Since writing my last post I've been thinking a lot about what I find beautiful. Today I wore my new red shoes. They didn't make me feel beautiful. On the contrary, they made me feel even more self conscious then usual.
A friend recently reminded me that I'm not going to find what I'm searching for outside of myself. Maybe the beauty that I'm looking for isn't out there either. As always, when I feel lost or confused I search for answers in a book. The book I'm reading now is called Seeing through the eyes of love by Eknath Easwaran.
"Ah, Lord God, thou holy lover of my soul, when thou comest into my heart, all that is within me shall rejoice. Thou art my glory and the exultation of my heart: thou art my hope and refuge in the day of my trouble"
There! there it is, the beauty I've been looking for, in the words of an inspirational passage. Ever since I can remember I've been escaping into the world of books. I get swept away by the words into another world. Words are powerful. I am very much effected by words. Reading beautiful inspirational words always fills my heart with joy. I feel the heavy mental congestion lift and clear.
I remember falling in love with my 9th grade English teacher. In hindsight I realize that it wasn't him that I was in love with. I was in love with the beautiful literature he was introducing me to. Listening to his soothing voice as he read to us effected me so greatly. Although I don't remember the words he spoke, I do remember the feelings of love and sweetness that it invoked in me.
Words are powerful beyond measure. A beautifully written passage can easily send my heart and soul soaring into the heavens. Sending me into ecstatic states of bliss. Unfortunately, just as easily my heart and soul can be crushed under the shoe of words spoken in anger.
I don't find beauty in red shoes but I do find beauty even in Nachiketa's dialog with death in the Katha Upanishad:
"Hidden in the heart of every creature exists the Self, subtler than the subtlest, greater than the greatest. They go beyond sorrow who extinguish their self-will and behold the glory of the Self through the grace of the Lord of Love."
I guess my friend was right. I'm not going to find what I'm seeking outside of myself. Not in the shoes, not in the books. Only in the Self. The way back to the Self is through the practice of meditation. When the heart and soul roars into ecstatic states of bliss reached through the practice of meditation the effects are everlasting. Nothing, not even the harshness of a thoughtless word can crush the heart that is filled with joy found in yoga.