By Daniel Scharpenburg


Self cultivation through meditation practice can be considered both easy and difficult.

It’s easy because all we are doing is laying down our delusion. It isn’t so much doing something as not doing something anymore. We just have to look through our delusion to the truth.

It is our true nature to be Enlightened.

But it’s also hard. We have this delusion that feeds our monkey mind, which is always jumping from one thing to another. It’s the aspect of ourselves that seems like a crazy person that is unable to pay attention.

Like anything else in life, it requires study and practice.

We want to learn wisdom from the Buddhas and the Patriarchs and we reach this goal through diligent practice.

So, the first thing we must have is diligence in our self-cultivation and in our devotion to the truth. We cannot avoid obstructions from our delusion, but if we are diligent, then we can have some success at getting through them.

The Surangama Sutra says:

“It is like the purification of muddy water stored in a clean container; left unshaken in complete calmness, the sand and mud will sink to the bottom. When the clear water appears, this is called the first suppression of the intruding evil element of passion. When the mud has been removed leaving behind only the clear water, this is called the permanent cutting off of basic ignorance.”

Our delusions are like mud, this is why we have to do inner work to transform our minds. Our practice is like cleaning the water, filtering out the mud a little at a time.

If you have strong resolve and dedication, then you will be able to overcome your delusion and attain Enlightenment. This potential for Awakening is available to everyone.

In his commentary on the Surangama Sutra, Master Xu Yun said, “When the water is clear, the moon will appear.”

When we get through our delusion, awakening is there.

And it has been there the whole time.

Photo: silentmusings/tumblr

Editor: Dana Gornall