Bonus: this is also fundamental to ikebana—Japanese Flower Arranging, a meditation-in-action: Ikebana: Japanese Flower Arranging, a Contemplative Art or Meditation-in-Action.
Waylon demonstrates how to use natural hierarchy to uplift your life without being uptight.
Many of us have an expectation that spirituality should be pleasant, pretty, affirming. It can be. But it can also be tough, scary, uncomfortable.
What it is, most fundamentally, is natural. In harmony with Nature, we learn to abide by its laws. Like a tree, we connect with the earth, below. We are nurtured by its stabilizing presence. Like a tree, we connect with the sky above, reaching up and out, enjoying the warm sun and the rain. Like a tree, our strength is in our shoulders, our chest. It is there that our heart warms, that friendship happens, that society arises.
We practice connecting all three properly in the bow. Head, to heart, down to earth, and back up again.
Below: Lu. Above: Lha. In between, Nyen. Our spirituality, here, is formal. Not uptight, not another reason to guilt-trip ourselves. But it demands an observant respect for the natural laws. We don’t mix the three—putting our hat on the ground, or our feet on a table, or the book or our clothes on the floor. We honor each, placing them properly. Like remembering to turn off a light switch, that mindfulness itself provides helpful reference points of dignity and presence throughout our life.
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Editor/Photo: Rachel Nussbaum