Afflictions

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“The passions and ignorance that cause one to wander in Samsara and hinder one from reaching enlightenment. The word ‘afflictions’ emphasizes the effects of defilements. One list of the basic defilements names six: greed, hatred (or anger), ignorance (or delusion), arrogance, doubt, and wrong (evil) views.” The basic goal of … (read more)

“The passions and ignorance that cause one to wander in Samsara and hinder one from reaching enlightenment. The word ‘afflictions’ emphasizes the effects of defilements. One list of the basic defilements names six: greed, hatred (or anger), ignorance (or delusion), arrogance, doubt, and wrong (evil) views.” The basic goal of Buddhist teachings is to keep the mind empty and still so that our innate wisdom can manifest itself. (A Buddha is all wisdom at all times.) Thus, Buddhism fosters practices and habits that subdue passions and simplify life, freeing the cultivator for spiritual pursuits. It is in this context that sexual desire, excessive rest and sleep, etc. are considered afflictions. Buddha Sakyamuni compared human beings chasing after the fleeting pleasures of this world to a child licking honey off a sharp knife. There is no way they can avoid hurting themselves. “They are like men who carry torches against a strong wind; the flame will surely burn their hands and faces.”


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