Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. – John Milton
Calling bird vanishes / Over ocean beyond waves / Sweet satisfaction
I sometimes resort to using Japanese or Chinese words in my writing to express an awareness of some mysterious spiritual connection to the Universe. One such term is Yugen (or Yuugen) – gracefully profound. This term is meant to describe the feeling one gets after watching the setting sun sink below a beautiful mountain, or wandering on through a forest without thinking about turning back. The natural world reveals the transformations of the Universe from potential into actual from nothingness into somethingness in an endless cycle. In the Taoist and Zen traditions Nothingness is not emptiness but potentiality. When a hidden bird sings across an otherwise silent valley, that gap between the silence and the song – is yugen.
A favorite Zen concept of mine is – Wabi-Sabi. Wabi – transient beauty and Sabi – beauty of aging. Put the two characters together – Wabi-Sabi and you have the beauty of impermanence. Flowers bloom and die and there is a glorious exquisiteness to the natural process. One has to quiet the mind and refine the ability to discern the subtle manifestations of nature. Revelations of beauty abound in the sky, in the water, on the ground. Just as our faces wrinkle, bodies sag, and pace slows with age, our spirit can mature gracefully and accept the stages of life for what they are – the sublime impermanence. Appreciate the sweet mellowing of your soul as beautiful.
I have had a lifelong fascination with rocks. It is my strange habit to pick up stones as I wander and place them down in different places along the way as a simple spirit offering. Sometimes a subtle pattern attracts my eye. I reach down and examine the rock and either place it elsewhere or take it home. Lately I’ve been collecting pieces of petrified wood. It has been said petrified wood has an ancient energy created by the natural wood transforming into stone. And contemplating the crystallized life teaches patience and lets us appreciate life ever-evolving towards perfection. To me it is cool to look at a stone that was once part of a tree. The fossil wood reminds me of the memories we collect along the way in life, and the wabi-sabi of the human body as it ages.
Nature reveals all-embracing virtues which people can follow to be happier. Happiness lights up the eyes, the face the voice. These positive reflections on life transform the spirit. To describe the Universe, nature or these positive feelings I don’t need deep esoteric words. Only one word is needed. L-O-V-E. Love and peace to you all.