Walking in Beauty

As I walk, as I walk
The universe is walking with me
In beauty it walks before me
In beauty it walks behind me
In beauty it walks below me
In beauty it walks above me
Beauty is on every side
As I walk, I walk with beauty.

Traditional Navajo Prayer

How do you see the world? Is it full of ugliness or is it full of beauty? A stunningly beautiful sunset was pointed out to a troubled young man some years ago, and his response was, "If you’ve seen one sunset, you’ve seen ‘em all." It was a remarkable statement, not just in its utter falseness, but in that it revealed how cut off from the outer world this young person was. He was incapable of walking in beauty. It surrounded him, but he could not see it.

How like that young man are we though? How well do we experience the beauty around us? As we rush from one obligation to another, do we attend to the beauty of our world? What would it be like to walk in beauty all the time? What would be required of us?

When we walk in beauty we are connected. The universe walks with us. We are in our place and we are aware of the beauty around us. Our eye may be caught by the colorful flower, but we must direct our attention to it to recognize its beauty. So there is an exchange between the beautiful and the witness to the beauty. It is said, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." We must be awake to recognize beauty. We must have our eyes open to the world to see its beauty.

Recognition of beauty is an act of love. When our hearts are open to love, the world is more beautiful. When we are overcome by hate, all we see is ugliness. When the world looks beautiful to us, it is a sign that we are in a harmonious relationship with the universe. Let us then prepare ourselves to walk in beauty.

Where there is disharmony, let us create harmony.
Where there is falsehood, let us bear truth.
Where there is imperfection, let us bring wholeness.
Where there is cluttered complexity, let us draw out simplicity.
Where there is dishonesty, let us act of integrity.
Let us cultivate beauty in our surroundings.
Let us bring forth the beauty in our minds.
May we open to the beauty in our hearts
May we perceive the beauty in our souls.

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© 2002 Tom Barrett