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Walk in Beauty (Part II)

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

In Beauty, I walk

With Beauty before me, I walk

With Beauty behind me, I walk

With Beauty above me, I walk

With Beauty around me, I walk

It has become Beauty again

It has become Beauty again

It has become Beauty again

It has become Beauty again[1]

Hózhó is a complex wellness philosophy and belief system offering principles that guide one's thoughts, actions, behaviors, and speech. The teachings of Hózhó are imbedded in the Hózhóójí Nanitiin (Diné traditional teachings) given to the Diné by the holy female deity Yoołgaii Asdzáá (White Shell Woman) and the Diné holy people (sacred spiritual Navajo deities).

Hózhó philosophy emphasizes that humans can self-realize through responsible thought, speech, and behavior, much like the Buddha's eightfold path. Likewise, Hózhó acknowledges that humans can self-destruct by thinking, speaking, and behaving irresponsibly.

As such, the Hózhó philosophy emphasizes critical elements of moral and behavioral conduct necessary for long healthy life, the importance of relationships, and "developing one's body, mind, soul, spirit and honoring all life."[2]

As I've studied Hózhó, I've found echoes of the Buddhist idea that all is mind. Or, the Vedic notion that there is no separation between the seeing and the seen--no subject, no object, just One.

I recall forty years ago driving across the vast Navajo Nation, in the middle of nowhere, I'd see a person just sitting, in their vehicle, or not, looking at the landscape. Indeed, Navajo lands are Grand Canyon country, high mountains, deep canyons, plateaus, and mesas, a vastness that is at once awesome and fearsome. Grandiloquently, the landscape expresses God's creation beautifully yet threatens to swallow you up at every instant. It is just like life and just like death. Here in this beautiful instant and then instantaneously gone!

When I mentioned my observations of natives just sitting and staring to a Navajo acquaintance, he explained they were taking in the Beauty, in a sense, imprinting on their minds. I didn't know enough to ask if they were meditating or something akin to the practice. Today, I suspect so.

Whether meditation or not, it seems like a good practice to just sit still and let the grandeur of eternal creation imprint itself on one's mind, seep into one's marrow, and fill one's heart.

A Buddhist might say, "I am not the Cosmic Buddha, but all of me is of the Cosmic Buddha." A Christian or Muslim might say something similar, "I am not God, but all that I am is of God."

How a Navajo would express it, I don't know. Maybe . . . "I walk in Beauty. Beauty walks in me."


[1] Navajo:

Hózhóogo naasháa doo

Shitsijí’ hózhóogo naasháa doo

Shikéédéé hózhóogo naasháa doo

Shideigi hózhóogo naasháa doo

T’áá altso shinaagóó hózhóogo naasháa doo

Hózhó náhásdlíí'

Hózhó náhásdlíí'

Hózhó náhásdlíí'

Hózhó náhásdlíí'

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