Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The 'Trance of Imperfection'

I suppose that most people have a quality or qualities about themselves that they feel ashamed of. The human mind magnifies the severity of these so-called ‘handicaps,’ as well as their perceived impact on others.

I’m sure I could find some kind of book or class that would help me with my shyness in certain social situations. In Washington, there are an endless array of classes targeting self-improvement junkies like myself. Or I could join the Toastmasters or become a Mary Kay saleswoman or a Macy’s Elf or a duvet demonstrator.

On the other hand, why do we have to constantly change ourselves? Meditation teacher Tara Brach, author of “Radical Acceptance: Accepting Your Life With the Heart of the Buddha,” calls this the “trance of feeling separate and unworthy.” “We free ourselves from the prison of trance as we stop the war against ourselves and, instead, learn to relate to our lives with a wise and compassionate heart,” she writes. Brach quotes renowned seventh-century Zen master Seng-tsan, who taught that true freedom is “without anxiety about imperfection.”

Thanks to my yoga and meditation practice, I have moments in which I accept myself as I am—sweaty palms and all. I would like to experience these moments as the norm rather than the exception. When these moments do come, I feel so calm and content. And miraculously, my palms and feet aren’t sweating!

1 comment:

Mike L. said...

The yoga bit is nice to hear! I work at a gym and I've heard that the yoga classes are great, but now, there is even more reason to go! Trying to control HH is extremely difficult, but finding ways to at least lessen the amount of sweat, helps.