The onus is very much on oneself to do the work, no one else can do it for us. None but ourselves can free our mind. One must make effort.
Bear in mind it is said there are 84 0000 dhamma doors that lead to nibbana. The Buddha taught many paths and skilful means over his 45-year teaching career. We are all different, with different interests and dispositions, and so we must make our own raft out of the huge amount of teachings passed down to us over the ages, find the ones that suit us. There isn't one size that fits all.
In the metaphor of the raft, it isn't a fancy raft that gets us to the other shore. It is just a bundle of sticks placed under the arms to keep us afloat while we paddle across the flood using the four limbs of right effort.
We don't have to know it all. Just grab a bundle of
teachings from the huge pile handed down to us, those that resonate with you
and make those into your raft.
And gently paddle, pace yourself, tune, and balance the energy of right effort:
‘ Thus, have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. Then, when the night had advanced, a certain devatā of stunning beauty, illuminating the entire Jeta’s Grove, approached the Blessed One. Having approached, he paid homage to the Blessed One, stood to one side, and said to him:
“How, dear sir, did you cross the flood?”
“By not halting, friend, and by not straining I
crossed the flood.”
“But how is it, dear sir, that by not halting and by not straining you crossed the flood?”
“When I came to a standstill, friend, then I sank;
but when I struggled, then I got swept away. It is in this way, friend, that by
not halting and by not straining I crossed the flood.”
~ S 1.1 (Bhikkhu Bodhi trans.)
This is what should be accomplished by one who is wise.
Who seeks the good and has obtained peace.
Let one be strenuous, upright, and sincere.
Without pride, easily content and joyous.
Let one not be submerged by the things of the world.
Nor lay upon oneself the burden of riches.
Let one's senses be controlled.
Let one be wise but not puffed up.
And let one not desire great possessions even for one's family.
Let one do nothing that is mean.
Or that this wise would later reprove.
May all beings be happy!
May they be joyous and live in safety!
All beings. Whether weak or strong.
In high, middle, or low realms of existence.
Great or small.
Visible or invisible.
Near or far.
Born or to be born.
May all beings be happy!
Let none deceive another.
Nor despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or hatred.
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother at the risk of her life;
Watches over and protects her only child.
So too with a boundless heart should one cherish all living things.
Suffusing with love the entire world.
Above and below and all around without limit.
So let one cultivate an infinite goodwill toward the whole world.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down.
Throughout all one's waking hours.
Let one practise the way with gratitude.
Not holding to wrong views.
Endowed with insight.
Freed from senses appetites.
One who realises the way will be freed from the duality of birth and death.
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