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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Perfectionism, Anger, and Meditation

Ever met a perfectionist? How joyful were they? How peaceful? It is almost as if perfectionism was an ANTIDOTE to peace and joy. Bring perfectionism into meditation and you’ll feel cranky and miserable.

When we’re seated, cross legged, striving to focus completely on our breath, that is concentration. In the eighty-one poems of the Tao Te Ching we learn of Yin and Yang. Two of the attributes that define a person on the path of Yang (or patriarchy) are the tendency to be rigid and controlling; which, although aiding in concentration, are antithetical the path of yin (matriarchy). Two marks of an individual traversing yin’s path is being flexible and laid back. This is the ONLY path that leads to joy and peace.

What if the folded blanket upon which you sit could be likened to a theater. When we’re being controlling it is like we’re trying to be the producer, director, or playwright. When we’re being flexible and laid back it’s like we’re happy to simply be an audience member; content to simply notice our perceptions, emotions, intentions, thoughts, memories, and imaginings. We don’t even have to pin them down with any label other than the pronoun “this.”

About once every twelve hours, or so, you could sit with a sustainable posture while mentally reciting “Notice this…” during each enthusiastic inhalation and “relaxing!” during each tranquilizing exhalation. In no time at all you could meditate like a Jedi. _/\_

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