Cleansing the heart until it is pure is something hard to do, but it lies within our capacity as human beings to do it. The Buddha went through hardships, his disciples went through hardships, all those who have reached purity have had to go through hardships, but these were hardships for the sake of purity and release – as opposed to going down in failure – which is what makes them worth going through.
The heart, when it’s overcome with dirt and defilement, does not seem to have any value at all. Even we can find fault with ourselves.
When we wash these things away, step by step, the heart gradually starts showing some of its inner radiance. It starts growing peaceful and calm. The entire heart becomes radiant. Happy. Relaxed. Whatever we do – sitting, standing, walking, lying down or whatever work we do – we’re happy with the pleasure that has appeared in the heart. When the heart is peaceful and calm, then wherever we are, we’re content. The important point lies with the heart. If the heart isn’t any good, then no matter where we are, nothing is any good at all.
Venerable Ăcariya Mahà Boowa Ňàõasampanno, A Life of Inner Quality: A Comprehensive Guide to Buddhist Practice