(Photo by Chen Ya Yin)
Someone asked, “How do we eradicate afflictions and become enlightened?”
The Master answers:
Affliction is like a dark room. The moment you decide to light up your mind, darkness will disappear. Afflictions arise from ignorance; it accumulates in your mind and pollutes your mind. As long as you clear your mind of all the polluted thoughts, your mind will become pure again. There is no other way to brighten your mind and clean up the polluted thoughts, only you can do it for yourself.
For example, when it comes to parenting, one must "treat one's children with the wisdom of a Bodhisattva, and care for all children with the love of a parent”. Every parent and child’s relationship are predestined. People become your parent or child either to repay gratitude or seek retribution, it could be a good affinity or a bad one, all these were forged in the past life. Regardless of the predestined relationships, you must treat it with an equanimous mind, and such a mind is wisdom. Love your own children but do not spoil them, and care for all the children in this world with love, that is akin to light up the dark room with lights.
The Master had also mentioned how a Zen master attained his enlightenment. Each enlightened being gained their enlightenment in different ways, they can only be used as reference with detachment in order not to generalize. For example, a Zen Master became enlightened after he kicked a stone. This can be explained as the condition and affinity to become enlightened had matured when the master accidentally kicked the stone. The moment of the kicking was the moment when all his afflictions suddenly disappeared, thus he became enlightened. However, we should not be kicking stones just because someone else had gained enlightenment by doing so. If we persistently and blindly do so, we would not gain any enlightenment even after badly injuring our feet. In short, to attain the state of enlightenment, one must have a clear mind without worries, and naturally, you will see all things as they are.
In fact, if life was free of suffering and worries, one would not be able to realize the truth. Therefore, the most fundamental principle of Buddhism is the Four Noble Truths, they are the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. Because one will only seek the source of suffering when one is aware that he is suffering. After discovering the source of suffering, one will then eliminate suffering through spiritual cultivation, and the path of Bodhisattva is the path towards liberation from suffering.
In short, whether you are trying to resolve your afflictions or realize the truth, you must practice the Buddha's teachings obediently in your daily life, do not pursue lofty goals or be engrossed in analysing the words of the sutras and neglect the practice.