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Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

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Today was a beautiful day.

The weather was inviting, and the people moreso.

I spent wonderful time with my family.

I purchased fresh, delicious food from a local market dedicated to supporting our community.

I paused to appreciate the wonderfully blessed life I’ve had the opportunity to build for myself.

I got to walk among peacocks, flamingos, wild cats, tourists from across the world, and neighbors from across the county.

Today was a beautiful day.

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So, I’ve officially been slipping in my “writing every day” habit I’d been forcing myself to stick to for a while. I forced myself to do it because I knew if I didn’t make a firm commitment to keep a habit of posting every day, I’d fall into the habit of not.

I’ve been very draggy the past few days with the flu, so in the evenings I have wanted to just close myself up and rest in the solitude of my immediate family or my own thoughts. I haven’t really had an easy time thinking of words to share with others.

One thing I have learned over the past several months, though, is that when I sit down to write, I will usually find something to say. Not always something I’m fully happy with, but at least enough to make some kind of connection between my thoughts and words to express them.

So here we are. I’ve had a beautiful, frustrating-yet-rewarding day, even if I’m not quite finding the words to express it.  I hope you have had a truly lovely day, as well!

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I went looking for a koan to write about before bed, and came across this old favorite.

If You Love, Love Openly

In the traditional Zen monastery, it generally wasn’t the done thing for monks and nuns to have relationships. Both monks and nuns shaved their heads, which besides being practical was thought to discourage those heads from being easily turned.

However, this wasn’t the case for a nun named Eshun. Her shaved head seemed to accentuate the beauty of her face and form, and several monks were enamored of her. One of them sent her an ardent letter, insisting that she meet him privately, in secret.

So the next morning after the master’s lecture to the group, Eshun stood up. She turned to the letter-writer and said, “If you truly love me so much, come and embrace me now.”

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Trees gently rustle
Sheltering ecstatic birds
Evergreen winter

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My moment of intentional zen today was while commuting to and from work. I tried to keep from slipping into the autopilot that is common with commuting, for a start. I then tried to slip out of the autopilot that is just part of daily life in general.

I watched the sky as it got brighter, appreciating the colors around me. I admired the trees, and breathed in the sunlight. I felt a deep appreciation for the world and life I enjoy, even if it does involve having to get up in the morning and commute in to work.

This appreciation helped me connect more fully to the start of my day. I figure, to be truly grateful, I need to begin with actively experiencing the gifts I’ve been given. Through this engagement with these gifts of life, I’m feeling more able to share them.

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Gold sun in blue sky 
Feet running on wet green grass
Look! There goes the wind!

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Today, grey clouds came in across my blue sky, but we decided to take a trip to a favorite park anyway. It rained on us, but we stuck it out, since it’s been a long time since we’d been out in the rain.

When the sun came back out, the air was vibrantly bright, and the flowers were more colorful and cheerful than almost ever. I made myself pierce through my own fog that had settled in, so I could breathe in the fresh air and refreshing sight.

For a few moments, I brought my attention to observe only the beauty of the flowers, trees and water that was before me. I felt the sunlight on my face, and the clean air in my lungs. I brought myself fully into that experience, drinking it in to renew me.

That was today’s moment of zen.

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