Student: What is the right way to uplift myself?
Master: First, set the right goal.
Second, you need motivation. The motivation coming from your own mind is most powerful weapon to overcome hindrances. Without motivations, everything becomes in vain. Being a practitioner, ask yourself what goal you want to achieve? For example, as a practitioner, to achieve enlightenment is a very common goal for the Zen practice. Keep asking yourself, “If I try to achieve enlightenment, what are problems or hindrances that are keeping me away from achieving enlightenment?” You should figure it out! It is not the problem that the goal is never manifested; instead, it is the problem that you never overcome your self-attachment. We should realize that all problems are our attachments. The only problem is our ego. How can we put down the ego, the self-attachment, and the habitual thoughts and patterns? This becomes an issue of practicing. The way how we can achieve enlightenment is the way how we can overcome and let go of our self-attachment. In order to achieve the goal, we need to have the strength and motivations to overcome our self-attachments. Finding a motivation to achieve enlightenment is not an issue; finding a motivation to eradicate our own self-attachments is the issue. Practitioners are trying to achieve enlightenment; so they think they have motivations to achieve enlightenment. Achieving enlightenment is not an issue. The real issue is to have motivations to fix our own mistakes in life. If you want to achieve your goal, you should have motivations to correct your mistakes and your motivation should focus on how you can fix your own mistakes. Are you heading to enlighten or getting rid of your self-attachments? Which path are you heading for?” Ninety-nine percents of practitioners are heading to the wrong way. They only focus on how they can achieve enlightenment; they never focus on how they can get rid of their problems, hindrances, and self-attachments in their life. If you focus only on achieving enlightenment, you will always blame people. If you focus on your self-attachments and defects which are the real hindrances to keep you away from enlightenment, you will realize you are the only one who should take the blame. Remember, to make progress, focus on fixing what our own defects and problems are; this is the right attitude and the right understanding for a real practitioner. The motivation to achieve enlightenment is unnecessary because the enlightenment is there already.
Third, to fix your personality, you need to have a very strong self awareness. The awareness can find our own problems from our mind and focus on the mind—nothing is beyond the mind. Every single thought is created by your mind as well as every single phenomenon is created by your mind. In order to create a better phenomenon, you should check with yourself, look inwardly. A motivation which can fix the wrong phenomena (your problems) and is manifested by yourself is the right motivation. People always think that they are right in every moment. This is an everyday person’s idea. How can we find our own awareness? Daily meditation can build up our awareness. We can also find our awareness from the phenomenon or environment. The defect is your problem, not the phenomenon or someone else. If you do not have self-awareness, if you do not even know you make a mistake, how can you change yourself? How can you achieve enlightenment? If so, enlightenment becomes an illusion, a dream.