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Freedom from beauty
December 13th, 2012 (December 16th, 2012)
Freedom from beauty

There is a classic exercise in Buddhism to work against lust for flesh, which is to imagine what's beneath.

If you are attracted to someone, does the attraction remain when imagining the blood, pus, organs and fat, digested food and waste? Visualising the inside does not limit that person to what's 'repugnant,' but it stops you from focusing on what's attractive while forgetting what's not so attractive: it aims at some balance, it aims at the reality "as it is", complete rather than one-sided.

There is no denying that beauty can be found. But beauty is dependently co-arising… It never exists independently (of a context, of how it is used, of the 'taste' of the observer, etc.). Moreover, it is impermanent, and its impermanence is a cause (among others) of suffering.

There is no denying that beauty can be found. But there is suffering in enslaving oneself to beauty, in isolating it and putting it on a pedestal, in worshipping it, craving for it…

There is beauty. There also is freedom from beauty.

Freedom does not deny beauty (it can even find it in what's usually perceived as lacking of it —as this exercise can be 'reversed'), but it does not let a lust for beauty (in yourself, or in others) choose your life for you.

So here is an "awareness practice": before making a decision about anything, be vigilant and question whether you're aware of what's 'beautiful' and what's not! If you see only one side, keep looking and enquiring until you see some nuance.
This does not mean "everything is comparable", or "there is no right or wrong" i.e. 'relativism'. It does not say you will find beauty and ugliness in similar amounts. It only asks you to see some level of grey, not in black and white. Black and white is the mark of a simplified projection of your mind.

"Too good to be true" means exactly that! Pay attention: don't make yourself believe that something "too good to be true" is true… You're more clever than that!

#Buddhism   #Dharma   #buddhistcircle  
by Māra Mascaro:
Can you look beneath the surface? What do you see?

by Fernando Vicente