This morning, drawing jasmine leaves, I noticed my attention following all the beautiful little imperfections of their outlines.
Two of the leaves don’t seem to join properly to the stem.
The outline of one leaf is disturbed by a crease.
My drawing of it, too, is full of imperfections.
Earlier this morning, I drew my enso for today.
I didn’t close the circle because I have so much to learn. I’m just beginning daily brush meditation practice (today is day three).
I ground the ink myself, I think it was too thin.
I lost concentration for a moment, half way round.
At what point during a flower’s life does it achieve perfection?
Is it when it’s still a seed, filled with potential?
Or is it when the green shoot first breaks the surface of the soil and reaches the light of day?
Is it when the first bud appears?
Is it when the flower opens fully, or is it when the flower dies and goes back to the soil, to become food for other plants, giving itself to create new life?
It’s perfect at being what it is at each of these stages. The lesson for us is to be perfect at being at the stage we’re at now; to stop obsessing about where we want to be.
If you’re a seed, try to be a perfect seed. If you’re just pushing up through the soil, try to be perfect at that.
Don’t worry so much about how you’ll look when you’re a flower.
Concentrate on growing. Be as perfect as you can at that.
The flowers will happen by themselves.
Posted: July 6th 2014
P.S. The story of the flower comes from an excellent book about practising mindfully called the Practising Mind.
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