The essence of samsara is this tendency that we have to seek pleasure and avoid pain, to seek security and avoid groundlessness, to seek comfort and avoid discomfort. The basic teaching is that that is how we keep ourselves miserable, unhappy, and stuck in a very small, limited view of reality. That is how we keep ourselves enclosed in a cocoon.
If we feel ill at ease, we just fill in those gaps. Our mind is always seeking zones of safety. We’re in this zone of safety and that’s what we consider life, getting it all together, security. Death is losing that. That’s what we fear, that’s what makes us anxious. We spend all of our energy and waste our lives trying to re-create these zones of safety, which are always falling apart. That’s samsara.
The opposite of samsara is when all the walls fall down, when the cocoon completely disappears and we are totally open to whatever may happen, with no withdrawing, no centralizing into ourselves. That is what we aspire to, the warrior’s journey. That’s what stirs us and inspires us: leaping, being thrown out of the nest, going through the initiation rites, growing up, stepping into something that’s uncertain and unknown.
Samsara is preferring death to life. When you find yourself with these old, familiar feelings of anxiety because your world is falling apart and you’re not measuring up to your image of yourself and everybody is irritating you beyond words because no one is doing what you want and you feel terrible about yourself and your whole life is fraught with emotional misery and confusion and conflict, at that point just remember that you’re going through all this emotional upheaval because your coziness has just been, in some small or large way, addressed. Basically, you do prefer life and warriorship to death.
Berry Shortcake Recipe
Gluten, egg, and dairy-free
Makes 6 small 3″ biscuit shortcakes
- 1/3 c. superfine brown rice flour (Authentic Foods Brand)
- 1/3 c. sorghum flour
- 1/3 potato starch
- 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 Tb Earth Balance, chilled
- 1 Tb shortening
- 1/3 c MimiCreme non-dairy mimic cream (sweetened)
- Macadamia nut whipped cream
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- Cut in butter and shortening.
- Mix in MimiCreme.
- Drop by spoonfuls (approx 3″ sized biscuits) onto a baking sheet. Spray with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes or until brown. Allow to cool.
- Serve with fresh berries and a raw macadamia nut whipped cream