There was a time when I gave away years believing a thought story within my mind. It was me as a bird. I was flopping around on the ground. I was living under the assumption that I had broken wings and could not fly. It was a very difficult life. I was caught between the grinding heal of an imaginary boot heal and the ground, damaging my wings further. It was a persistent thought life of struggle. It sucked to be me. But seeing others with the same stories, the conspiracy theory that I and they always had to suffering became a distorted truth.
In the flipping and flopping around existing, I encountered a zen person who picked me up, and held me in such a way, that when he opened his hands, I discovered... ahhhh not only could I fly... be we can indeed soar within clear blue sky... when we're willing to go free of the thought stories. Then we get to live differently. It's not being without pain, but not suffering in the storylines over our pain. Kapow!
For me, the wonderment with Zen practice is that we get to stop pretending and being who and what we are not. What is the nature of enlightenment? Authenticity and integrity, no longer captive by the minds stories.
一Dignity and Grace