In the literary works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and William Wordsworth, a monumental literature legacy rests on undeveloped human emotions, nature and spirituality. Subsequently, The Heart of Zen Meditation heightens the virtues of one’s own faith and/or spirituality. “The Birthmark,” one of Hawthorne’s best-known short stories highlights the power of nature, reminding us of mortality in every living thing. Gilman’s, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” hinges on a woman’s lack of psychological stability. The story slowly aligns the narrator and its readers to one another, where the narrator carefully shapes what we know and think about her. Wordsworth’s poetic project, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” emphasizes human desire(s), feeling(s) and instinct(s) using nature as a naked symbolism of man’s dignity. Through the literary works of these writers, poems and short stories rests on the foundation of nature.
“The Birthmark,” written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, tells the story of a scientist, who is obsessed with the removal of his wife’s birthmark, for him, symbolizing “earthly imperfection” (Hawthorne 467). The story raises moralistic values and questions about nature versus science. Idealistically, “The Birthmark” is told in a subjective voice, and at every moment we know what the narrator is thinking. The narrator explains every metaphor and symbol, for example, “At all the seasons which should have been their happiest, he invariably and without intending it, […], reverted to this one disastrous topic. Trifling as it at first appeared, it so connected itself with innumerable trains of thought and modes of feeling that it became the central point of all” (Hawthorne 468). Much like his other works, Hawthorne uses lyrical language to highlight that nature itself is more powerful than any manmade, scientific creation. According to the narrator, Aylmer’s misinterpretation of the birthmark on his wife’s face leads him to believe that the birthmark represents Georgiana’s spiritual imperfections; although, two-dimensional characters lacking depth, Hawthorne’s characters function as symbolic themes (Aylmer as a symbol of science and Georgiana as a symbol of untouched nature), nature versus science.
In the popular, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the story draws upon every inch of imagination and stability. The story’s language is excessive, excessive enough to reach the darkest depths of insanity. The narrator’s confinement descends readers into madness as she grows more disordered and trapped within the wallpaper. In “The Yellow Wallpaper,”
William Wordsworth’s most famous, beloved poem, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” generates a fluid expression of the joy and unity between nature and man; with his revolutionary style and themes, Wordsworth’s language and imagery beautifully ascend towards ordinary language, embodying a rhythmic expression of natural feeling. Wordsworth’s metaphorical imagery intertwines spirituality (as in the poem illustrates the daffodils as angels and stars) and natural scenery.
The meditative benefits of The Heart of Zen Meditation are an awakening in its own. While the practice is “traditionally understood as a means of awakening and cultivating the twin Buddhist virtues of wisdom and compassion” (The Heart of Zen Meditation), the experience is remarkably powerful. The nature and spiritual reflection of one’s life is astonishing and unforgettable.
The idea that a monumental literature legacy rests on undeveloped human emotions, nature and spirituality is beautifully represented throughout the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and William Wordsworth. These writers do not fail in their ability to portray such imagery in their writings. Is it in this that The Heart of Zen Mediation relates to these literary works; where there is nature, there is reflection.