The process of cultivating mind can be compared to climbing up a mountain. On the way to the highest peak, imagine we come across all different kinds of luggage. Should we also carry these up the mountain? It is hard enough to get to the top carrying just our body. Should we also shoulder all of the different things we encounter? No, we should leave them behind and move on. Likewise, when we cultivate mind in everyday life, we have to let go of everything we experience. While cultivating mind, sometimes people see or hear certain things that others cannot, but this often tends to increase their pride and conceit. Also, while cultivating mind people will start to see things in sharper focus, but this can also make it easier for them to fall into distinctions between good and bad, beautiful and repulsive. These kinds of distinctions will cause every kind of desire to increase. These things will make it much harder for you to let go of your stubbornness and thoughts of “I,” “me,” and “mine.” Yet unless you let go of these, it will be impossible to reach your destination. So you have to let go of everything and move forward. Even the luggage that we already have at the beginning of the climb—our bodies—is so heavy that we plod on under the weight of a great burden. We don’t need to add any more baggage. If you just keep letting go of everything and moving forward, you’ll reach the top of the mountain.

From Wake Up and Laugh: The Dharma Teachings of Zen Master Daehaeng by Daehaeng Kun Sunim. Reprinted with permission of Wisdom Publications.

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