I've been thinking about Beauty lately after watching a BBC programme where the subject was discussed by academic art historians (because, it's true, I'm not always binge watching Netflix!).
I didn't need to watch much as there was one fundamental question that arrested me: is Beauty something that lies in an external object, or is Beauty a lived experience, a feeling that arises?
Beauty & Yoga
This brought me right back to the heart of Yoga and self-enquiry:
Is Yoga something that arises in the context of a subject/object relationship or is it something that unveils itself in the lived experience?
Celtic philosopher, John O'Donohue said:
"...ultimately Beauty is a profound illumination of presence, a stirring of the invisible in visible form".
This I find to be true, for Beauty is not glamour or something to be cultivated or acquired; it is not a thing.
Likewise, for me, Yoga is neither an ability to move or to shape my body in a certain way, nor an ability to modulate my breath or to understand the sounds and syllables of an old language.
However, there are times when I feel the stirrings of the "invisible" in the physicality of being alive, in the familiarity of my old companion my breath, or in the unexpected resonance of sound.
So, are Beauty and Yoga one and the same?
I'll leave you with that :-)
Beauty in Words
"When you live in beauty and look from beauty, everything points in different ways to your wholeness" - Jean Klein
Or here is a young David Whyte speaking about Rilke's poem "The Swan" (Bly's translation) and a bonus bit of Derek Walcott.
Beauty in Movement
Maybe this time-lapse collage of flowers coming into bloom will inspire you? I rather like this with sound switched off.
...Or how about a glimpse of freezing ice bubbles?
...Or the murmuration of starlings?
Beauty in Music
Here's a favourite from Arvo Part: Spiegel im Spiegel. Have a listen. Does this evoke Beauty for you?
...or you might try more of a sound collage from Lisbeth Scott: Abundance. How does this piece of music make you feel?
What does Beauty look like to you? How does it sound or smell or taste? What does it feel like in your body?