"Did you enjoy your vacation?". I just returned a week ago from a 3-week retreat in the mountains of Andalucia. In a beautiful natural resort overlooking the blue sea, we meditated a lot during the day and watched the stars at night. What a delight. There are photos to admire on my social media, in case you get curious. What the photos don't show, however, is how difficult it was at times. The discipline of getting up early, constantly functioning in a group of people, doing chores, sleeping in a tent, limited facilities, missing home, confronting myself, constantly comparing myself to others, etc. It wasn't always easy. At the same time, there is something beautiful about having to endure. It connects people, it creates inner resilience and self-insight, it provides stories and anecdotes that will stay with me for a lifetime.
In the quest for enlightenment and perfection, we must first and foremost learn to embrace and appreciate the imperfection around us. Therein lies wisdom and beauty. In Japan there is even a term for that: Wabi Sabi.