As the story goes, students of Vivekananda once asked him how to go about ridding themselves of lower energies in pursuit of a higher self, and he responded something along the lines of “…go out and observe the blossoms on the trees. They vanish of themselves as the fruit grows. So, too, will the lower self vanish as the Divine grows within you.” On a clear day after a recent heavy snowfall, I took my dogs for a walk at a nearby park, observed the winter fruit on a grove of small trees, and felt the pang of that Divinity within. Now, only to ascend.
“‘The beautiful is as useful as the useful.’ He added, after a moment’s silence, ‘perhaps more so.’”
~Victor Hugo from Les Misérables
photo by Andreas Schreyer
Even after all this time
the sun never says to the earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights the whole sky.
“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”
photo by Eric_Marmota
Too easily we as individuals—under the influence of our minds and the contrived worlds in which we often go about our daily lives—create battles for ourselves that cannot be won, and we fail to recognize and experience how truly lucky we really are.
“…living with children is probably the most spiritual practice that anybody could ever be engaged in if you open yourself to it that way. I love to look at them as when they’re little as little living Zen masters that are sort of parachuted into our lives to push all our buttons and see how we’re going to work with the challenges they throw at us…”
-Jon Kabat-Zinn, Opening to Our Lives: Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Science of Mindfulness