Find the Beauty

A delightful suggestion to recover mindfulness is offered in Chapter 18 ("Ten Favorite All-Purpose Meditations (Plus Two)") of Meditation for Dummies by Stephan Bodian:

Even in the most chaotic and unappealing situations, you can attune yourself to a quality or dimension of beauty, if you try. It's like one of those figure-ground puzzles. At first, you can't even perceive the shape in the background. But once you've seen it, you just need to shift your awareness to see it again. The next time you find yourself in a mildly unpleasant place or circumstance, do the following mediation:

1. Take a moment to look for the beauty. — You may notice a patch of green grass in the distance, or a bouquet of flowers on a table, or the laughter of a child, or an aesthetically pleasing piece of furniture. Or you may just notice a warm feeling in your belly or heart.

2. Take a deep breath, shift your attention from your stress or discomfort, and enjoy the beauty. — Allow yourself to resonate with it for a few moments as you would with a favorite piece of music or a walk in the woods.

3. Shift your focus back to the situation at hand and notice whether your attitude has changed in any way. — Know that you can shift your awareness to see the beauty whenever you feel inclined.

So sweet! And much beauty (those who have been ultrarunning with me may know what I'm alluding to) is always available, in memory if not in proximity ...

(cf. Meditation Made Easy suggestion to "Pause on Each Threshold", and Portrait of the Artist discussion of æsthetics, ...) - ^z - 2011-04-03