When our friend David retired and moved, he gave us his 3-foot tall lemon tree because he didn't have space for it in his new home. Now his lemon tree has an orange on it. It's small; it's round;, and it's definitely orange.
Sometimes we follow a spiritual path that doesn't quite deliver on its promises. It says it will give us an orange, but we find ourselves with a lemon instead.
The Buddha's teachings can seem, at first taste, as sour as a lemon. The 5 Precepts, for instance. Speaking truthfully and helpfully can be hard work, and it's so much more fun to gossip. And refraining from intoxicants? A little glass of wine never hurt anyone, and I don't get drunk, after all.
There's the 4 Ennobling Truths, which begin with #1: Stress exists. Unsatisfactoriness exists. That just seems downright negative when, really, life is wonderful.
And that concept of not-self. How can that be true? I feel like i have a self, so i must have one.
The Dharma may make our mind pucker when we first encounter it, yet over time, we see the truth of the Truths. That's when we realize the fruit of the spiritual path is very sweet indeed.