The difficulty most of us face is that we’re afraid of our humanity. We don’t know how to give our humanity space. We don’t know how to give it love. We don’t know how to offer our appreciation. We seize upon whenever difficult emotions or painful thoughts arise – in large part because we have been taught from a very early age that life is a serious business. We’re taught that we have to accomplish so many things and excel at so many things because we have to compete for a limited amount of resources. We develop such high expectations for ourselves and others, and we develop high expectations of life. Such a competitive, goal-orientated approach to life makes us very speedy inside. We become so tight physically, mentally and emotionally as we rush through each day, each moment, that many of us forget – often quite literally – to breathe.
Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Upgrading our Practice