Sometimes we look at our path like it is one line, and we hope that going on this path just means getting better, being more happy, having more joy, having a more successful life.
But that has never been my experience. It doesn’t go like this; it’s not a linear movement. It always goes around. We have life and death, and we have samsara. You are going up, then you are coming down. You have success; you have a good sitting. We can see this during one week. Every day, every block of sitting: one moment you are happy and you feel good. “My meditation is great, so clear, so strong.” And the next moment, even the next round of sitting, sometimes the next five minutes, “What happened?” Some fear or maybe anger just came out of the blue. But if you sit long enough then you don’t pay so much attention to that. It’s changing, changing, your thinking, your feeling, your emotions are changing. Don’t worry about all this karma coming and going; what is most important is to return back to before thinking, our original mind, over and over. We practice letting go, and we practice starting over again and again. What a privilege!
–Zen Master Bon Shim