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November 3, 2012

Student: What is Enlightenment?

Master: Enlightenment is a status of your mind. What kind of status is it? Enlightenment is the purity and tranquility of the mind. When your mind is tranquil, pure and aware, it is in the state of enlightenment. People have illusions, such as, “I am practicing,” or “I am trying to achieve enlightenment.” This is a good idea, but how can one make it a reality? By letting go of attachments and letting go of the dust that covers the mirror, you will manifest a shining reflection of the truth. This is the meaning of enlightenment. How do we achieve enlightenment? Let go of attachments in the mind. The idea of letting go of attachments in the mind means that thoughts vanish as soon as they appear. They come and go instantaneously. Do not follow them. For example, when you see food on the table, you generate a thought: “It is good food.” Your second thought is, “I want to have some of it.”  And so on and so forth. Instead, when a thought appears, just let it go. Thoughts come and go, so do not pursue them. Combinations of energy and the physical body occur and change constantly.  Every phenomenon–each thought and every energy combination–exists only temporarily in the moment.  That is why, when wandering thoughts appear during our practice of meditation, we do not follow them. Otherwise, we will lose our focus and instead create more wandering thoughts. When we practice, we try to manifest purity: the intrinsic nature of the mind. This is the purpose, and this is the goal. A better way to say “achieving enlightenment” is to say “manifesting the purity of your mind.” This is the goal. We are here to practice, not to create the purity of the mind; we are here to let go of attachments in order to manifest that purity.