- Religion and Philosophy
The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful: Beauty Arising in the Stillness of Your Presence
“Beauty arises in the stillness of your presence.” –Eckhart Tolle
With being able to love and accept ourselves unconditionally as the preliminary step to genuinely loving others, we seek ways to practice self-love in ordinary everyday experiences and find out that it is not so easy.
We find ourselves complaining in heavy traffic. We find ourselves fidgety in grocery checkout counter queues. We find ourselves criticizing ourselves and others. We find so many things we dislike about ourselves.
The good news is that with those, we have actually exercised self-awareness and are one step further into the process of being present with ourselves.
Awareness is the key.
The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful
By starting to exercise with the good or favorable situations to get in touch with awareness, it becomes easier to practice with the ‘bad’ or difficult times.
In Reviving the Sacred: A Poem, we saw how ‘positive’ or neutral experiences get us in touch with the Sacred, Soul and its wisdom. We feel the beauty of our soul during such experiences.
In essence, our senses behold the object then our stillness engages it soul-to-soul, such that we and the object are one. The subject-object dichotomy dissolves. The moment reveals Soul and its wisdom.
Next step would be to exercise with the ‘bad’ or ‘negative’ experience, starting with the milder kind. Again, awareness is the key. If our mind is constantly caught in thinking busy thoughts, these mild feelings or emotions go unnoticed.
Practicing with milder negative emotions, we can see that by staying with the feeling or the energy of the moment without getting caught by our judgments or rationalization, simply staying and accepting things’ just-so-ness, in a flash, we feel the negative energy somehow melting into joy. We feel the beauty of our soul. We get in touch with what is sacred in us.
Staying Through Difficult Times
We need enough courage and love to stay with ourselves through difficult times. How we can find these is mostly up to us, but with a little practice, we get a glimpse of the beauty in our soul that intrigues and gives us the courage to go on.
Difficult feelings and emotions brought about by complex situations can be challenging even to the most awakened among us. The twist is it may actually be the difficult situation that promotes the greatest learning. If we fall, we just need to rise and resolve to try again next time.
Every failure then becomes an opportunity for self-forgiveness, -acceptance and unconditional love or maitri.
The Soul of Event
It has been said that everything has a soul. And so does every event, every moment. I have started calling it ‘Event’ with a capital ‘E’, out of wonder and reverence, after learning a lot from it.
In every moment of our ordinary everyday experiences, we have the opportunity to get in touch with the soul of Event. As we walk towards the train station, as we wait on the red traffic light, as we wait to be served at the restaurant … We can give ourselves the chance to be observant. We can give ourselves the chance to notice everything around us with wonder and reverence.
Being present to Event, she leaves us with refreshing insights to the nature of all things, an understanding that within her, all things are beloved, mutually arising all together, past, present and future.
As we get more and more present to Event, or the moment, we sense the Joy, Peace and Love behind the façade of the perceptible.
Our relationship with the now, the present moment or the soul of Event reinforces itself.
As we let the moment lead, we discover the profundity of accepting things just as they are. As we let the moment lead, it reveals its own brand of Joy, Love and Peace, the Sacred---Soul.
We learn to trust in the beneficence of God’s Universe.