Saturday, January 23, 2010

Vanity = Insanity!

Well, not literally. But I have struggled with the notion of vanity versus spiritual development. As a person in society, and especially as a woman, you are judged on your appearance. And probably more frequently, you judge yourself. There are so many messages out there, billboards dripping with images of delicious food, svelte models and actors in magazines, advertisements for local fitness clubs; a mix of the healthy, unhealthy- and unattainable. And my personal favorite- women's magazines full of articles with healthy lifestyle tips and information; interspersed with seductive (and often detrimental) 'get thin quick' product ads.

On top of that, there are also many messages about what to wear, where to eat, hang out, and shop . . . even how to think. I would like to think I am not influenced much by hype and trends, but these messages can cumulatively become very powerful as they appeal to your ego and sense of self.

As I looked up Buddhist thoughts on vanity, I came across an interesting story from the time of the Buddha. This is the story of Khema, a beautiful woman who became enlightened upon witnessing the impermanence of beauty. (The link to Khema is interesting also because there are several detailed mythological accounts of female disciples of Buddha). 

So my best answer? Vanity is a futile pursuit in the face of impermanence. But do take care of yourself, feel free to maintain a self image appropriate to your lifestyle, and be healthy!! As Venerable Sik Ji Xing says, "If you are happy, you are healthy, If you are healthy, you are beautiful!"

May all beings be happy!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment! If you enjoyed this post, please share with others. -With Metta, Renata

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...