In our society, we are trained to strive towards perfection. There can be many benefits and gifts in aiming at improving our skills in different areas of life. And – as we all know – striving too hard for perfection has its downsides. We may never feel we measure up, and we are chasing a moving goal.
It can be good to balance this with wholeness. And that wholeness can be found in a few different ways.
One is a wholeness that’s already here. This is the wholeness of presence allowing our experience as it is. The wholeness of what we are. It’s wholeness since it’s all inclusive of our current experience. (Natural rest, shikantaza.)
The other is the wholeness related to identity. An identity that’s more open, flexible, and inclusive. And identity that adapts and grows from finding in myself what I see in others, whatever it may be. There is a wholeness here since it can grow to include both ends of more and more polarities, and there is a gradual deepening here as well. These polarities can be body and mind, spirit and psyche, good and bad, male and female, smart and stupid, and so on. (Shadow work, The Work, parts work, body-mind practices etc.)
A third is wholeness from our connections with the larger social and ecological whole, and how we see ourselves in relationship to this larger whole. A friendly relationship to this larger whole gives us a sense of wholeness. And our identity can also be permeable and inclusive enough to include this wholeness. (Practices to reconnect, universe story, the epic of evolution.)
The first of these forms of wholeness is part of the next two. When we notice our experience as presence, we also notice our human self and the wider world as presence. And there is a wholeness inherent in that presence.
Each of these forms of wholeness is already here, and they are waiting to be brought into conscious awareness. The first require noticing and resting with it. And they all require some engagement and work.