• By Nhat Quan
    In a house, if you store a lot of things and don't clean them for a long time, the house becomes cramped and dirty. In a public place, if you throw trash on the street, it will become polluted over time. That's why the Department of Transportation requires you to have your vehicle smock checked every two years. Likewise, if your thoughts are stored in your heart for a long time you become polluted, so if you want to have a pure space, you must know how to clean your mind to be pure. According to Buddhist Ethics, the Buddha always mentioned three simple principles to apply:
    - Avoid doing evil things,
    - Do all good deeds, and
    - Keep your mind pure.
    The three principles form an orderly succession of steps necessary from the outside, and to prepare for going deeper within.
    Because avoiding evil things opens your soul to everyone, every species regardless of skin color or race. When you have developed the mind to do good deeds, you tend to extend a helping hand to everyone without considering time, energy, and money. Once you keep a pure mind, you will surely keep a smile on your lips forever, and your life will be peaceful and happy. So when applied, each step of practice naturally leads you to the pinnacle of the three principles:
    - A soul that always looks up and toward goodness.
    - A soul that is always open.
    - A family, a society that is always peaceful and happy.
    Therefore, expanding the mind to a vast extent is what Buddhist disciples must practice and achieve. At the same time, purifying the mind is understood in the Buddha's teachings as a long-term, persistent effort to cleanse the mind of afflictions, the dominant negative karma operating under the surface of the stream of consciousness that harms the mind, your thoughts, values, behavior, and actions.
    Remember that foremost among the afflictions are the three karmas that the Buddha called:
    - The root of evil
    That is:
    - Greed, hatred, and delusion
    The phenomena and variations of these types of unwholesome roots are:
    - Angry
    - Cruel,
    - Greed and jealousy, conceit and arrogance, stubbornness, and many misconceptions.
    Current opinion in some countries views concepts such as afflictions and catharsis unfavorably, and I suggest that they are an outdated morality. But anyway, in the human community, especially in Western societies like the United States, people always like to live in peace, so it can be said that this place is a place that needs to maintain and develop spirituality. Buddhist Studies.
    The principle, or standard, that everyone can follow without much difficulty in the Buddha's teachings through the true standards of enlightenment lies entirely in making the mind pure. The purpose of all introspection and realization is to free the mind from afflictions and attain Nirvana. And is clearly defined as complete liberation from greed, anger, and delusion. The Dharma's view of afflictions and purity is not one of rigid morality, but of solid practical facts that are necessary for a correct understanding of human value in present life. As facts of empirical life, affliction, and purity pose a principle of great significance for those seeking liberation from suffering.
    Through this, the Buddha said that afflictions lie at the bottom of all human suffering. Burned by lust and attachment, or anger and resentment, ravages souls, lives, hopes, and civilizations. And lead you into blindness and craving to drift along the cycle of birth and death. The Buddha describes afflictions as internal formations, fetters, obstacles, and hindrances, from which one can proceed to the path of opening internal formations, liberation, and freedom, removing the hindrances, at the same time. The practitioner achieves inner cleansing.
    Practice to have a pure space, through which purification of the mind must be applied where defilements arise, which is in the mind and the main Dharma method to practice is meditation to purify the heart. These practices are not a quest for ecstasy, or techniques for applying self-treatment to mental illness, but are an essential method for developing the mind, with precise theory and practical effects, to achieve inner purity and spiritual liberation. The main Buddhist tools for practicing this include core elements such as spiritual power, mindfulness, concentration, and insight. But the practice method is consolidated, and linked together in a sequence of mind purification to eliminate the roots of afflictions and their associated factors, so that even subtle afflictions are no longer present left over.
    Starting from defiled states of mind, arising from a lack of thorough understanding of the defilements, the cessation, and elimination of mental purification is brought about through the means of wisdom, perceiving and penetrating the true nature of dharmas.
    Therefore, wisdom does not arise by chance or from random good concepts, but only from a pure mind. Therefore, for wisdom to be present and the mind to be completely purified by eliminating the root of defilements, you must first create a temporary space for the mind, which is a temporary but essential purification of the mind as a foundation for revealing awareness.
    Therefore, if you want to eliminate afflictions, you must first clearly perceive and detect them at the place where they arise and dominate your thoughts and daily life. In the days, months, and years that have passed, you have acted motivated by greed, anger, and delusion. And so contemplation to purify the mind cannot be done quickly. All applications require patience and diligence and are clearly instructed by the Buddha. Out of compassion, the Buddha showed you the antidote the affliction, to control and eliminate it. By reflecting and applying the teachings skillfully, you will gradually wash away the solid, defiled internal formations and eventually, end suffering, and the mind will be completely free from all impurities.
