I finally got around to listening to Paul Haller's entire talk on Practice as Process. And I am very glad I did. His way of normalizing the daily 'grind' of practice experience is most helpful for novices like me. In the back of my mind, still floats the fantasy that, if only I got my act together, and I was not so flawed, I would not have to deal so often with difficult mind states. Not so, says the teacher. The struggle is part of the program. Our responsibility is to meet the moment, no matter how challenging, with patience, kindness, curiosity, honesty, and compassion. And to not fall into the temptation to anesthetize the discomfort through going numb, or distracting ourselves.
This is not the first time I hear this discourse. Gil Fronsdal, Jack Kornfield, Sylvia Boorstein, Sharon Salzberg, and pretty much every other teacher I have come across . . . all say the same thing. I just keep on forgetting.