Meditation is about seeing clearly the body that we have, the mind that we have, the domestic situation that we have, the job that we have, and the people who are in our lives. It’s about seeing how we react to all of these things. It’s seeing our emotions and thoughts just as they are right now, in this very moment, in this very room, on this very seat. It’s about not trying to make them go away, not trying to become better than we are, but just seeing clearly with precision and gentleness. – The Wisdom Of No Escape, Pema Chodron.
I have been reading self-help books, meditating, and doing yoga for a number of years now.
My family and friends always comment on the fact that I read all of these self-help books, I meditate, and I do yoga, but I don’t actually apply any of the teachings to my life.
What they mean by that statement is that even though I have all of these learnings about being Zen and a better human being inside me, I am still the imperfect, impulsive, quick-to-anger, crazy person I always was. I haven’t improved in any discernible manner. I still fight with the people I love. I still spew out harsh words when I am angry or upset or sad. I still have wild swings of temper and mood depending on the time of the month. I am still wild, impulsive, spontaneous and inconsistent. I am still unreliable, and untrustworthy. I am still interested in many thing, and trying new things all the time.
If I was truly taking in the teachings of these Zen masters, I would be calm, serene, and perfect.
I would never raise my voice, I would never insult anyone, I would do everything I promised I would do, I would be consistent. In fact, I would be some sort of Buddha.
In reality, I am far from being Buddha – I am far from being a perfect human being. I am as imperfect as they come.
These comments made me wonder – why am I so imperfect when I can see others around me are calm and serene and doing the same thing year in and year out? Why can’t I be like them, I wondered? What is wrong with me, I thought to myself? I wondered if all of my practice of yoga, meditation and reading was absolutely useless. I wondered if I should give it all up as it obviously isn’t helping, and even might be hindering my progress by making me feel inadequate.
The universe couldn’t take my self-pity anymore and decided to send me the book written by Pema Chodron called ‘The Wisdom Of No Escape.’ I saw the quote that I have included in the beginning of this post and I understand a little bit better why I meditate, do yoga and read these self-help books.
It isn’t so that I become a better human being, but so that I understand myself better and become more compassionate towards who I am.
To be more true to my authentic self. The greatest goal in my life has always been to learn more and more about myself – my triggers, my aspirations, my dreams, my motivations.
You might think that it is easy to truly know yourself, but I know from my own experience, that the influences of society, loved ones, and media is so strong, that it is quite easy to forget yourself in the hullabaloo. Reading the quote above and the book by Pema Chodron makes me feel a little bit more compassionate towards myself.
I am not beating myself up everyday because I am flawed. And when others beat me up for being flawed, I accept their theory and keep on going with my journey.
No one is perfect.
Even the teachers that we admire and look up to have their flaws and imperfections.
So now when someone puts my years of learnings down as it seems completely useless, I try not to feel ashamed or inadequate. I am still on this journey of learning and growth. I will never be done. I will always be imperfect. Till the end of time.
Get my FREE EMAIL COURSE on Building a Morning Routine That Will Increase Creativity
Say goodbye to procrastination. Learn the steps you can take TODAY to build a morning routine.