The forces of our human history and entanglement are tenacious and powerful. The path to inner freedom requires passing through them. Receiving grace, opening to illumination, becoming wise has not been easy even for the masters. It is described as a difficult purification: cleansing, letting go, and stripping away. Suzuki Roshi called it "a general housecleaning of the mind." It is painful to cast off our own scales, and the dragons guarding the way are fierce. It requires the inspiration of angels; it requires diving into the ocean of tears.

Jack Kornfield, After the Ecstasy, The Laundry