A Window is Where the Wall is Absent

The life impulse to express and to connect arises in me and in all of us. This blog is a celebration of these life impulses. Please feel free to join in the conversation or to just visit. There is a Family Photo Album beneath the posts so you can "meet" my family and I. Welcome!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Simultaneous Perfection and Imperfection

Paradox is friction... the striking of flint rocks that spark the world into appearance. One paradox is the simultaneity of perfection and imperfection.

"On one side of the paradox, we recognize that everything is perfect just as it is. When the chatter of the mind recedes just a little bit, when the smells, colors, and textures of the world become immediately felt, we recognize the grace running through it all. Even in conflict, or in the midst of what we call suffering, if we are really in touch with the pulse of life itself, we can feel the beauty of it all.
On the other side of the paradox, we realize that everything is continuously evolving. Our human condition, as it is now, is flawed with unconscious habits, addictions, and compulsions."
Arjun Ardagh, Leap Before You Look

Sensing my imperfection helps to keep me humble, real, honest. Sensing my perfection keeps me from despair at the imperfection. When I veer too much into sensing imperfection, there is a neurotic obsession with self-improvement. When I veer too far the other way, there is the shallowness and loneliness of self-congratulation.

"And so it is that we stray and return and stray and return to the middle way, where everything is perfect and imperfect in the same breath."
Ardagh

Another way to language this paradox is that balance and imbalance coexist in the same moment. Paradox gives contour to reality, keeps it from being too flat, too easily summed up in trite cliches. Paradox is a clue that there is something larger than logic. Paradox to me is also something like a sign that the universe has a sense of humor.

3 comments:

Cindy said...

Whoa, where to start. Colleen, that was perfection! :) Thank you for posting, it made me feel so good. I went to Val's Zen meditation class yesterday (which was very good except for the giggling fit I broke into near the end of chant that set Val off and which kept getting reignited for like 5 minutes) but it was very paradoxical and this makes me feel a lot better about that. Thank you!

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Cyn, I'm glad to get your message and I'm glad you and Val went to a Zen meditation class and I'm glad you guys had a giggling fit during chanting- giggling cleans out the system and so does embarrassment- it's a brillo pad! Speaking of embarrassment, this post of paradox was the first one where I felt this agonizing sense of embarrassed regret after posting. I posted it off the cuff in a hurry when I was in a conflicted mood, and afterwards my critical inner voice had a hey day- "Colleen you are pretentious, snooty, full of yourself, stiff, self-conscious, showy, and it's all a veneer over your insecurity" etc, etc, as the critical inner voice goes on ad nauseum. Oh well- the mind is a master at self-torture. I'm new to blogging and I imagine this "post and regret" syndrome happens to many. Are you doing some Zen meditation at home too? To meditate is like being a pioneer on the frontier of unexplored consciousness- the greatest adventure in life. Enjoy :)

Cindy said...

How funny is that Colleen? And I loved it so much! Our minds certainly are masters of self-torture. I haven't been meditating but listening to all the CDs and I certainly follow this stuff a lot and I feel that all my years alone have been a meditation of sorts - I've really enjoyed my luxurious time alone. While meditating I did feel like I was on the prow of a ship. It felt very fresh and good. Thanks for appreciating what a silly experience that was! The only other time I remember it happening so strongly and in a really inconvenient place was the Unitarian Church on Christmas eons ago with all you guys and guess what, I was the perpetrator that time too! :)

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