Let's Say Goodbye to Perfection
Do you ever find yourself worrying that you’re not measuring up to a yardstick of perfection? Whether we’re talking about our meditation practice or just things we want to accomplish, it can be easy to get frustrated and discouraged if we don’t hit the impossible goal of perfection. How can we take smaller steps to cultivate compassion for ourselves and others while accepting ourselves and our capacities?
Below are three ways to combat perfection and be kinder to ourselves.
Doing Shamata allows us to surrender into each breath. It helps us to accept ourselves one moment at a time in our current capacity. Saying a positive affirmation such as “I’m building capacity” or “I am both the wave and the ocean” can help build ease. Remember that your essence is the same as the whole ocean and let that ground you. If you can’t start by feeling the essence of divinity that you really are, then start from the point of being part of the whole ocean. Savor the beauty and complete connectedness that is love.
Tonglen can help us expand our ability to feel compassion. Entering into the meditation with that in mind creates a different experience from expecting ourselves to meditate for 20 minutes with no thoughts. If we can have a goal of simply being quiet enough and not outward facing, then we hear what our inner voice knows is right for us in our lives. This knowledge allows us to bring forth the most important thing we have to offer the world – compassion.
We get into meditation to be better, happier people. The Buddhist view is that the best intention for meditation is that it’s for the benefit of others, not self. If we start with that yardstick and intention, we are able to ground ourselves and our intention to the whole ocean and not just our wave.
If we truly examine why we meditate, it might not be so that we can be perfect, but rather that we may have help with the challenging interactions we have with the people we love, and with building compassion and our resources.