practice is life

… we only grow by being defeated constantly, decisively, by constantly greater things …

~ Rilke

As we grow in our practice,

We become more confident,

And believe that we can now achieve some higher level of greatness, of mastery.

But there will forever be something that we have yet to master.

Something that we have yet to contemplate,

Or has yet to enter our consciousness.

The illusion of mastery will fuel our ego,

Leading to hubris.

In hubris, greed will thrive, in place of growth,

Leading to our defeat.

Illustrating that we have not truly mastered anything,

Proving that as we grow,

We will forever be challenged by greater and greater things.

And the only victory that will matter upon our last breath,

Is Self Victory.

 

If we take something to be the truth, we may cling to it so much that even if the truth comes and knocks at our door, we won’t want to let it in. We have to be able to transcend our previous knowledge the way we climb up a ladder. If we are on the fifth rung and think that we are very high, there is no hope for us to step up to the sixth. We must learn to transcend our own views.

– Thich Nhat Hanh, “The Heart Sutra”

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