“We all enter the spiritual path as ego-based beings, and as such we have ego-based hopes and fears. Practice is virtually never what we expect. We feel like we’ve got it all wrong, thinking, “The more I meditate the worse I become.” My teacher, Genden Rinpoche, always, responded to this by saying , “When you see your own shortcomings, it’s the dawn of qualities. If you only see your qualities, there’s a problem.”
Let’s face it: we all have egos. Some people have a tendency to flaunt theirs while some don’t. In today’s quote by Buddhist Lama Tsony they mention we all have hopes and all have fears. Most often these come our through our practices and can become self critical especially when it comes to things like meditation. It is however their reference to one of their own teachers that is the focus of today’s message. It is essentially says when we recognize our own flaws is when we are on the cusp of defining the qualities as to who we are as a person. But…if we only see those qualities then there is a problem. And that problem is dismissing those flaws previously mentioned.
So why do we dismiss our flaws? Do we even recognize when we do this for that matter? If I really sit down and think about it I definitely have: sometimes consciously and other times not. For me when I realize that I have ignored my shortcomings it is really out of embarrassment because I worried what other people would think of me. This has happened at home or at work in certain situations and it id due in part to my own desire to be perfect. It is something I have struggled with from time to time but as of late I have come to realization to embrace my shortcomings because not is perfect. For every misstep there will be a correct on for me to make. I just need to believe in myself and stay the course.
I think if we look at our shortcomings, recognize that these do not have to be permanent ones and persevere in overcoming them we will put ourselves on the path towards realizing that the skillsets we long to acquire are within our reach. Life is the journey itself and the learning that we acquire happens over time and through our experiences. It is all about perception so it is important not to sell ourselves short. We need to tell ourselves that our flaws and/or shortcomings do not diminish who we are but in fact make us human and our hidden qualities are just over the horizon.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards improving your self awareness?