Disciplined Precision

From the end of Chapter 13, "Hard and Soft", in Ezra Bayda's Being Zen:

This is the natural progression of the practice life. We need the discipline to see these layers of judgmental thoughts and mental pictures. And it requires hard effort to stay with the bodily discomfort that comes with these thoughts. Yet we also need to understand how simply breathing into the center of the chest, residing in the quiver of being, and then extending spaciousness and compassion to our struggling, conditioned patterns is the essence of what it means to soften. To soften difficult self-beliefs is to truly understand that these are not the deepest truths about ourselves. As we learn how to make this soft effort around our relentlessly judging mind, as we learn what it means to awaken a sense of heart, we begin to relate in a new, more spacious way to the ancient wound of our seeming separateness. What we're doing is learning to receive and accept the whole of our being, just as it is, no longer judging, editing, rejecting.

Through the disciplined precision of our efforts, we'll come again and again to our edge—the difficult places beyond which we've previously been unable to move. Through the willingness to soften and surrender to what is, we learn that we can gradually move beyond that edge. It is only through this interplay of hard and soft, of effort and letting be, of will and willingness, that we learn to our amazement that we can emerge from the lifelong tunnel of fear that constitutes our substitute life into the nitty-gritty reality of our genuine one.

(cf. Softening into Experience (2012-11-12), Ground of Being (2013-10-03), Vaster Sense of Being (2014-08-23), ...) - ^z - 2014-09-16