“A butterfly begins as a worm, which moves slowly and can’t see very far. Eventually the worm builds itself a coccon, and in that dark quiet space it stays for a long time. Finally, after what must seen like an eternity of darkness, it emerges as a butterfly.
The life history of a butterfly is similar to our practice. We have some misconceptions about both, however. We may imagine, for exemple, that because butterflies are pretty, their life in the cocoon before they emerge is also pretty. We don’t realize all that the worm must go through in order to become a butterfly. Similarly, when we begin to practice, we don’t realize the long and difficult transformation required of us. We have to see through our pursuit of outward things, the false gods of pleasure and security. We have to stop gobbling this and pursuing that in our shortsighted way, and simply relax into the coccon, into the darkness of the pain that is our life.”
[…] “We have to give up our slavish obedience to whatever system of pain avoidance we have devised and realize that we can’t escape discomfort simply by running faster and trying harder. The faster we run from our pain, the more our pain overtake us. When what we depend on to give our life meaning doesn’t work anymore, what are we going to do?
Some people never give up this false pursuit. Eventually they may die of an overdose, literally or figuratively. In the struggle to gain control we go faster, we strain, we try harder, we squeeze people tighter, we squeeze ourselves tighter. Yet life can never really be brought under control. As we flee from reality, the pain increases. This pain is our teacher.
Sitting is not about finding a happy, blissful state. The states may occur in sitting, when we’ve really experienced our pain over and over, so that finally there’s just letting go. That surrender and opening into something fresh and new is the consequence of experiencing pain, not a consequence of finding a place where we can shut the pain out.”
“The first, essencial step in becoming a butterfly is to recognize that we can’t make it as a worm. We have to see through our pursuit of the false god of comfort and pleasure. We have to get a clear picture of that god. We have to relinquis hour sense of entitlement – our sense that life owes us this and that. For exemple, we to abandon the notion that we can compel others to love us by doing things for them. We have to recognize that we cannot manipulate life to satisfy ourselves, and that finding fault with ourselves or others is not an effective way of helping anyone. We slowly abandon our basic arrogance.”
Trechos do livro “Nothing Special – Living zen”, Charlotte Joko Beck