perfectly imperfect

Two Wednesdays ago, as I was looking for an image of Mu Qi’s “Six Persimmons” to attach to that week’s essay, I began typing “the six per…” into Safari’s search bar. The first suggested connection was “the six perfections.” The universe speaks in many ways. Like an embarrassed woman bumping into someone to whom you have owed a thank you note for a looong time, I recalled where I had first seen these words, how much they had taught me, and how little I had been attending to them of late. I had to admit that in the last several months, while I was initiating this blog about my spiritual path and practice, I had started to slide on actually practicing it. Oh Yeah! Spiritual practice! Something you DO! I DO have one, really! It’s around here, somewhere. On my desk, I think… right under those bills, that rough draft, these books. You know.

Six years ago, as I began the long walk across a soul’s ocean floor that is divorce, three books by American-born Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön were constant friends on my bedside table for four years thereafter—When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times, and Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living. These very easy reads about very tough things first gave me oxygen, then the space for a deep breath with which to breathe it, and then a complete re-conception of our existence, our purpose, and our potential for happiness, enlightenment, whatever you want to call it… with clear and practical, if not always comfortable, instructions included!

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