Look up. Look out. Expand the perimeter of your visual field. Let the beauty of what’s present now make itself known. Give it the space to be known in your present awareness.
Earlier this week, I had an epiphany experience as I was walking up the path to my apartment. The path in my apartment complex is not the most stable and hasn’t been since I moved in. The sidewalk is not perfectly flat from side to side. It tilts to the left or to the right depending on which way you’re moving on it. That tilt is compounded by the rolling hill quality of the apartment grounds and cracks in the cobblestone.
I’ve been looking down while I walk from the parking lot to my apartment pretty much since I moved in 9 years ago.
This week, the big tree that stands guard over my apartment offering shade and habitat to the squirrels and birds that made itself known in my present awareness.
As I was walking up the path, I stopped for a moment to take it all in. These days have been sweet, peaceful slow summer days even when they’re busy I love my gaze to wander up and as I did so my eyes landed on the majestic wonder of the tree in front of my apartment, the one I drink in every day from the vantage point of my third floor patio. My eyes burst with orgasmic pleasure as my heart erupted with bliss.
Why have I never seen this before? It’s been right here all along!
Time to look up, look out. Expand the perimeter of my visual field. Let the beauty of what’s present now make itself known. Give it to space to be known in my present awareness.
What else will I allow myself to see as beauty, unrecognized until now?
This tree reminds me that all is well. It is tall, strong, deeply rooted.
It also reminds me of this short essay by John O’Donohue which serendipitously showed up in my FB feed within moments of writing this, a sweet sign!
THE ONE WINDOW
There is a beautiful complexity of growth within the human soul. In order to glimpse this, it is helpful to visualize the mind as a tower of windows. Sadly, many people remain trapped at the one window, looking out every day at the same scene in the same way. Real growth is experienced when you draw back from that one window, turn, and walk around the inner tower of the soul and see all the different windows that await your gaze. Through these different windows, you can see new vistas of possibility, presence, and creativity. Complacency, habit, and blindness often prevent you from feeling your life. So much depends on the frame of vision — the window through which you look.
Excerpt from ANAM CARA