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The Light of the Mind and Heart



Each day, nature gives us a natural cycle of day and night. The light of the sun reveals the beauty of the earth, and the dark of night reveals the mysterious light of the moon and stars and planets. With technology, we can also see the beauty of distant planets and galaxies. With reflection, awe arises when we open our eyes and hearts and minds when we pay attention to the extraordinary creation we live in and contribute to. Without reflection, we often let the world become ordinary. The repetition of our daily lives can dull our minds and hearts as we get enmeshed in the world our minds and egos create.


How we do we awaken to the profound beauty and depth of this divine creation? How can we see the great beauty in ourselves and the worlds we live in, rather than let our minds and egos overlay them with plans, fears, desires, and resentments that dull what we call "life?" We can all too easily let our inner lives and our daily activities become dull or tiring or repetitive, yet our minds and hearts always have the capacity to turn toward that which is ennobling or inspiring if we choose to.


The sages of spiritual traditions have contemplated these questions deeply, and have found pathways toward joy, love, and exaltation as they move inward toward the inner life of their being. They have spoken and written about the effort required to turn our minds and egos in directions that help us to be calm, inspired, joyful, and at peace. Through meditation, chanting, selfless service, creative endeavors, time in nature, and being with people who embody light, humor, graciousness, and wisdom, our mind and spirit blossoms.


The image of the sun at the top of this page can remind us of one simple way of making this light-filled journey inward. Imagine that the sun is truly alive within your mind and heart. It is calm, radiant, and vibrant. How does doing this affect your breath? Your facial muscles? How much more enjoyable would your inner life each day be if your breathing was expanded and light, and you let your face soften as you breathed this way?


As I write these words and take them in myself, I feel my breathing deepen and my eyes soften. The image of the sun above somehow feels like it's inside me now, and reminds me to turn my mind and heart inward. May you find your own grace-filled ways to nurture the light within you!



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ashumway
ashumway
Feb 24, 2023

Thanks Paul for your lovely essay. Such a good reminder to look for the light within.


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Thank you Paul. It is a gift of light for my day.

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