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seeing my/self

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“To love is first of all to accept yourself as you actually are. ‘Knowing yourself’ is the first practice of love.” –Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Zen monk and teacher.

dscf5288.jpgHow many photos of yourself have you deleted as “not good”? How many time have we heard someone say “I hate having my picture taken”? How often have I sucked in my belly while walking past someone I wanted to look attractive to. In an experiment of cutting through some of these delusions, I asked a photographer friend to take a series of images in black and white: on film, not digitally. I dscf5306.jpgwanted to see this body naked, without adornments, props, or distracting background. I want to get to know it as it is. 

“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” C.G.Jung (1875-1961), Swiss psychiatrist and mythologist.

source: Nhat Hanh, T. (1998). Teachings on love. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press. p.30; see also my post of September 4th.

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4 responses »

  1. What a brave and important step towards learning to cherish this sacred vehicle that houses your soul!

    Reply
  2. The physical body is only one part of who we really are.
    The energy that flows through us, our spirit, is what I am the most attracted to. The physical body ages and declines but the spirit can go on forever —

    Reply
  3. exactly, dawne. but (for me) knowing and saying it intellectually is one thing … some things I need to experience through testing and trying.

    Reply
  4. It is hard to look in the mirror;to see the age in my face, my body. In the reflection, I see a stranger there – or my mother – my father – my grandmother!
    “The bathroom mirror holds my face, naked after the shower. I look. Hard. What a mystery. Is there something else? A glimmer of past lives? Those who came before me? I see the wrinkles, the sagging flesh, the freckles and wonder about the unknown story as my life unfolds and leaves behind.”

    Reply

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