Practice Doesn’t Mean Perfect , by Colette Hoff
There isn’t anything except your own life that can be used as ground for your spiritual practice. Spiritual practice is your life, twenty-four hours a day. Pema Chodron
Life lived as a practice includes each aspect of what we do, how we do it, with what intention, and the outcome. Practice can be thought of as applied mindfulness and being present to all we do. Cooking is one of my favorite metaphors for practice. Beginning with menu planning, taking inventory of ingredients on hand, getting the best quality food as economically as possible, and storing with care are all required before cooking can begin. Each phase of the process requires practices –equipment needs to be ready, ingredients gathered, produce washed, pots and pans selected, and the best method for cooking needs to be determined. Any aspect can be hurried or done carelessly and the intention of serving nutritious meals that taste good would not be met.
The adage of Practice makes perfect might be appropriate for some specific skills yet is not the best guide for life. A mindful life is about doing things well, thoughtfully, whole-heartedly, and creatively. The burden of perfection is not what it is about. I’ve heard that the sign of a good cook is how they handle mishaps when things don’t turn out as expected for whatever reason.
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