The mission throughout a practitioner’s life is elimination from his psyche of delusion. The absence in his psyche of delusion is the prerequisite for the presence therein of Buddha-nature. The moment his Buddha-nature can sally forth beyond its obscuration in his psyche to shine, he is enlightened and lands in Buddhahood. The development of Buddhism, as a religion, has ramified it into numerous sects and schools. The crucial difference between all the Buddhist sects and schools is epitomized by variation on the methodology for eliminating delusions. For example, the methodology adopted by the Buddhist Chan Order for eliminating delusions is the practice of concentrating contemplation on the “hua-tou” (话头, which is a response elicited in the course of a “koan session”), whereas the Pure Land School teaches the method of reciting the Buddha’s name, “Amitabha Buddha”, for the purpose of eliminating delusions. The methods resorted to by the Tientai School for inducing its practitioners to get rid of delusions are the following three:
<1> the counting of a practitioner’s breathings when he starts a sitting meditation for the purpose of making his mind concentrate, <2> the practicing of samatha, and <3> the practicing of vipasyana.
Tantrism sanctions the methods for smothering delusions by seeking the realization of the essential oneness of one’s self and of the visible world with Shiva-Shakti (the Godhead). Some Buddhist sects follow the method for stifling delusions by attaining Samadhi through a particular process of sitting meditation. And other miscellaneous Buddhist sects opt for asceticism as a means to conquer delusions. Sakyamuni himself deliberately devised an astonishingly great number of dharma-gates that all function to undo the sources of delusions. Therefore to effect an extinction of delusions is an issue of uppermost importance and concern with all practitioners. (From My Heart My Buddha)