guided experiential exercise
How to share a veil skillfully for better relationships
Exercise in exploring one of your veils
Face the ocean!
A woman’s awakening is never done
Forget minutes! Choose the moment