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Reader comment on Ajahn Brahm's passage ...

Seeing Fully


On Mar 7, 2014 Smita wrote:

After reading this passage, I thought...why see those 2 bricks as "bad?"  Why not also see them as beautiful, along with the other 998 "perfect" bricks?  I can't say I know much about the Japanese concept of wabi sabi, but what I understand is that it's about seeing beauty in imperfection.  I'm also reminded of these lyrics from Leonard Cohen's song, Anthem: "Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."  Imperfection seems to be the nature of things.  So why not embrace it, love it, and see it as a gift?

Embracing imperfection hasn't been easy for me; I tend to want precision and perfection in certain things.  I have a sharp eye for picking out mistakes and imperfections.  What's helped me, though, is to be kind to myself whenever I make a mistake...whether it's saying something I later regret, or doing something with less than perfect understanding or awareness.  If I can clean up the mess, I often will.  And if I can't, I can't.  Either way, I try not to beat myself up for making the mistake in the first place, which only adds to suffering.

Something else that's helped me is giving myself permission to make mistakes.  One small example is...for a few weeks last summer I was inspired to draw and write with my left hand.  I'm right handed, so using my left hand is more challenging and less "perfect."  It was really nice to let myself make a little mess, to draw something imperfect, and to admire it anyway.



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