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Contemplating a Cottonwood


This spring the cottonwood tree in my yard has been unusually fecund. An incredible amount of white, cottony fuzz has been floating in the air around my house. In one location, it even formed a drift several inches high.

When I first saw all this, I felt a vague annoyance: it spelled work. Cleanup. More stuff to take care of.

Then I looked again, this time more mindfully. I was able to see how beautiful the airy dance of these sprites was. You could say it reminded of snow, but it is actually much lighter, much more easily carried by the faintest breeze.

The first way of seeing was a Self way of seeing. I only saw how the dance of the cotton affected me, what it might mean to me, how it might inconvenience me. The second way of seeing was what in Buddhism is called a Non-Self way of seeing. When I saw it with Non-Self eyes, I could see the beauty.

To say it another way, but with the same import, Beauty is Reality seen with eyes of Love.

The Non-Self, eyes of Love way of seeing is much more satisfying.

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