Friday, January 27, 2012

3 Reasons You're Perfect (But It's Not What You Think)

(Originally published on Spirit Voyage's blog)

Has anyone ever told you that you are perfect?

I’ve been told this a few times in yoga classes and I never believed it. I mean, if I were so perfect, why would I even need to practice? Why would I need to do an entire day of White Tantric Yoga to clear off lifetimes of accumulated karma? If I were so perfect, wouldn’t I know it? Well, no, because that’s the point.

Here are 3 things I’d like to clear up about being “perfect.”

1. It’s Not What You Think It Is: Name something you’d like to be “perfect.” Anything. It could be your skin, your health, your marriage, or your children. What does that look like? Ok. That’s not perfect. Why? Because perfect isn’t what you THINK. What you think of as perfect is created by your mind, which is influenced by commercials, gossip, passing fads—everything that doesn’t really exist (“maya”). Our mind is incapable of understanding our true perfection. It is when we tune in, when we meditate, when we connect to our Self, that we can EXPERIENCE our perfection.

2. Perfection Is Not a Judgement: When we think of our self, we often look at the things we’d like to change. We see “perfect” as a conditional thing. “I’ll be perfect when I’m _____ (insert anything you like: thinner, smarter, happier...).” Yet, perfect is not a judgement. It is not something we obtain when we are better than we already are. It is the thing we already are. And everything that comes along with what we already are—our issues, our insecurities, our debt, our karmas—is integral to that perfection. While our mind tells us that everything we are going through is imperfect, it is exaclty what we need to be going through exactly NOW. We are always perfectly on track.

3. So Why Even Bother? If we’re perfect, why “improve”? This confused me a lot when my yoga teachers would say we were all perfect in class. I would think: “If I’m so perfect, why do I need to come here?” Well... While our innate perfection is as indestructable as God, we are on Earth to forge an increasingly deep spiritual connection to this perfection. While we may still be perfect while we’re innebriated, we will be closer to the realization of our perfection when we are conscious. We cannot do anything to “improve” who we really are since we are already perfect, however, we can spend a lifetime developing a relationship with that perfection inside us.

A Mantra to Cultivate Awareness of Our Perfection:

Pooran is perfectly, unconditionally complete. Pooran needs nothing else to be that which it already is: perfect unto itself. The mantra means that this energy of  “pooran” was perfectly complete before anything existed, perfectly complete in the midst of existence (the “middle”), and will be perfectly complete in the end. Pooran needs nothing else, because it is “Paramaysureh”: the highest source of all.

This “pooran” is inside all of us. And it is this “pooran” that we must connect with to understand what it means to be perfect.

The best way to learn a mantra is to recite it 11 times per day for 40 days. There is a beautiful musical version on Snatam Kaur’s “Anand” CD.

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