18 Nov Natural Beauty

Seeing this pathway full of fallen leaves reminded me of a Zen story about a tea ceremony apprentice helping his master prepare a teahouse to receive guests. The pupil went outside and swept all the leaves, clearing the pathway that led to the teahouse, but to the student’s surprise, when the master came outside, he immediately spread some of the leaves right back onto the pathway. The tea master then studied the walkway, giving a satisfied nod at the recovered naturalness of the scene.

Oftentimes, our idea of perfection becomes so sterile that it starts to pull us away from the reality we seek to express. Like the path to the teahouse, we do not need to clear away our humanity in order to be beautiful. Our beauty, rather, lies in learning to express our humanness with honesty, authenticity, openness, and naturalness; reminding us that we are our most beautiful selves when we stop trying to be something different from who we are. 

Michael Ken