Perfection, Precision, and Fun

Creating Yantras with Precision
June 16, 2021

Shambhavi talks about perfectionism, ordinary precision, and enlightened precision. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi

Podcast First Words

Student: So I just recently talked to a Chinese astrologist and she mentioned the element metal and one thing that she talked about was just being precise and refined. And I was wondering if this tradition speaks about precision and being refined and precise

Shambhavi: So I’ve actually talked a lot about that. And it’s not something that I’ve read in texts of the tradition, but it’s something that I have understood through my own practice. And there are several sort of layers of precision that, like everything else, are more or less imbued with the full expression of wisdom.

For instance, one of the forms of precision is perfectionism, which I think someone asked me a question about last time. And perfectionism is precision under tension, under the tension of the fear of being criticized.

So when we are perfectionists, we are trying to stave off being criticized. And in fact, of course, many people who have this karmic pattern will criticize other people. They get out ahead of the curve by trying to do everything perfectly and then criticizing other people for not doing things perfectly.

That’s an aspect of precision, but it’s stepped down. It’s not in its full flower. And then what happens when you’re a perfectionist, if you do feel that you’ve made a mistake, you go into a tailspin, a huge overreaction and a fear of what the repercussions of not having done something perfectly are going to be. So there’s a lot of fear of making mistakes among people who have the form of precision we call perfectionism.

Then you could say there’s ordinary precision. Ordinary precision comes out of what my Dzogchen teacher calls ordinary presence. So ordinary presence is you simply know where you are and what you’re doing. You’re not lost in thoughts of past, present or future unrelated to what you’re doing. So your attention is on what is actually happening right now. That’s what’s called ordinary presence.


Satsang with Shambhavi is a weekly podcast about spirituality, love, death, devotion and waking up while living in a messy world.