Mantis and Hibiscus Paintings by Chao Shao-an from A Study of Chinese Paintings. See a larger version of this painting.
Harmony with Oneself, Others and the Universe
Welcome to Part 3 of our series on Harmony. In part one we covered Harmony with Oneself, focusing on self acceptance and the allowing of one's desires. In part two, we covered Harmony with Others and discovered a shortcut noting that achieving harmony with oneself has the side effect of encouraging harmony with others.
In this last part, we discuss Harmony with the Universe.
The Search for God is an Internal Search
From the Quest for the Holy Grail to Raiders of the Lost Ark, there is a long and rich history of stories that symbolize the search for God. Almost all of them make the same mistake. They paint the search for God as an external search. Like there is some place, or some object where the presence of God resides.
I have personally made this same mistake, actually spending almost a decade of my life on an external quest for a meaningful connection with the Universe. In the end, what I discovered is that the secret to Harmony with the Universe was inside of me the whole time. It just required calming myself and listening for the small, still voice inside of myself.
The Larger You
When it comes to understanding who we are, I like to refer to the small you and the big You. The small you is your mind's idea of who you are. This can also be called your ego. The larger You is eternal and shares such an intimate connection with the Universe that You can be considered a single being made up of many beautiful and unique parts. When the small you is unaware of the connection to the big You, you feel lonely, broken and incomplete. When you become aware of this connection, you feel peace, joy and harmony.
Harmony with the Universe is quite simple. Become aware and prioritize remembering the connection to the big You.
- Refrain from self criticism. Instead of being hard on yourself and thinking of things in terms of right or wrong, think of things in terms of cause and effect. This way you can make the changes you want to make but spare yourself the disharmony of self criticism
- Choose good feeling thoughts. Every thought that you think is an act of creation. Thoughts are energy and you can tell what kind of energy the thoughts are creating by how you feel. Learn to choose good feeling thoughts the same way you would choose nice looking clothes.
- Prioritize activities that encourage a quiet, calm mind. This could be painting, calligraphy, meditation, listening prayer, yoga, tai chi, or taking walks in nature
- Remember these things: you are beloved; you are one with the Universe; everything is unfolding exactly as it should; in the broadest view, life is a beautiful painting.