Be Better Not Perfect – August 21, 2012 Meditation

Be Better Not Perfect

Continuing on a short break, reposting an article from March 21, 2012

When looking at the trajectory of our life or our progress in practice it isn’t always easy to have a long view. Having a long view makes it possible to see that things over time actually do improve. Progress more often than not is the accumulation of a series of small incremental achievements sometimes accompanied by setbacks.

Embracing the idea of being better and letting go of the need for perfection is one of many keys to becoming happier in our lives. In being better not perfect, the idea is that by continually making changes, by continually making progress, we actually improve our lives in a much more significant and profound way than if we focused on trying to achieve perfection. Achieving perfection is not possible no matter what and so we are bound to suffer. Desiring perfection is an attachment to something that is impossible to achieve.

“What you are now practicing is the way of Bodhisattvas. Study and practice it continuously, and you will become Buddhas.” (Lotus Sutra, Chapter III)

Our daily efforts may seem small but over time they accumulate into a significant effort. What may seem quite impossible if we look at the whole actually becomes very doable with continuous effort. The trick is to not be discouraged.

“This Never-Despising Bodhisattva-mahasattva made offerings to those Buddhas, respected them, honored them, praised them, and planted the roots of good. After that, he was able to meet thousands of billions of Buddhas. He also expounded this sutra under those Buddhas. By the merits he had accumulated in this way, he was able to become a Buddha.” (Lotus Sutra, Chapter XX)

While enlightenment exists in every single moment, it is the accumulation of many moments of practice and effort that enables us to build a solid life full of happiness and joy. It may be impossible to imagine this today, but looking back over your life of accumulated effort you will definitely see significant change.

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About Ryusho 龍昇

Nichiren Shu Buddhist priest. My home temple is Myosho-ji, Wonderful Voice Temple, in Charlotte, NC. You may visit the temple’s web page by going to http://www.myoshoji.org. I am also training at Carolinas Medical Center as a Chaplain intern. It is my hope that I eventually become a Board Certified Chaplain. Currently I am also taking healing touch classes leading to become a certified Healing Touch Practitioner. I do volunteer work with the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (you may learn more about them by following the link) caring for individuals who are HIV+ or who have AIDS/SIDA.