Just home from a week-long retreat with Adyashanti, I'm huddled in, recovering from a fever and chest cold, and processing.
One of my most immediate post-retreat understandings so far is something Adya talked about a few times, 'failing better.' He talked about it with his own teaching, that he can't put the true teachings into words. He described getting the feeling every few years that he was ready to do a really deep teaching, then going at it, realizing that he failed miserably, and pulling back to regroup.
Isn't that meditation in general? A week of intense meditation, 6 or 7 or even 8 meditation sessions a day, each with the intent to be open and present with experience as it is (even though, of course, my mind doesn't do that easily) gave me many experiences of failure. There are moments of insight and openness, yes, but overall I'm just trying to fail as well as I can.
It's deep work to fail again and again without giving up.
To know that the benefit is not in doing it perfectly, but in showing up again and again.
To engage in a practice rather than the perfection that my Virgo rising was after.
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness has changed my life, helping me to make peace with myself as I truly am and to appreciate my family, life, and the world as they actually are.