Things I Learned: About Practice




“There is no amount of diet and exercise that will get you to the point you never have to worry about it again, same with money and enlightenment.” 

When I came to terms with this concept, it was a daunting experience. On one level I’m like:

“well fuck it then. Let me just do me and not worry about any of this shit since I can’t ever just get THERE.”

“I’m saying though: I go to the gym everyday, deny myself delicious foods and drinks, refrain from staying up late, and it’ll never be enough? I meditate every damn day, challenge my meandering and selfish thoughts, practice mindfulness, kindness, compassion and it’s never ever going to be enough?!”

“Nah. I can’t do it. All the time, for all my life? Nah.” 

That is the daunting side of this truth.

But paradox being what it is, there is also a relief to knowing there is no such thing as enough. I have seen the freedom in not worrying about being perfected.  I don’t have to look up after every workout or every retreat and measure my gains and losses. I can drop all ideas of getting something out of my activities and just relax into the pleasure of taking this kind of care of the body and the space I’ve been gifted.

In my experience, it is better to meditate than not. It is better to eat well than not. It is better to be kind and think positive thoughts, and be continuously present to the experience of being alive than it is not to do these things. I don’t need perfection or enlightenment to validate this life — the doing validates itself. 

A few weeks ago I shared a poem, “It’s Not Going To Work Out.” His words are an elegant way of illustrating what I have learned. The finished product is not the goal but

 “if you will start, and if you will continue with commitment, that will be enough.”