A little from Ajahn Chah:
"Why is the practice so difficult and arduous? Because of desires.
As soon as we sit down to meditate we want to become peaceful. If we didn't want to find peace we wouldn't sit, we wouldn't practice. As soon as we sit down we want peace to be right there, but wanting the mind to be calm makes for confusion, and we feel restless. This is how it goes. So the Buddha says, "Don't speak out of desire, don't sit out of desire, don't walk out of desire,...Whatever you do, don't do it with desire." Desire means wanting. If you don't want to do something you won't do it. If our practice reaches this point we can get quite discouraged. How can we practice? As soon as we sit down there is desire in the mind. It's because of this that the body and mind are difficult to observe. If they are not the self nor belonging to self then who do they belong to? It's difficult to resolve these things, we must rely on wisdom. The Buddha says we must practice with "letting go," isn't it? If we let go then we just don't practice, right?...Because we've let go.
Suppose we went to buy some coconuts in the market, and while we were carrying them back someone asked:
"What did you buy those coconuts for?"
"I bought them to eat."
"Are you going to eat the shells as well?"
"I don't believe you. If you're not going to eat the shells then why did you buy them also?"
Well what do you say? How are you going to answer their question?
We practice with desire. If we didn't have desire we wouldn't practice. Practicing with desire is //tanha//.
Contemplating in this way can give rise to wisdom, you know. For example, those coconuts:
Are you going to eat the shells as well? Of course not. Then why do you take them? Because the time hasn't yet come for you to throw them away. They're useful for wrapping up the coconut in. If, after eating the coconut, you throw the shells away, there is no problem. Our practice is like this.
The Buddha said, "Don't act on desire, don't speak from desire, don't eat with desire." Standing, walking, sitting or reclining...whatever...don't do it with desire. This means to do it with detachment. It's just like buying the coconuts from the market. We're not going to eat the shells but it's not yet time to throw them away. We keep them first. This is how the practice is. Concept and Transcendence [*] are co-existent, just like a coconut. The flesh, the husk and the shell are all together. When we buy it we buy the whole lot. If somebody wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells that's their business, we know what we're doing. "
- Food for the heart.
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---