Charlotte Joko Beck

‘When we practice, we develop a basic vision, which gets stronger over time, as to who we are and what we’re really doing in our life. When I say “a vision,” I don’t mean something mystical. I mean acknowledging who you are and what you want to do next.

I have found that most human beings, particularly Western-raised human beings, feel fundamentally they’re worthless. Really worthless. Unless we’ve been practicing for a long time or are extraordinarily lucky in how we were brought up in the world, most of us feel this. We have our own little quirks that give our sense of worthlessness a personal flavor and style, but that’s what it is. We don’t want to feel worthless. We don’t even want to hear or know about it. It’s very, very painful to feel that you’re worthless or unlovable. That feeling creates a running tension that we may be unaware of until we sit—and then it all comes out.

Suppose I’m covering this core belief in my own unworthiness by being very sweet and helpful, always available for others. What does that feel like? Just stop and feel it. Chances are high that there’s fear and anger in all that sweetness. Most of us don’t need to go looking for this core belief as if it’s something well-hidden.

It’s what you can become aware of every second if you stop and sit. Pay attention: something is there.’ (from Lion’s Roar)

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