From: Warrior's Solution 4
One day a man reproached Bayazid, the great mystic of the ninth century, saying that he had fasted and prayed and so on for thirty years, and not found the joy or peace which Bayazid had prescribed.  Bayazid said that he might continue for three hundred years and still not find it.   
"How is that?" asked the would-be-illuminate.   
"Because your vanity is a barrier to you" 
"Tell me the remedy." 
"The remedy is one which you cannot take."  
"Tell me nevertheless." 
Bayazid said, "You must go to the barber and have your very respectable beard shaved, remove all your clothes and put on a simple girdle, fill a nose bag with walnuts and suspend it from your neck, go to the market place and call out, 'I will give a walnut to any boy who will strike me on the back of my neck.' Then continue on to the courthouse so that they may see you."   
"But I cannot do that. Please tell me something else that would do." 
"This is the first move and the only one,"  said Bayazid, "but I had already told you that you would not do it, so you cannot be cured."
Ken: When I was in the second three-year retreat one of the retreatants was a very, very intelligent young man from an upper middle class family. He spoke English better than me, and his French of course was superb. And would normally have pursued an academic career which would have ended up as one of the chairs in the department of literature in the Sorbonne or something like that.  And at one point in the retreat a group of us were standing outside the temple, and he said, "Ken, what do you have to do to get some understanding?"  And before I could reply, one of the other French people in the retreat said, "Wow, that's why you have given up so much."  And he said, "I haven't given up anything."  And another person said, "Well you know what it says, "Meditate for twelve years, become enlightened in sixteen," or whatever.  And Francois looked at this person with an expression of scorn and said, "That I could do at a drop of a hat, but I know that it wouldn't be enough."

The theme from yesterday is intent, the theme for today is sacrifice.  The word sacrifice etymologically comes from the Latin, and means quite literally, to make holy.  Sacra, the word for whole, and fico  the verb to do, to make, facra, facra, if I can remember my high school Latin.  

What do we sacrifice?  Well that's illustrated in the first story that I read. This would-be aspirant  has to sacrifice his vanity, his pride. So take a moment and ask yourself what do you have to sacrifice in order to be awake? There are many ways to this and the way that we are using it in this retreat is to meat what runs our lives in conditioning and transform the energy of that into attention and awareness.  So what this means in practice is that we are going to make our conditioned personality holy, in other words we are going to sacrifice it. 
All of you have practiced enough, and have lived long enough to know that there are numerous occasions on a daily basis when something seems to take over and start running the show.  Quite contrary to your intention to be present and awake.  There is a whole web of patterns and conditioning which is set in motion by the resonance that there is experiences in life set in motion, or triggered and that web of patterns takes over.  It is almost as if there is another person inside of us. One person brought this up the other day,  "the ogre inside."  And the way that we are working in this retreat, we call this "person" the appropriate opponent. It's called an opponent because it opposes our intention to be awake and present.  It is called appropriate because it is actually the right focus for our efforts. Too often in our lives we regard some external factor, another person, as an opponent.  The mother in the supermarket who is under pressure for time, but she is with her child and her child is feeling playful and a little mischiefs and does something and the mother gets very upset and she glares at the child, "See what you made me do!"  That is an example of attributing the opponent outside.  But that isn't the opponent, the opponent is the set of patterns inside that was set in motion, that's where we need to direct our attention.   

Aristotle had a line on this, he said "It is very easy to get angry; it is very difficult to get angry at the right person, at the right time, inn the right way."  Always keep in mind that patterned behavior has one function and one function only.  That is to dissipate or degrade attention.  That is the sole purpose of reactive patterns. The sole function.  We are sometimes amazed at the ability of reactive patterns to hijack our attention and to screw things up.  But we shouldn't really be surprised.  The opponent has access to everything, to all of your intelligence, and to all your experience.  It can and does adapt to every condition except one.  It can't adapt to awareness because there is no awareness in the operation of the opponent. There may be intelligence but there is no awareness.