The Eye of the Beholder, beauty in the Heart
Returning home from one of my countless pilgrimages to Laos, I am often asked about the tattered greyish white strings, others of yellow and orange that adorn my wrists. The story behind their origins is long and I will reserve their recount for another time and place. The curious and conditioned mind wonders why anyone would consciously choose to wear such worthless trinkets day in and day out whether dressed for yoga or for an evening party with heels.
It is obvious that these tattered strings lack the luster of gold, the virtue of diamonds and the finesse of a salt water pearls. In fact these strings, worn for exactly 48 consecutive days have been unintentionally dipped into my dinner plate, mixed with lotions and creams and even once caught fire while lighting candles for evening meditation. Despite their daily washings, their physical appearance has taken a severe wear hence their added attraction of bewilderment.
Just between you and me, I don’t see them as tattered strings of ragged greyness but cherishable gifts of the heart from those who wish me goodness, love, happiness, prosperity and health. Tangled together on my wrists, I reminisce and reconnect with each individual heart, feeling their tender act of generosity and heartfelt beauty.
There is a saying that dates back to the 3rd century BC, ‘’beauty is in the eye of the beholder. “ We don’t necessarily see things as they are but as we choose to see them. Beauty is a concept of the mind; an illusion rooted in our own personal life experiences and conditioned beliefs. Only through right thinking and awareness do we unveil the truth that we have the choice to see beauty in everything, including all beings and in all moments. We can hastily view life through the eye of judgment increasing our likes and repulsions or we can mindfully choose to see though the eye of the heart. The eye of the heart recognizes the beauty in a wrinkled face, in a wilted flower, and on rainy day because the eye of this beholder inherently knows that everything is a gift from the spark of life, even worthless tattered strings from Laos.
WATCH this 1 minute video.
Alice Herz-Sommer is 109 year old Holocaust survivor and is STILL LIVING, in London. When she’s asked about the secret to feeling good.
“Optimism,” she said, “and looking for the good. Life is beautiful. You have to be thankful that we are living. Wherever you look is beauty.”