Avoidance Culture

Look at this picture! Don't you wish you could be as peaceful and perfect as this? Wouldn't your life be set if you could sit in the forest all day doing nothing? Permanently transcended from all pain, all suffering, all sadness. Ah, what a life!





THIS IS SUCH A DANGEROUS LIE!!! Perfection isn't what you think it is! Perfection is also imperfection. Peace is also disruption. They can't exist without the other. How would you know perfection if you found it without experiencing imperfection? How could you know imperfection without knowing there is something better? How can you appreciate and recognize peace without understanding violence?


We tend to look at images like this and automatically misinterpret. Don't worry, it's normal! And I think it is the result of taking things at face-value. That's what a photo is, right? A snapshot of the surface-level, the visible. Of one instant. One perspective. One thing. It's very hard to capture depth and complexity in one frame and that's what elevates a good photograph to the level of art!


It may appear to you that I feel rather serene here despite my legs being twisted into the form of a Bavarian pretzel. I was actually wondering how long I could hold my legs like that. How much longer until my husband, Nick, got the photo?

My mind sounded something like this, "Do I look peaceful? Am I concentrating too hard? Be one with nature. Breathe. Ow my leg! Am I vain for taking a picture? This is gonna be such a cool picture." To the normal viewer, this image seems to portray peace. But to an experienced meditator or yogi, they will understand, through their own experience with the lotus posture and with meditation, the pain, discomfort, and restlessness that is not in view, but is inevitably present in passing waves. You see, there is so much we don't get if we stay focused on the exterior- the surface.