Translation: Translation doesn’t change something’s truth or existence, it simply uses different words to label it. Water is agua, or l’eau, in Spanish and French respectively but water is not changed by the use of various words. Similarly, we might call a habit, behavior, or set of thoughts by a new name but the habit has not been changed. It still exists. Translation is often used to approach a such ingrained patterns from a new angle, but also can be used to rationalize or condone. In society, translation has turned people into consumers, grief into an illness, and spiritual awakening into an option. Have you been using translation for your benefit or detriment?
Transmutation: Something mutating in Nature is generally an attempt at evolution. It is an experiment in refinement or exploration of new traits. Transmutation for people happens through refining aspects of a habit, belief, or set of thoughts. It is also engaged through experimenting with new modes of behavior or thought systems. Transmutation tends to offer improvement from a functional point of view which is a vital encouragement to the one experimenting. But more significant is the evaluation process of what is factually being refined or what has the experiment in foundational change produced? If there is benefit, being steadfast will tend to produce more and wider benefit. It is unlikely that no change or evolution in habit, belief, thoughts or behaviors has transpired. Assessment is best served through non-personalized thinking and factual reporting to one’s self rather than holding ultimate goals in one’s mind. Mountains are raised centimeters at a time. Eroded in the same way, too.
Transformation: A form is substantially changed with method. Alchemy has happened and will continue to bring forward results. Meditation is an example of a transformational practice. Meditation can foundationally refresh one’s sense of self, reality, and one’s participation in any (every) aspect of life. Getting and being pregnant is another example of transformation. Everything within and around one changes with this 40 week gestation. Then, as if those alchemical process of body, mind, emotions, and life intentions were not enough, a child is born into the world. Woman becomes mother, partner becomes father; and this child is dependent upon them for everything for the next two decades.
Transformation can be an internal process, unseen from the outside overall, or a demonstrative one like birth or death, going to college, getting a first job, or going through combat. Receiving a diagnosis of illness has the great potency of transformation within it. Those who engage themselves, lifestyle, spiritual Path processes, relationships, and inner relationship to one’s self with candor, openness, and discovery will tend to experience important and beneficial transformation.
A meditation and contemplation practice will assist all three: translation, transmutation, and transformation. They do so by being non-personal. If one is contemplating illness, a new child into the life, the ravages of war, or where one’s food came from, these musings include one but are larger than one. This is key. We can get self-absorbed in self-liberation processes!
Therefore, no matter what your New Year resolutions or intentions will be, add daily contemplation and meditation as support. Only benefit will come from it.
For the next number of days hold the three words and their meanings forefront in your mind. As this year completes, observe what you translate (unwilling to or not ready to change), and actively transmuting (refining and experimenting toward betterment), and transform (alchemically are in process of creating or re-creating).
graphic: Zen Mystery – Enso by Kancano on DeviantART