What keeps us unhappy and stuck in a limited view of reality is our tendency to seek pleasure and avoid pain, to seek security and avoid groundlessness, to seek comfort and avoid discomfort. This is how we keep ourselves enclosed in a cocoon. Out there are all the planets and all the galaxies and vast space, but we’re stuck here in this cocoon. Moment after moment, we’re deciding that we would rather stay in that cocoon than step out into that big space. Life in our cocoon is cozy and secure. We’ve gotten it all together. It’s safe, it’s predictable, it’s convenient, and it’s trustworthy. 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. We fear losing our illusion of security-that’s what makes us anxious. We fear being confused and not knowing which way to turn. We want to know what’s happening. The mind is always seeking zones of sagety, and these zones of safety are continually falling apart. Then we scramble to get another zone of safety back together again. We spend all our energy and waste our lives trying to recreate these zones of safety, which are always falling apart. That’s the essence of samsara-the cycle of suffering that comes from continuing to seek happiness in all the wrong places.

From Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodron