Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Walking in Beauty
With me there is beauty
In me there is beauty
From me beauty radiates
There is a fundamental harmony in the universe that is perfect and beautiful. The Navaho embrace this concept in their notion of “hozho,” a term that recently crossed my path and captured my imagination. I am no expert in Navaho language or culture (I’m no expert in anything for that matter), but I understand this untranslatable term to mean something like “walking in beauty.”
This concept is at the center of Navaho life, representing the universe as a whole as well as our place in it. When we are in harmony with the universe, we walk in beauty. A life lived in harmony is one of well being, integrity, peace, wisdom, gratitude, and joy.
When we lose this harmony for whatever reason, we seek to restore it. The Navaho have specific rituals for this, including one called the Blessing Way. Isn’t that lovely?
Reading about this reminds me of the teachings of the Tao Te Ching. A life lived in harmony with Tao is one of effortlessness, wonder, resilience, acceptance, and serenity. When we struggle against what is, when we grasp desire, when we react in fear, we lose our way.
Perhaps we can borrow the idea of a ritual to restore us to wholeness when our harmony has been disrupted. We can create our own Blessing Way. What might that look like? It could be anything that would be meaningful to you.
For me, the first thing I thought of was a literal walk in beauty, like a walk in the woods at my cabin.
Sometimes, when something is troubling me, I write a letter to it, seeking understanding and guidance. Then I burn the letter in the fireplace. This represents two things – releasing the issue from my control, and carrying my prayer to heaven.
Sometimes I seek to restore harmony through practices like qigong or meditation, or even something as simple as breathing exercises.
What kind of ritual Blessing Way might you use to restore harmony and walk in beauty?
But the beauty is in the walking. We are betrayed by destinations. ~Gwen Thomas