I recall vividly that day, the day I looked in the mirror - I was in my 40s - and for the first time in my life I could see myself without judgment, could see a natural beauty that had nothing to do or not with what anyone could describe me as. The best I can say is possibly this was not my beauty, I was Beauty. Most of us are alienated from that natural Beauty, and we seek to find other means of being attractive, either physical or otherwise. But, really, this just is. Why did I suddenly, for the first time, see that Beauty looking back at me from my face? I don't know. Possibly, years of intense spiritual Work and meditation prepared for it. I don't know. Possibly, something called Grace just lifted the veil for once. I don't know. I don't need to know, I remember.
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A Buddhist sutra says, "As swans swim on the lake and vultures roam in the charnel ground, you can let your mind rest in its natural state." Now, what does a swan swimming on a lake or a vulture moving about in a graveyard have to do with our lives? Imagine if the sutra read, "As vultures swim on the lake and swans roam in the charnel ground…." That is unnatural, for swans and vultures have different styles of being natural. However, each shares in the one state of naturalness.
Likewise, we each have different styles of expressing basic naturalness. Diversity is an expression of a single, universal naturalness, and that naturalness is a quality of being whole, efficient, and innocent. The vulture is whole in the charnel ground; the swan is whole being on the lake. They are each naturally what they are resultant of participating in creation. They each are living a design within the universal matrix of Grace. The same applies to us, for we participate as creatures in creation.
Jesus taught that to enter the life of living the Presence, we must become like "little children." Little children means going back to claim our original heart and mind of natural perfection. Becoming like a child means realizing that being spiritual leads us, not to some state that is foreign to us and opposed to mundane, but leads us to find within ourselves the innate, perfect beauty and grace we share together as shaped in the Image of Creative Grace. This may be difficult for many of us, for example, who were inundated with religious teaching when young, teaching that we were born messed up and deserved only the judgment of a deity.
I recommend you read Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha, for an excellent novel on this theme of naturalness. Ultimately, when we accept this universal Self that we are, we come to conclude with Siddhartha: "Nothing any longer separated [the true seeker] from a thousand others who lived the eternal, who breathed the divine." In realizing our natural state, the natural state, we are no longer separate from any other creature. Indeed, we see ourselves as one natural aspect of Nature, a Nature infused with divinity, seen and unseen - mostly unseen.
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*Lotus of the Heart is a Work of Arem Nahariim-Samadhi ~ a Hospice Chaplain, interspiritual author, writer, poet, and bicyclist. He is someone in love with Life and inviting others to that same ecstasy of Love ~ and, by the way, herein is nothing he claims as his own.