In reality, nothing can save us from a state of chaos or confusion unless we have acknowledged it and actually experienced it. Otherwise, even though we may be in the midst of chaos, we don’t even notice it, although we are subject to it. On the path of meditation, the first real glimpse of our confusion and the general chaos is when we begin to feel uncomfortable. We feel that something is a nuisance. Something is bugging us constantly.
What is that? Eventually we discover that we are the nuisance. We begin to see ourselves being a nuisance to ourselves when we uncover all kinds of thought problems, emotional hang-ups, and physical problems in meditation. Before we work with anyone else, we have to deal with being a nuisance to ourselves. We have to pull ourselves together. We might get angry with ourselves, saying, “I could do better than this. What’s wrong with me? I seem to be getting worse. I’m going backward.” We might get angry with the whole world, including ourselves. Everything, the entire universe, becomes the expression of total insult. We have to relate to that experience rather than rejecting it. If you hope to be helpful to others, first you have to work with yourself.