Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Virtue of Imperfection

SouL Link Retreat

Wabi-Sabi: The Virtue of Imperfection

Many of us are prone to striving for perfection. Often thought a virtue to be attained, when we attempt to rid ourselves of faults, when we cannot be content with doing/being our imperfect best, we become anxious, intense, and incapable of resting in the present moment. Striving for perfection is a problem in the spiritual life.
Ours is a culture that applauds effort, hard work, productivity, and accomplishment. These are all good things without which the world would be the poorer and our individual lives less full. However, when it comes to matters of the soul, it is more often beneficial to linger, to wait, to be still, to accept the reality of what is - to trust rather than strive.
Because perfectionism is so universal and so detrimental, it may be helpful to look at the often subtle ways it is manifest in our lives. Our retreat will be an opportunity to do just that, to consider in what ways we may be driven by the need to be perfect and, in sharing about this, to discover how we might let go of that need, accept our faults, and realize that imperfection may just be a virtue.

From Ten Poems to Change Your Life Again and Again by Roger Housden:

To praise the imperfect, the ordinary, is not something that comes easily to us in the Western world, wedded as we are to the idea of the new, the young, the latest innovation. But in Japan there is an entire worldview that appreciates the value of the imperfect, unfinished, and faulty. It’s called wabi-sabi, where the first term refers to something simple and unpretentious, and the second points to the beauty that comes with age. Wabi-sabi is the aesthetic view

that underlies traditional Japanese art forms like the tea ceremony, calligraphy, and ceramics. It’s an aesthetic that sees beauty in the modest and humble, the irregular and earthy. It holds that beauty comes with the patina of age and in the changes that come with use. It lies in the cracks, the worn spots, and the green corrosion of bronze, the pattern of moss on a stone. The Japanese take pleasure in mistakes and imperfections.

Date: September 22, 2018
Place: Broadmoor Community Church (315 Lake Ave.)
Time: 9:00 am (registration), 9:30 am— 2:00 pm (retreat) Cost: $30 early registration (by September 18), $35 at the door. Lunch is included.
Scholarships available.
Information: Tom Stella (719) 648-3939

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