The Magic of the Ordinary

Zen in particular, and mysticism in general, promotes the rediscovery of the obvious, which is so often lost in its familiarity and simplicity.  It sees the miraculous in the common and magic in our everyday surroundings.  When we are not rushed, and our minds are unclouded by conceptualizations, a veil will sometimes drop, introducing the viewer to a world unseen since childhood. There was a time, when, as children we inhabited a timeless world unmediated by the canned perceptions with which we were later inculcated.  Picasso once said that it took him four years to paint like Raphael, but it took him a lifetime to paint like a child. To see things in their original beauty, we must crack the shell of preconceptions with which adults are saddled. Zen has little to do with ideas, and its masters consistently point to the concrete.  We are surrounded by magic.  We literally have to go nowhere.

The photos offered below illustrate this idea. A sink full of dirty dishes and soapy water is something we hardly pay attention to, and get cleaned up and put away as fast as possible. But upon closer examination, the kind a child might pursue, there is a beauty and intricacy that is quite stunning in its beauty. Perhaps viewing these will peak your curiostity as to what else in our everyday routines is worth a second look.