Appreciation

“Meditation is almost, we could say, aesthetic appreciation. It means awareness of your own body, awareness of things around you, awareness of the world’s various colors, awareness of people’s different styles. There’s room for everything that comes up. Everything is treated reverently, respectfully. Nothing is regarded as rubbish. Even the garbage heap is a work of art. Things have their own place. This is meditation in the broader sense. Both the relevant and the irrelevant are appreciated, so you don’t have to economize on your time and energy. Because of that, everything becomes an object of meditation. You take tremendous interest in people’s different approaches, the different physical situations of objects around you, and the different emotional states within yourself. For a bodhisattva, the whole thing is constantly meaningful and workable.

Aesthetic appreciation does not mean looking for beauty alone. It means looking at things with space around them. When things are seen with space around them, they have their own pictorial quality, so to speak. Things are seen in perspective rather than as representing demands or expectations. So a bodhisattva makes a wonderful audience for the theatre of life and death. This is meditation. Meanwhile, the bodhisattva takes part in the play, so the whole thing does not become merely a matter of impersonal observation.”

~ Chögyam Trungpa