Not only do we live in a living universe, but the living universe lives within us.
— Duane Elgin
Oak Tree photo by Margit Bantowsky
At a recent All Hearts on Deck sitting, a group of Trillium Awakening practitioners and I contemplated the topic of beauty.
We began with a meditation - first settling deeply within ourselves, then widening our attention to include broad, open perception, and from this silent, spacious, embodied space we invited a memory of a recent experience of beauty to come forward.
After allowing, amplifying, and saturating ourselves into this recent experience of beauty, we looked at how things shifted inside...how it affected our sense of:
Participants shared how they felt more relaxed, open, and connected with everything. They reported feeling more compassion and kindness towards themselves and others. There was also a sense of wonder and curiosity.
We then widened our inner gaze to include painful things in our lives - and on the planet - while still remaining connected with beauty.
We noticed that there was a "bittersweet" flavor to the heartbreak and sadness, that there was beauty in pain, and that beauty and pain were inextricably related, like that undulating edge bisecting the two halves of the Yin-Yang symbol.
We also noticed that beauty can be a path to joy, although it is distinct from joy. And that beauty can be a path, in and of itself.
Here are some questions to further this inquiry:
Margit Bantowksy, MA, is an artist, coach, teacher and facilitator.