Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


in a grain of sand ~

sand grains

To see the world in a grain of sand…~ William Blake

This picture is an entire poem to me. It’s taken from a great website, featuring the photography of Dr. Gary Greenberg.

What do you see when you look at these tiny grains of Maui sand, photographed under a microscope? I see jewels. And having just spent a week on Maui, much of it on three quite different beaches, I can tell you: the sand is far more like velvet than jewels. Nary a piece of tri-cornered crystal to be found. Or any beautiful red pebbles, or crystalline flower pieces.

In fact, it all looked pretty much like the same ol’ same ol. Sand, that is. But this is what those velvety grains look like close up. And I am bedazzled by that metaphor.

You all know I’m nuts about metaphor. I would have done an entire dissertation on metaphor, had I thought of it (oh wait! I did! That’s what poetry is, isn’t it? :)). Because what metaphor teaches us is that everything connects. And for me? This single picture of approximately 30 ‘grains’ of sand is the perfect metaphor for almost anything.

Feeling like you’re one of the sheeple? That everyone follows the latest trend, and you can’t get out of the way? Examine the incredible differences here. Every one of those ‘sheep’ has beauty, individual beauty. Think you really have a clue what you’re seeing? It’s all an illusion, as Buddhism has been saying for centuries. That velvety sand actually has POINTS. And bright, vivid colours.

In other words, pay attention. Try to look verrry closely. Because what’s within the simplest things — a handful of sand — is beauty. And it’s all around us.



Previous Posts

choosing happy
Someone in my family -- probably either Aunt Bonnie or Grandmother Britton -- used to say that you choose to be happy. Each morning, she told me, you make that choice. It's a decision. So today? I'm choosing

posted 3:50:11pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

some periods you just breathe through...
At times like this, I don't know what I'd do w/out tonglen. When I'm grieving for a loved one's unhappiness, or breathing through my own, I remember: all over the world there is suffering. I know - how hokey is

posted 4:20:37pm Jan. 28, 2015 | read full post »

the fragrance of peaches
I wish I could send out, over the ethernet, the fragrance of the peach tea I made today. I wish there was a way to bottle the steam spiralling from the cup, comforting on a worrying day. Often when I worry, it

posted 12:11:07pm Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

with a little help from friends
You know that saying 'it takes a village'? Well, it does. For any endeavour worth remembering, it takes collaboration. Varied viewpoints, multiple hands, and a LOT of coordination. Witness my niece's shower. W

posted 5:00:00pm Jan. 25, 2015 | read full post »

talking to strangers
I know, your mother told you not to. But now you're a grown-up, and I beg you to reconsider. You're sooo missing out! Yesterday I had the loveliest conversation with two strangers -- two of the many I meet daily.

posted 10:30:46pm Jan. 23, 2015 | read full post »




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