What is “The method of freeing oneself from shackles”?
To “free oneself from shackles” in Buddhist Sutras means to
unleash from the shackles of false images and be free from
the sufferings of the Three Domains22. The only method of
“freeing oneself from shackles” that does not dwell on any
images is instantaneous enlightenment.
Buddha virtues are based on ceasing doubts and establishing
faith, guided by being remote from marks or images, and built
on not dwelling one’s heart anywhere. By establishing Buddha
virtues, one can free his True Self. To free the True Self means
that the True Self is freed from shackles. If one can understand
the reasons for the sweetness and the bitterness he encounters,
constantly keeps tranquility in his heart, resolves all actions and
inactions with his True Self, responses to whatever he encounters,
and remains tranquil as event passes, he would not be far from
seeing his True Self.
We must know that a million acres of land cannot belong to
a person forever, spouse and children cannot be together forever,
and wealth, which needs to be looked after, doesn’t last forever.
The only thing that is everlasting is the True Self given by God.
If one practices Tao, he can become a Saint. If one ignores his
True Self, he will become a ghost. To be happy or to be pathetic
solely depends on one’s own doing. If one practices Tao with
sincerity and tenacity, it’s not difficult for him to be “free from shackles”.