The day in, day out aspect of spiritual practice involves a lot of struggle, a lot of pain. If you’ve ever taken a pick and a shovel and turned a piece of rocky ground into rich soil, you know it’s a lot of hard work. This very much characterizes the process of awakening. Much of what sadhana amounts to is a very direct, to-the-point conversation, and not necessarily all of it feels very good. There is no immediate correlation between sadhana and feeling good. A deep commitment to the idea of transforming your life is what is necessary, and the idea of a very deep love, especially applied to yourself because of the depth, intensity, and longevity of the ongoing conversation you will be having with yourself in the process of transformation.
At the same time you’ll be rubbing up against all of the elements of the creation. This is where the dynamic of character arises. Finding your place in this world, in this universe, and accepting the truth of that with love, and recognizing the truth of the place of others is the essential component of character. Character implies a connection to yourself, and you can’t have a connection to yourself without having a connection to others because there is no second thing. The fear and terror of this is one of the major obstacles to spiritual practice. Taking on the world on its own terms. It’s a ferocious place, we all know that.