You can formally educate yourself, practice your religion, read books on spirituality, listen to music, attend yoga classes, become a vegan... yet the entire universe goes away when you stand in front of a forest. This is where you will find peace. This is the living Christmas.
In the spirit of the season and all that is has become... we tend to get lost in the pressure and I too have found myself trapped between the pure raw essence of what living in Zen reveals and the reality of the world we have created. Or accepted. Maybe it is one in the same.
In moments of clear seeing, everything exists as we see it yet it has a distinctively different meaning. Instead of judging or labeling it as society tends to do, let go and be free of judgement... accept the moment that you are in. Your interpretations that you bring into your mind reflect the essence of your core being. The image becomes who you are.
As a photographer I know this. I have trained my eyes and the instrument of my camera knows to have the patience to let spirit reveal itself to me. I experienced it again, in a very personal way recently. I let the negativity of an individual impact me greatly. I let it in. Just as I control the amount of light or darkness into my camera, I let their negativity in. It was a great lesson that I learned, because I challenged myself by questioning how and why a person could treat others like this. I made a judgement that was not for me to make. In doing so, I suffered and so did those around me. This image temporarily became who I was and I began to experience difficulties with my eyes... the part of me that is instrumental to who I am as an author, practicing artist and zen student.
I wanted to find hope, and a little forgiveness. I wanted to feel the spirit of this season that we all see, write and sing about. I could not find it on the news, there was nothing but tears and pain there. I wanted to hear it on the radio, but my ears only heard arguments of more judgements and opinions. I wanted to breathe again and surrender, knowing that a rich, intuitive spiritual journey still exists. It is only taken when we allow it to be.
It was returning to the forest that I found my living Christmas. Here it is... with the new fallen snow. In the peace of the Japanese garden, the living could be heard. The hope is restored and the negativity disappeared. There were no thoughts of judgements or cries. It is in the whispers of the trees that the great voice is heard. It is in this living art where one connects, and can see the essence and fragility of life so very clearly. The invisible enters in and the dark shadows are brought to light. The trees know, the forest has sat there and endured, listened and still exists as it is. Unchanged by the negativity in the world around them.
There is no separation between the viewer and the forest. Be the living Christmas and our universe can heal and transform.
Love and Light...
copyright 2012 M, MaryEllen Malinowski, Infrared Light International for Zen Living by design. Photo copyright MaryEllen Malinowski | infraredlight.com
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