Opening Pandora’s Box

some thoughts from Charlotte Joko Beck

Now one of the illusions we may have about our practice is that practice will make things more comfortable, clearer, easier, more peaceful, and so on. Nothing could be further from the truth.

All of us feel we are separate from life; we feel as if we have a wall around us. As long as we feel separate from life, we feel the wall…..We may be anxious, we may have disturbing thoughts, but our wall keeps us unaware of that.

Pandora’s box is all of our self-centered activities and the corresponding emotions that they create. Opening Pandora’s box is breaking down the wall. So Pandora’s box, that which upsets and disturbs us, is the emergence of that which we have not been aware of before: our anger toward life. It has to boil our sooner or later. This is our ego, that life is not the way we want it to be. It is our fury when the people or events in our lives simply don’t give us what we demand.

As our practice becomes more sophisticated we begin to sense our tremendous deficiencies, our tremendous cruelty. We see the things we hate and the things we just can’t stand. There is grief in that.

As we get more sensitive to our life and what it truly is, we can’t run from it. So I want you to appreciate your practice and your life. That’s all this is about. Nothing fancy. Zen is action itself.

Zen Stitching

Published by SilkQuilt

Pittsburgh-based fiber artist, Louise Silk, creates art that combines aesthetics and functionality with meaning and memories. From the influence of a 1972 MS Magazine article to the current SILKDENIM label, her quilt experiences culminate in a display of her particular capacity to use her patchwork skills to piece together just about anything into an aesthetic meaningful whole.

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