Make it Beautiful
Despite what we have been told by self-interested parties, there is no intrinsic meaning in life. You are free. You can make of it whatever you want. I only have one request: whatever you do, whatever you create in your life, make it beautiful.
So far the human race has not made much that is beautiful. Our track record is pretty abysmal. Just look at the news, look at history. So many wars—not beautiful. Big banks price-fixing interest-rate swaps, foreclosing houses and robbing people of their life’s work—not beautiful. Suicide among young and middle-aged adults rose more than 30% over the last 12 years—not beautiful. More and more people are abusing, even shooting and killing their families before killing themselves—not beautiful.
Just walk down any street. The buildings are not well-sited; they are poorly designed. The architectural styles clash. The sidewalk is broken. Glaring signs offer this and that product that I don’t need or want. Ugly music blares from shops on distorted speakers. The noise of traffic is deafening.
Kids spend more than 12 years of their lives chained to a desk, learning useless stuff they will never use, dictated by government planners, just to socialize them. Then they spend the majority of their adult life working for some rich capitalist to make him richer. More and more wealth and power is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. The surveillance state grows more powerful every day; more and more ordinary acts are criminalized, more and more ordinary people treated like criminals, thrown in jail.
Stop! This is not beautiful!
Where I sit, it’s 4:30 AM. There’s a silver gibbous moon high in a clear sky full of stars. The world is silent except for the sounds of crickets and the perennial rush of a waterfall up the valley. The scents of pine, eucalyptus, wildflowers and recent rain mingle. I am in a small cabin—one of several, almost identical, scattered around the lush hillside in a forest monastery.
Soon the headmaster’s bell will ring, the monks will finish their morning meditation and head to the tea house for brown rice soup and jaggery. Soon the songbirds will begin their morning concert. The wood fires in the kitchen will emit fragrant smoke as breakfast is prepared. Another beautiful day has begun.
I have been awake for some time already, looking inward. There is so much light within, sparkling and blazing like the sun, but cooling as the moon. There is so much pleasure and satisfaction in this simple life. I have found something very beautiful here, and I am doing my best with whatever small talents I have to share it with anyone who cares.
The Buddha has created something very profound and beautiful. He found the cure for suffering just by looking into himself. Many have tested it, and it works. There is no need to suffer any more. No need take birth again. No need to be ugly, no need to destroy.
Please look into yourself and find something beautiful. Make it, do it, share it with the world.