How to Be Free From All Afflictions?
In today’s world, we human beings suffer more than ever from negative mental states and emotions, such as stress, depression, fear, anxiety, and sadness. What is the best way to deal with these problems? This teaching will help you to free yourself from negative states and emotions by learning to understand their true nature.
What is important and what really matters during meditation is to realize the nature of mind whether it is unsettled or at peace. As the famous Tibetan Buddhist master Patrul Rinpoche said, “Our conceptual thoughts arise as always, yet by recognizing their true nature, they are instantly liberated by themselves.” It is the same with our afflictions in life. They are self-liberated once we recognize their true nature. Therefore, whether a negative or positive emotion is arising, simply recognize and accept it through the appropriate methods. For example, when you are in great pain or anger, try to see where the mind that feels pain or anger resides and discern the nature of it: the past mind is already gone with no trace to be found; the future mind is yet to be born like the son of a barren woman who is nonexistent; and the present mind is as empty as space. So, by allowing the mind to look into itself, we will find how amazing it is. In reality, mind will never be bound by afflictions or defilements because “defilement is bodhi”, which means our negative emotions are devoid of intrinsic nature upon observation. As mentioned in the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in Eight Thousand Lines, “Bodhisattvas should often practice meditation. What kind of meditation? Meditate on all phenomena as empty as space.” Through this method, we can gradually attain realization. When we actually realize the nature of mind, all our afflictions will be liberated by themselves.