In the introduction to Diamond in Your Pocket, Gangaji describes how her life before awakening was a ground of suffering, and after a ground of joy, independent of the surface experiences.
(When there is a sense of a separate self, there is inevitably suffering, in spite of conventional joy and happiness. And when this is seen through, there is equally inevitably joy, in spite of whatever surface experiences are there.)
I notice this ground of suffering in myself, and also the habitual resistance in avoiding it. As often as I have seen beliefs and emotions dissolve into clarity and joy, through inquiry and being with, there is still hesitancy there. Still a holding back. A part of me does still not quite believe it: behind the dragons is the treasure.