Attuning to Beauty

by Peter Saint-Andre


When describing recently my practice of daily forethought, I mentioned that every day I try to attune myself to the beauty of the world around me. This might sound pompous and grandiose because often we associate beauty only with the fine arts, but for me it's much more practical and prosaic. Here are some of the activities I engage in toward this end:

I also read a few poems and listen to lots of music.

Although we tend to think of beauty as just one quality, in fact there are many different kinds of beauty. In his book The Importance of Living, Lin Yutang lists a number of them:

There may be beauty of whimsicality and waywardness, beauty of rugged strength, beauty of massive power, beauty of spiritual freedom, beauty of courage and dash, beauty of romantic charm, beauty of restraint, beauty of soft gracefulness, beauty of austerity, beauty of simplicity and "stupidity," beauty of mere regularity, beauty of swiftness, and sometimes even beauty of affected ugliness.

So yes, beauty is all around us if only we know how to attune ourselves to it.

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