Yuugen


I love how there are words in different languages that are hard to translate and you need a long paragraph to express in one language what another language expresses in one character.  (Intentionally long sentence to reflect the point).  One such word is one that I learned yesterday morning in my meditation podcast from Calm.  It is a Japanese word…Yuugen… According to the podcast, it means “an awareness of the universe that triggers emotional responses that are too mysterious and deep for words.”  

Bracketing this meditation were two experiences of this exact thing – one from something incredibly tiny and the other overwhelmingly large.  Both from the same place.  The tiny was a droplet of water hanging from a sunflower petal that I was able to photograph in perfect focus.  Once I downloaded the image, I was able to see the reflection of another sunflower leaf.  It wasn’t simply the droplet hanging from the leaf but also the leaf within the droplet.  It literally was a “breath away” moment when I first saw the image.  Then, about 36 hours later, I was a the same place near the same sunflower and seeing this stunning sunset.  I don’t own a super wide-angle lens so I had to stitch 24 photos together into this single image to try to show the breadth of what my wife and I were taking in last night.  Again, a “breath away” moment.  

There are times in life where these moments just happen and when they do, it is a beautiful and wondrous thing.  But I am learning more and more that it helps to set myself up to experience these moments.  For me, it is being outside in nature.  For someone else, it might be a regular visit to an art museum.  For another it might be reading poetry daily.  Others might experience this in music.  And I am sure there are countless other ways.  But if we want these moments, seeking them out helps us find them.  Maybe that’s some of what the words in Jeremiah 29:13:

When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart…

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