🐢🪄 Issue #3: Nesting Beauty
Several months ago, I started learning how to code. While going through the material on JS and python, I found the idea of nesting functions challenging, yet intriguing.
This concept of nesting seemed parallel to the layering of many facets in our lives whether it’s us as humans on a personal level, our relationships, places we live in or experiences we have.
Throughout this past year, I have embraced the habit of meditating on a daily basis. At first, it might have been one of the most uncomfortable things I have done. Being with myself, my thoughts, my breathing was so foreign to me that I felt anxious doing it. It was almost paradoxical that meditating was causing me such anxiety.
But as time passed, slowly it was as if I was one of those nesting dolls (Matryoshka dolls) opening up each shell of myself as I got to that quiet core.
Unlike Matryoshka dolls though, the opening up of the shells is not finite.
Some days are easier than others. And some days, the doll is a giant that refuses to be opened so you just accept it and let her be.
This happens in our relationships too. Whether we let others into our nest and whether others let us in is how authentic, loving and trusting that relationship will be.
Sometimes, we are so fixated on preserving that outer shell that it may help us to explore the beauty that surrounds us and marvel over their layers. This can help us in our journey into ourselves.
What I am describing here is what’s known as Yūgen in Zen buddhism.
According to Zeami Motokiyo, the renowned Japanese playwright and theorist (born 1363 - died 1443), the concept of Yugen can be described as the following ->
"To watch the sun sink behind a flower clad hill. To wander on in a huge forest without thought of return. To stand upon the shore and gaze after a boat that disappears behind distant islands. To contemplate the flight of wild geese seen and lost among the clouds. And, subtle shadows of bamboo on bamboo."
In the book, How To Be Weird, the author Eric G. Wilson further expands on this principle of Yugen:
“ This is the essence of yūgen: there is always a beyond, and beyond that, another beyond, and beyond that, another, and so on, forever. Doors open to doors, deeps to deeps. “Enough” is illusion; ‘more,’ only, is real.”
What I truly love about this concept of yūgen is that as we get absorbed into the layers of the beyond, and the doors leading to other doors; I think that maybe we realize we are also part of this much bigger spectacle rather than separate from it.
Maybe our inner nesting dolls are just as infinite and sublime as the world that surrounds them.
Quote that stuck with me this week:
“To remain stable is to refrain from trying to separate yourself from a pain because you know that you cannot. Running away from fear is fear, fighting pain is pain, trying to be brave is being scared. If the mind is in pain, the mind is pain. The thinker has no other form than his thought. There is no escape.”
― Alan Wilson Watts
Tweets that I found powerful:
I found this idea of being ‘at rest in the uncertainty of the present moment’ to be quite intriguing.
This concept of ‘reverse’ forgiveness is such a beautiful way to deal with those that we love and care about in our lives.