February 13

Today's quotation:

When your inner eyes open, you can find immense beauty hidden within the inconsequential details of daily life.  When your inner ears open, you can hear the subtle, lovely music of the universe everywhere you go.


Timothy Ray Miller

Today's Meditation:

Beauty is everywhere, all the time.  We see beauty, though, very rarely relative to its presence.  Unfortunately, even though our eyes may be open, our hearts and spirits and minds may be closed to the perception of beauty because of what we've learned or what we're going through at a particular moment.  This is a shame, because beauty has the power to calm, to inspire, and to give hope to all of us.

It's quite a shame that we've learned to think of beauty in terms of monetary value (art, for example), usefulness (architecture, for example), or even sexuality--and usually a combination of such things.  The modeling industry looks for beauty that will help them to sell things by often presenting people as sexual objects in order to appeal to the fantasies of their audiences.  Art galleries and auction houses often use beauty as a criteria for trying to sell art.  In our cultural view of the world, beauty often equals profit, even though so many beautiful things and people can bring us no financial gain at all, while they can still enrich our lives immensely.

We don't have to attach a price to beauty for it to be of benefit to us.  Nobody else has to agree with us that something is beautiful for it to be wonderful for us.  The details of life that Timothy speaks of are in the cooking, when two flavors are combined to make something new; in the cleaning, when we pay closer attention to the things that we see each day; in the garden, where the vegetables grow and the flowers bloom; in the family, where we witness others doing the best they can in often difficult situations; at work, where we see the fruits of our labors in many different ways.

Beauty is there, but we don't always see it or hear it or feel it.  Sometimes we have to make an effort to see it, and when we do so, the entire world can become new and magical.  Find the beauty in your life, and you can make your life something new and special.  It's up to each one of us to make it a priority to experience the beauty in our lives, rather than waiting for beauty to call our attention to it.

Questions to consider:

Where have your lessons about beauty come from?  Can you completely trust those lessons?

How might being able to see and feel beauty be of benefit to you?

Why do so many people see beauty simply as something by which they can profit?
For further thought:

As I experience it, appreciation of beauty is access to the soul.  With beauty in our lives, we walk and carry ourselves more lightly and with a different look in our eyes.  To look into the eyes of someone beholding beauty is to look through the windows of the soul.  Any time we catch a glimpse of soul, beauty is there; any time we catch our breath and feel "How beautiful!," the soul is present.

Jean Shinoda Bolen
  
  

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