A Delicate Transformation

Baudelaire – 1855

The marvelous envelops
and saturates us
like the atmosphere;
but we fail to see it.


The following quote is from the Parisian Gentleman a site I stumbled upon when searching on-line for instructions on how to do invisible mending. Their Journal post yesterday titled The Theory of How to Wear a Suit  caught my attention. At first it was the writing style  dry wit,  and fastidious attention to detail, that had me transfixed.   And somewhat bemused at entering into a totally alien realm of smart clothing, for men. Rev. Master Jiyu encouraged natural pride (in one’s appearance) and I do believe she would have given thumbs up to what is written here.

When we give the art of dressing well the attention it deserves, we move into the midst of an inner transformation, and this inner shift is a delicate transformation to manage.

It’s great to find a way to present ourselves well with clothing and finally (sartorially speaking) experience the feeling of self-approval. Yet, achieving self-approval poses a risk, as too much self-approval can convert into an ego explosion which annihilates the goal of ‘looking good’ as haughty and proud behavior can turn a person into a human atrocity.

Perhaps it’s better to say that understanding the art of dressing well opens the door to a more profound emotion created by beauty itself, and when we dress and leave our homes and feel surrounded within the vapor of beauty (created from somewhere within ourselves), we get a fleeting glimpse of the eternal.

As Baudelaire said, “all forms of beauty, like all possible phenomena, have something eternal and something transitory — an absolute and a particular element”. But perhaps even more striking is Baudelaire’s epiphany, “The marvelous envelops and saturates us like the atmosphere; but we fail to see it.”

And with all this time to recover from the cold I caught in Latvia I’ve been able to mend my treasured monastic, 100% wool coat, which had been attacked by a moth while my back was turned. Always good to be turned out sans moth holes! Thank you Rev. Master for your teaching.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 thoughts on “A Delicate Transformation”

  1. Rev. Mugo,
    I have just listened to your two talks you gave while staying at
    Shasta Abbey. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!! In much
    appreciation. Then I discover your Web page. I am part of the great family of Shasta Abbey since 1996 and Rev. Master Daishin Yalon’s diciple.
    Again Thank you for your words.
    In Deep Bow of gratitude.

    1. Welcome aboard Nuria. So glad you found Jade. Please do leave a comment from time to time if moved to do so. I find comments really encouraging of my keeping going with this blog. We must have at least passed in the cloister at Shasta…..

  2. Dear Rev,

    Thank you so much for this post and all the posts. I keep thinking of the courage to live in Latvia and how truly the eternal envelopes us all wherever we go. This reminds me to see this eternal within my homeless friends on our streets and that they are clothed in the eternal too no matter the smell or the garments. May i see this in them today.
    Grateful , colette

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.