The Flower Sermon

"The first recognition of beauty was one of the most significant events in the evolution of human consciousness... seeing beauty in a flower could awaken humans, however briefly, to the beauty that is an essential part of their own innermost being, their true nature."

-Eckhart Tolle

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For a long a strange time I had a lot of resistance to the idea of beauty. In work + art, I struggled with the reality of aesthetic versus message. To arrive at the perspective plainly: I associated the idea of beauty with perfection, and subsequently perfection meant dilution of intent and naturalness. Having fortunately spared this transmission of my emotions and experience with space and time and patience (though still in practice), I have realized that these worlds are not separate but inseparable. The preservation of naturalness, of not polishing the stone into a mirror, but keeping a bit of the texture, which in turn reveals it's message is beauty, can be considered a curation of perfection.

I don't know how much you carve the path or how much the path carves you, but either way, my recent path brought me to the New England Peace Pagoda with a friend visiting from afar. The weight I arrived with was shed almost immediately. Whenever I am brought back to center I am instantly and infinitely inspired. This grounded state of being can be hard for me to reach, because I often associate it with place. But I never fail to find it when I am in nature. Each breath brings so much life so full of taste and my dreams are in color again. Doesn't Mama Earth have such a way? I filled my head with the scent of peonies and photographed the lupine blooming wildly among the daisies. Flowers always find their way into my life. I took a full breath by the frog pond brimming with lotus blossoms and felt like I was given a secret about creation, in a way, I was.

There is an old Buddhist story referred to as "The Flower Sermon". It recalls the Buddha reaching into a pond and plucking a lotus from its mud. Only one person present smiled at this gesture, to which Buddha deemed him enlightened. There are many ways to interpret this message but I read it a little something like this: a little messy, everything touches everything, and it is beautiful.

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