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Friday, July 24, 2009

Dare to be Perfect

In the previous article I talked about self-love and how self-love is essential in order for us to feel the sense of security we need to relax into the present moment. We cannot be fully present if we think mental vigilance is needed to guard against impending threat, and we cannot stop expecting threat if we believe there is something bad about ourselves that deserves to be punished.

Hopefully you have been sitting each day in meditation on self-love and are beginning to see some progress with your reprogramming. Now I want to extend the focus of the discussion to also include another aspect of your journey of self-healing and your embrace of full self-love.

"You are originally unlimited and perfect. Later you take on limitations and become identified with the mind. Mind is consciousness which has put on limitations." - Ramana Maharshi

You are perfect. Your life is perfect.

By perfect, I do not mean, "very good, great, almost got it, just one more thing to fix." By perfect, I mean, PERFECT, as in no where to go and nothing to do that will provide any actual improvement. That heaven you've been looking for, that promised land? This is it.

Right here, right now, this is what you've been searching for. You have been a drop of water immersed in a great ocean and looking everywhere for a glass of water. Finding no glass, no outer shell to delineate where the water begins and ends, you say "it must be somewhere else." And so the hunt goes on.

This is it. It's here now. There is nothing to achieve to improve upon what is. Your life is already perfect.

It can be very attractive to live in search of a better moment. To embrace what is can seem like a tremendous let down. Yet once you accept the perfection of this moment, you won't stop going to work. You won't stop bathing and become a homeless vagabond with a begging bowl. If you don't feel drawn to that, then it is not your soul's intention, and so the path of surrender will not carry you there. (Though it could happen if you keep resisting whatever IS happening.)

If what feels good to you is physical comfort and mental stimulation, then when you surrender the future to the future, and accept that you are on a path that not only is perfect in every step, but also perfect in its destination, then you will increasingly find yourself in a life situation that has all those features that make you feel good. Ramana Maharshi felt utterly at peace living in a loin cloth and lived in a cave at one point, but if you are not drawn to the simplicity of that, it is not what surrender will look like for you. You don't need to ward it off. Just clarify what you do intend.

Maybe right now there are some very concrete things that are undesirable in your life. You don't like that you are sick and don't want to be that way anymore. You don't like that you don't have a job. You want that to change. And so on. I for one would like to live in a home with more rooms so I could entertain without having people walk through my bedroom to get to the bathroom, not to mention wishing I had more clients for my bread-and-butter tech consulting business so that I wasn't always living on "just enough to break even" within a very modest lifestyle. I'm not saying to pretend you like things you don't like or that you don't want things that you truly do want.

When I say your life is perfect right now, I mean this moment is a perfect opportunity for the highest peace, joy, love, and sense of well-being that is humanly possible. This moment holds just as much potential for that experience as any other moment ever could. You could have all the things you desire and none of the things you loathe, and still not feel contentment in your heart. Or you could be just as you are, with a mixed plate of bitter and sweet before you, and yet dwell in a complete state of bliss. You could, but do you intend to?

If you are like many people, you are suffering under a wrong belief that if you give up your war against what is, you will be forever deprived of the things you want and in fact sink deeper and deeper into poverty, obscurity and lack. You will be loved less, fed less, praised less, and happy less, if you don't keep grasping and fighting and climbing with all your might.

Or else you give up. You're exhausted, can't do it anymore, who needs it. You accept that not only is your life imperfect, it will never be perfect. Who are you to have the audacity to believe you deserve a perfect life? Who said you even deserved a single perfect moment within this life?

I am saying it now, and I invite you to listen to the words of many who have come before me who have said the very same thing. They said it about you and about themselves, and they were right about both.

"This that I have done, you too will do." - Jesus the Christ
"When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky” - Buddha
"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. " - Buddha

Note that there is a difference between acknowledging and embracing the perfection that is present versus striving for perfect outcomes. Perfectionism is the endeavor to create perfection in ourselves or situations or things. What I am talking about involves no endeavor, and indeed not even any creation. I am talking about a surrender to the force of creation our intellects cannot manage, and a willingness to call its creation absolutely perfect.

Breathing in, we drink deep of what has been created for us. Breathing out, we pour ourselves into it and let the drop disappear back into the ocean, as the mind empties into silence. Breathing in and breathing out, you are perfect in this very moment. Dare to envision your life as a series of perfect moments, each one worshiped fully as it arose, and I assure you that in time this truth will be fully revealed within your external circumstances as well.

As above, so below. As within, so without. Your decision to proclaim lack or perfection as reality is so powerful that all the Universe will obey it.

Buddha is quoted as having said that in terms of our human experience of life, it is what we do with our minds that will determine what we experience: “The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”

My life is truly perfect right now. There is still plenty of room for improvement in areas like wealth, social life, even health, and I spend some time each day clarifying my intentions around what I want to experience in those areas, but I also experience this moment as perfection. Nothing needs to change before I can relax into this moment and give it my full attention without any resistance. I can "be here now," because there is no war with the present moment.

I do not write all this to you because I want you walking around thinking, "I'm perfect." I do want you to know that, but only so that it will then be possible for you to relax into this moment and let the future take care of itself.

Your bliss exists in only one place and time, here and now. If you refuse to find it here, you will never find it at all. I invite you to see perfection. I invite you to dare to embrace your perfection, and the perfection of your life. And I invite you to do it right now.

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