“When we recognize the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh
Think about your first kiss.
Do you remember the excitement? The butterflies, the amazement, the feeling of someone else’s lips on yours?
Do you remember the intensity and the beauty of it all, or has the vividness faded?
A kiss is just one of many examples in which we seem to lose the amazement of the moment after it happens.
It happens when we get excited about a beautiful new outfit, but some weeks later it’s just not as interesting anymore, or with a delicious cup of coffee in the morning, but because it’s part of our daily routine it doesn’t get the same appreciation it used to.
It even happens with bigger themes in our lives, like when we work our way toward our dream job, house, and relationship, but once we are there and have lived our dream for a while, some of us get bored or even frustrated.
Over time, when things are not so new anymore, we tend to take them for granted. We become desensitized to the magic that is happening around us all the time.
But wouldn’t it be nice if we could learn how to get that initial feeling of appreciation back?
One simple technique that I find helpful is called transfiguration, which comes from the Tantric Yoga tradition.
Transfiguration means being able to see the divine, and thus the beauty, in everything and everyone.
Transfiguration teaches us to see beyond the obvious, beyond the way someone looks, and beyond the beliefs we have about a person or situation. It helps us look through someone else’s eyes and see the divine essence that lies within us all.
That sounds pretty wonderful, right? Here are three tips to get us started on using transfiguration:
1. Decide that you will see the world as a divine play. By making the conscious decision that you will see the world from this perspective, your mental framework will change and start to explain the happenings around you accordingly. When we deliberately choose to see every spider web as a divine creation and every human interaction as a heavenly dance, we will not only appreciate the obvious beauty in this world, but also the more unpleasant side, like when we walk home in a freezing cold rain, or even when we are arguing with another person and we find it hard to sympathize.
2. Use affirming thoughts to remind yourself that you and all the people around you are divine beings. This step will reinforce the efforts you took in step number one and will offer support in interpersonal relationships. For example, when we are in a romantic relationship for a long time, our expectations based on our previous experiences (e.g. “he never does this” or “she always does that”) can stand in the way of seeing all the amazing things our loved ones are capable of. Seeing your loved one as divine in this very same moment, however, opens up the communication.
At the same time, while seeing everyone and everything else as pure magic, let’s not forget that we are part of this play as well, and that we are just as godly as everyone else. For some people, this part of the deal might actually be the most difficult. Meditation, personal mantras, or writing these thoughts down can be helpful tools to make them stick in your mind throughout the day.
3. Become aware of any thoughts or feelings that naturally occur when you use transfiguration, and let them pass. Of course our brains will struggle with this new mindset for a while, but that’s nothing to worry about. Maybe you will notice, just like me, that you grew up with different teachings and that transfiguration is not what you are used to. But this is exactly why it is important to keep correcting the mind in a gentle manner, and eventually it will adjust to the practice as normal.
Now, with all this information, let’s challenge ourselves into making transfiguration a daily practice. Let’s enjoy the results transfiguration will bring us, and go back to seeing all the beauty that is dancing right in front of our eyes.
Author: Tessa Dongelmans
Image: Ariel Quiroz/Flickr
Editor: Emily Bartran
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Travis May
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