Doing Our Best

I sometimes use the phrase ‘We’re doing our best’ when leading a metta meditation. A prompt to elicit kindness toward self and recognise that despite life’s challenges we are doing our best to get on with things and have a good and happy life.

And yet I do wonder if this phrase is accurate and useful. I’ve always been one to work from positivity and encouragement but are there times when we are not doing our best?

I was thinking about it this morning and I wondered if it applies in those situations when I can see that I am not acting in the wisest and kindest way my higher self is capable of and yet I press on regardless because on some level it gratifies me. I can’t really call that ‘doing my best’.

I watch myself sliding into unskilful behaviour, aware of what I am doing and that later on I’m likely to be disappointed if not disgusted with myself and yet …… I continue

But one unifying factor that is absolutely central to the dharma (the teaching of the Buddha) is that compassion, kindness, unconditional love ….. trumps everything!

Isn’t that completely beautiful?

Even when I fall over, get snarled and neglect what I know to be wise and right behaviour we are encouraged to bathe ourselves in metta; in unconditional love. And that’s not to rationalise or excuse ourselves but rather to maintain awareness and even sit in the soup of the consequences of our actions – which can be very uncomfortable – but sit with self compassion as a loving mother might sit with her wayward, wilful child. 

If we do this then I think we may be able to say We’re doing our best’

Much metta

and hope you can meditate with us this week:

Tuesday 6 – 7.30 pm

Sunday 8 – 9 am

Dharmalata

PS: If anyone is interested in accommodation at Jayakula – our Buddhist community house in Coogee let me knowroom becoming available in late January

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