what is a beautiful mind?

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A beautiful mind is a mind that integrates everything, whether full sail or no wind. It can be buoyant despite conditions. It’s trained to be so. Our minds left untended are not careful. We have to be careful about what grows up in the garden of the mind; careful about what needs tending, feeding, and what needs cutting back. The quality of care is what makes a garden beautiful, as much as the particulars. Similarly, anytime you try to narrow things down to a particular definition- or when we try to make huge decisions- we get bogged down. It’s more beautiful to see with care how every small response is made, and how it makes a kaleidoscopic pattern.

And probably one of the most confusing. One of the most frequent questions I get from students is, “If I have a balanced, accepting attitude towards everything, won’t I become passive?” There is fear about becoming too accepting, and that balance is dull. What’s missing is the understanding that balance is completely alive. If it’s not alive, it’s not balance. Because balance requires constant adjustment.

The Pali word for equanimity is upekkha, which means “to look over.” It’s interesting because it suggests a larger view, and the larger view comes from being present in every single moment. Presence in every moment clarifies the larger pattern, the kaleidoscopic pattern. Interestingly, I’ve found that one way to see the whole of life clearly is to focus on one small point, not trying to take everything in. Somehow just looking at that one point, the whole world emerges. As William Blake said, “seeing the world in a grain of sand.” The “looking over” of equanimity can mean looking through that one point to everything, seeing the whole picture by looking closely and carefully at one point. Practicing equanimity we come to a point where we understand what the Taoists call the ten thousand joys and the ten thousand sorrows, because a beautiful balance comes into our lives. We see that through the sorrow, we can also have joy, and that without joy, our sorrows would be unbearable. We see that our lives become beautiful when they become balanced- when they are with the way things are rather than the way that small mind thinks it should be.  ~Gina Sharpe

it is a myth that sorrow is unreachable…..what is unreachable may be the depth of our delusion…..may equanimity be the light that burns…….

As we gamble on the future,
let’s stay clear: this moment
with all its presence is intact.
It is not up for grabs.

This moment for which I’ve
lived all others, for which
I’ve withstood the breakage
of all I know repeatedly,
this moment is germ-free
and not on trial.
You are welcome here
by permission only
and the alarm you cast
like a blind fisherman
will only snag my want
for tomorrow, only hook
what I do not have.
I know you mean to help
and I cannot deny
you are a bridge
I have to cross.
But where I live
cannot be staged
or stained or seen
as gross evidence.
Where I live
is impervious
to histology.
It is the one site
in the city that
will not burn.
And if you guide me
to tomorrow, I’ll
show you, as you
shake your head,
how I still glow
in this unbreachable
clearing I carry within
like a sun or rising star
protected by its rays.

~Mark Nepo

befriend a tender kiss

Now is the time to listen within,
tend our inner garden mindfully
until new flowers,
new blessings can blossom.
~Hermann Hesse

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