mindfulness and awareness

Q: Dear Rinpoche, on ultimate approach, we shall watch the thoughts come and go and do not judge whether they are good or bad. But usually, most of the time I am not mindful and aware. The thoughts come for awhile then I recognize them. Sometimes they are bad thoughts. When at the time of recognizing bad thoughts, do I need to judge that they are bad thoughts? Do I need to judge that they are bad and carry on with them? Or at that time I still can continue watching them when they already come and create karma?? What should I do in that situation?

A: When you are able to liberate your thoughts, then you don't label them, don't get involve with them. But if you do not liberate them, and you grasp at them, you accumulate karma with your body and your speech. So if you are still holding on to those thoughts, you have to confess them. But all those thoughts that you recognized, it will become liberated. If you don't really recognize them, then it will dissolved in your mind and defile your mind. So all those thoughts that dissolved in your mind, they make your mind milky and unclear. All those thoughts will dissolve in your mind if you do not recognize, and they dissolve into a self-grasping state of mind. When those thoughts are good thoughts like compassion, it is little better. But if you are mindful, then all those thoughts will melt like ice. So all those thoughts are unrecognized if you are not mindful, all the thoughts become like ice so then they merged with the self, and therefore they create sufferings. If you are able to liberate them, it will dissolve. If you cannot liberate them, then you should think about the faults. For example angry: if I am angry then I will go to hell. Then you should discern between virtues and negative thoughts and give up negative thoughts, if you are not able to liberate those thoughts.

If you did not liberate them, for example if you say harsh things with your speech or fight with your body, then you will accumulate negative karma. If you liberate them, the thought will be render powerless. For example you get angry at somebody, then later there is no trace of it left behind, that is the sign that you have liberated anger. Most importantly actually we must liberate anger and jealousy.  

Whether or not you liberate thoughts, you should especially look whether or not if you are able to let go of hatred (anger) and jealousy. If you have not liberate the thoughts and see the other person again, then you will again get angry or get jealousy. But if you have liberate them, then you see the other person again, then there is no feelings or no sensation at all when you see the other person, that is the sign that you have liberated the thought. If you cannot liberate the thoughts, they will obscure your mind. At that time meditate on yidam the deity. Think about the faults of the thoughts. Visualize Vajrasattve and think that the nectar flows down, fills up your entire body and purify all those unliberated thoughts, until the grasping at these thoughts have disappear. So until there is no more grasping in the mind, we have to confess all those unliberated thoughts. If the grasping immediately goes away, actually that is the supreme confession.