    As you know, everyone is looking for peace and harmony, because this is what you lack in life. Sometimes you feel insecure, frustrated, and restless. And when you are tormented by these sufferings, you do not keep them to yourself but often vent them to others. Sadness and pollution enter the atmosphere around people who are suffering, so everyone who comes into contact with these people is affected. Surely this is not a wise way to live.
    It would help if you lived happily with yourself and happily with others. Because by nature humans are creatures that live in groups, form societies, and must communicate with each other. But you can live happily when you know the fundamental cause, the origin of suffering. If you look into this matter, it becomes clear that every time there are defilements and impurities in your mind, you become unhappy. Defilement in the mind, a mental pollution, an impurity, cannot coexist with happiness and harmony.
    You start creating troubles, if you investigate you will see clearly. You become unhappy when you see someone behaving in a way you don't like, or when you see something happen that you don't like. Every time unpleasant things happen you create tension in your mind. When what you want is not achieved because of some obstacle, you will become stressed and create knots in your heart. And throughout life, unsatisfactory things continue to happen. The things you want may or may not be achieved, reacting by creating knots, the kind of knots that are almost impossible to untie, causing the entire mind and body to be tense, and causing life to become miserable.
    To protect yourself in a pure space, whenever something unpleasant happens, you should immediately change your mind instead of reacting with anger, fear, or other impurities. focus on something else.
    For example: stand up and get a glass of water to drink, your anger will not increase but on the contrary, will begin to subside. Or you start counting one, two, three, four. Or start repeating a phrase or mantra or the name of a Bodhisattva or Buddha that you worship, your mind will be redirected, and you will be somewhat relieved of your afflictions, which will calm down your anger.
    This solution is useful, has worked, and still works. Solved in this way, the mind feels no longer insecure. However, this solution is only effective at the conscious level. If you want to prevent it from recurring and getting worse, you have to try harder. In this way, self-observation shows you reality in two aspects:
    - Internal and external.
    Previously, you only looked outside but forgot the truth inside. You always look outside for the cause of misfortunes. You always blame and try to change the external reality. Meanwhile, you know nothing about inner reality, you never understand that the source of suffering lies within you. It is located right in the blind reactions to pleasant or unpleasant sensations.
    Now, with practice, you can see the other side of the coin. You can be aware of your breathing, as well as what is happening in your body. Whether it's the breath or the sensations, you just observe them without losing your equanimity. You stop reacting, you stop increasing your suffering, you just let the affliction manifest and then it goes away.
    The more you practice this method, the more quickly your afflictions will disappear. Gradually your mind no longer has worries and becomes clean and pure. A pure mind is always filled with love, an unselfish love that is towards everyone—a love filled with compassion for the suffering and failures of others. Be happy for the success and happiness of others, and always be calm in all circumstances.
    When you reach this level, every habit in your life will change. You cannot use words or actions that disrupt the peace and happiness of others. On the contrary, a balanced mind not only makes you personally happy but the surrounding atmosphere is also filled with joy and harmony. This will start influencing others and help them too.
    By remaining calm with all your own emotions, you also find a way to separate yourself from what you encounter outside of you. However, this detachment, this non-attachment, is not an avoidance or indifference to life's difficulties. Because when you practice regularly you often become more sensitive to the suffering of others, and do all you can to alleviate these sufferings. You do so not with an uneasy mind but with a mind full of love, compassion, and balance. You learn how to have holy detachment, learn how to participate wholeheartedly, participate passionately in helping others, and at the same time maintain your stability. In this way, you maintain your peace and happiness while working for the peace and happiness of others.
    What the Buddha taught here is just an art of living. He did not establish a religion or any superior doctrine. He never instructed those who came to Him to practice rituals, ceremonies, or any other empty forms. On the contrary, He only teaches you to observe the natural world as it exists, by observing your inner reality. Because of ignorance, you always behave in ways that are harmful to you and others. But when there is wisdom due to observing the truth as it is, this habit of reacting disappears. When you stop reacting blindly, you are capable of acting impartially with equanimity, a mind that sees and understands the truth. Such behavior can only be positive and creative, beneficial for you and others.
    So it is necessary to know yourself, that is the advice of the saints. You must understand yourself not just by books or theories. Not just by emotion or faith, just blindly accepting what you hear and learn. Such understanding is not enough. Better yet, you must understand reality by experiencing it. You must directly experience the reality of your physical and mental phenomena. This alone will help you have a pure space, free from suffering.
    In short, once you have experienced this truth, you will know how to stop reacting blindly and stop creating new afflictions, and the old afflictions will slowly disappear naturally. You will end your suffering and enjoy true happiness. No one objects to a lifestyle that respects the happiness and harmony of others. No one objects to your mastery of your mind. No one objects to developing insight within yourself to free your mind from afflictions. Keeping a pure space for yourself is your way of life, but also the way of life for everyone.
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