I was rushing off to the cafe to get some work done this morning and was arrested by a particularly beautiful rose. I tiptoed over wet grass to smell it. Suddenly I was nowhere but in front of that rose with my head filled with it's sweet spicy smell. And it dawned on me that Beauty can be the key to the calm awareness that I find so hard to maintain. Until that second I had not been present in my body nor in my environment (spinning plans of the day and working through problems in my head) but I was seduced into the present moment by the beauty of that flower.
One of the keys of practicing Ayurveda is allowing ourselves to learn from our body. It is pretty difficult to understand what our body needs without being in the present moment. In our hectic worlds we don't tend to cultivate the skill of presence and self awareness. We need help to get out of our mental constructions and into a state where we can be objective. Beauty is there to guide us back to the present moment and our place in it.
Beauty gives us a chance to breathe and enjoy simply for the pure benefits of feeling enjoyment in our body. Allowing ourselves to experience enjoyment for a few moments everyday is an easy sort of meditation practice.
Allowing ourselves to feel simple pleasures counters the worry and over activity of modern life. Chintta, or stress and overthinking, is a causative factor for so many diseases and disorders (mainly of Vata origin). Contemplation of beauty is a good way to counter chintta. Ayurveda also prescribes the contemplation of beauty to counter-balance excess Pitta. And if we allow ourselves to be a little bit creative we might use the pursuit of beauty to inspire Kapha to to be more active and engaged in the world (thus balancing negative Kapha tendencies).
So let us consider beauty to be tridoshic (balancing all 3 doshic imbalances), without side effects and thus good for everyone when taken in moderate, daily doses.