Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
Excuses, excuses! We have a million of them; a million reasons why we haven’t started that project, why we haven’t made that commitment, why we’re waiting for the right moment. We stall our dreams waiting for the perfect moment… but what is perfection, really?
Perfection is progress. Perfection is evolution! Perfection is us embracing the wholeness of life. Many of us carry a heavy burden to be perfect in all aspects of our lives; to always do the right thing, make the right choice, use the right words, move in the right direction. But, perfection really isn’t the ultimate goal. Sometimes when we focus too much on the end result, we lose sight of the magnificent process of growth… of progress… continually moving in the direction of our goals while staying mindful of the steps we’re taking to get there.
Our lives are full of ups and downs, happiness and sadness, fear and courage. This process of back and forth, not just mindlessly living it but actually embracing it, IS PERFECTION! But it can be overwhelming, however, to embrace life when you’re struggling. That’s when you lean on your meditation practice to get you through, give you clarity, and help you move through difficult times with greater ease and grace.
I have created an arsenal of FREE meditations to help guide you through change, fear, overwhelm, despair, feeling stuck, and so much more. There are no more excuses! You can have a new meditation delivered to your inbox every week by joining the Sweetspot Community here.
So, this week let’s embrace the good with the bad and focus on progress, evolution and leaning in the direction of our dreams!!! In the meantime, I’ll see you in the gap.
Studying the Process of Progress Toward Perfection
If you’d like to dive deeper into studying the process of progress toward perfection (in the sense of becoming the best version of yourself possible), the Six Perfections of Buddhism is just one of the many ancient teachings we study intensively in my Masters of Wisdom & Meditation Teacher Training. They are:
Perfection of Generosity
Generosity is a true generosity of spirit, giving from sincere desire to benefit others, without expectation of reward or recognition. There must be no selfishness attached. Even charity work done to “feel good about myself” is not true generosity.
Perfection of Morality
Buddhist morality is not about unquestioning obedience to a list of rules. Yes, there are precepts, but the precepts are something like training wheels. They guide us until we find our own balance and develop selfless compassion. Along the way we practice renunciation and gain an appreciation for karma.
Perfection of Patience
The Buddhist word ksanti is patience, tolerance, forbearance, endurance, or composure. It literally means “able to withstand.” It is said there are three dimensions to ksanti: the ability to endure personal hardship; patience with others; and acceptance of truth.
The perfection of ksanti begins with acceptance of the Four Noble Truths.
Perfection of Energy
Perfection of energy is about making a courageous, heroic effort to realize enlightenment. To practice this, we first develop our own character and courage. We engage in spiritual training. And then we dedicate our fearless efforts to the benefit of others.
Dhyana (meditation – the 7th limb of yoga according to Patanjali) is a discipline intended to cultivate the mind. Dhyana also means a deeper awareness of oneness, which is inclusive of perception of body, mind, senses and surroundings, yet remaining unidentified with it.
Perfection of Wisdom
Wisdom is the direct and intimate realization emptiness, and that all phenomena are without self-essence. This wisdom cannot be understood by intellect alone. So how do we understand it? Through the practice of the other perfections — generosity, morality, patience, energy, and meditation.
These profound virtues, that when studied and used to cultivate the best versions of ourselves, can help us make a powerful shift in our lives for the better. If you’d like to learn more about the Six Perfections and other ancient, timeless teachings consider joining my next teacher training. You can read about the program HERE, or you can email my teacher liaison, Nancy, at nancy [at] davidji [dot] com with any questions about the curriculum.
Online classes being June 2017.