Five Hindrances – Buddhism

The Five Hindrances in Buddhism

five hindrences

Introduction

Buddhist writings often reference the Five Hindrances when discussing obstacles in meditation, but if you continue meditating and are aware of the hindrances as they build up inside you, observe the sensation of the hindrance, then let it go. You will learn to recognize each hindrance as it you become more aware of the sensation of each.

1. Sensual Desires

As rain penetrates an ill-thatched house,
So lust penetrates an undeveloped mind.

As rain does not penetrate a well-thatched house,
So lust does not penetrate a well-developed mind.

Dhammapada (13-14)

2. Ill Will (wishing ill will towards another being)

Weeds are the ruin of fields; Ill will is the ruin of people.

Dhammapada (357)

3. Sloth and Torpor

Not arousing oneself from discontent and laziness is the proximate cause for sloth and torpor.

Commentary to the Middle Length Discourses

4. Restlessness and Remorse

Frequently giving unwise attention to a restless mind nourishes restlessness and remorse that is occurring and which has not yet occurred.

SN 46:51

5. Doubt or Uncertainty

“I know of no other single thing that has the power to bring on doubt and to cause doubt to increase, than unwise attention.”

~The Buddha 


See also: 10 Unwholesome ActionsThe 38 Supreme Blessings, Benefits of Meditation

This Young Lady was Consumed by Prescription Opiates Through Four Years is Now Sober 1 Year

Five Things We Cannot Change

The 5 Things We Cannot Change

“…the underlying roots of unhappiness – and the surprising secret to finding freedom and fulfillment. There are certain facts of life that we cannot change – the unavoidable “givens” of human existence: (1) everything changes and ends, (2) things do not always go according to plan, (3) life is not always fair, (4) pain is a part of life, and (5) people are not loving and loyal all the time.” From the book “The Five Things We Cannot Change…and The happiness we Find by Embracing Them”

fiveI purchased The Five Things We Cannot Change…and the Happiness we Find by Embracing Them.  I’ve read parts of this book in the past, but the quote I’m using from the book for my opening paragraph on this post always stuck with me. Although I don’t always remember the “five things,” I do eventually remember and am able to get a grip on myself and can then use other tools I’ve learned to aid me to get past or let go whatever the situation is and eventually reduce my own suffering.

I’ve listed each of the five and have added my comments to each:

1. Everything changes (and ends): The one constant in this life, from what I’ve learned in 46 years, is everything changes. Everything. Everything ends, too. Everything comes to an end at some point.

2. Things don’t always go as planned: I hate this one because I’m a planner. It’s due to a social anxiety complex I’m working on, but as of this moment, I cannot just “up and go” to dinner or camping. I have to plan that shit out. So, although I understand and agree with it, I do not like it one bit.

3. Life is not always fair: We all figured this out before ten years of age, but it’s still a bitch when you are the one to which life is unfair. I hate being that guy – the guy that is left out for whatever reason. The guy with the dog poo on his shoe…this guy.

4. Pain is a part of life or Suffering is part of Life:  I think should be “Suffering is part of life” because the word “pain” leads one to think “physical” pain. Suffering begs the question, “In what way?” Physical pain (more as I get older) and mental pain are both pain. Because of Rule 3., you better suck it up and tough it out. Be the best you can be right now at this moment. Learn from the past, be in the preset, and forget about the future.

5colrs5. People are not loving and loyal all the time: This is a killer. You don’t learn, really learn, this until you are in a long-term relationship, married, or you’ve been fortunate enough to learn your parents are people just like we are and they are not loving and loyal all the time to each other or to us.

6. No one is looking out for you except you: I didn’t see this until later in life. For example, when your wife, husband, child, parents, or another that is very close to you, makes a decision that benefits them and in doing so degraded your benefit in some way. Lying comes to mind here – people lie to hide a truth that the person from whom they are hiding it would benefit them and take away a benefit from you. They are not in this for you any more than you are in this life for me.

Six isn’t in the book, but I think it fits the list. 

Loving Kindness

Practice Loving Kindness Toward You


 

The Buddha said, “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Read that again.

Loving oneself seems so elusive today! Why? Why do people not love themselves, or worse, think they don’t deserve love from anyone else. With no mention of “affection,” because I think it’s redundant to love, which is the key – The Key – to this and every other life. Love can be learned with the right intentions and the right circumstances, but love is also part of our “firmware” when we are born. It’s not put into use for a few years, but it’s there and one is, hopefully, shown love from the time they are born. Sadly, that is not happening enough in our world. 

Loving Yourself

You deserve your love and admiration. You are enough and you are beautiful. We all are! Not one shit shall be given about what others think and say with regards to who you are as a person – who you are inside. All the clothes, houses, cars, schools, glasses, shoes, pools, flat screens, and so forth mean NOTHING. Nice to have, yes, but no amount of money, fame, or notoriety will fill you like loving yourself fills you. It is paramount that you begin the process of learning how to love yourself. You then teach your s/o, children, neighbors, and it takes off. The collective unconscious picks it all up and spreads loving kindness to all. 

Loving Kindness Meditation

I found Loving Kindness Meditation, known as Meta in Pali, five years ago through the podcast channel for Insight Meditation Center (IMC) in Redwood City, California. They were the only “Meditation for Beginners” podcast I found and still find it the best variety of speakers and topics meditation podcast today. Visit their Web site and follow the links to the six-week meditation course for beginners and start there. IMC teaches Loving Kindness Meditation and they do it well. They have a retreat center where they host 1 day to 30-day meditation retreats (and probably  longer.)

Loving kindness is good for you and your Self. Loving kindness toward every being on the planet, every plant, animal, fish, all deserve thoughts of loving kindness. Enemies, friends, mothers, fathers, hated siblings, and YOU deserve your focus of loving kindness. Meditation is an opportunity to focus your loving kindness on one person or one group of people, and always on yourself. Practice Loving Kindness meditation 20 minutes a day and learn to love yourself.

Who’s Your Therapist?

If you don’t have a therapist then find one (not a shrink – a Doctor Psychiatrist). Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) are therapists. Most list a specialization (drug abuse, teenagers, addictions, and so forth,) but you end up working best with the one you work best with; specialization or not, it works. The therapist is a non-biased licensed person whose job it is to listent to you and help you find a path leading to your answers. They aren’t to be used on an “as needed” basis either. Find a good therapist that you are comfortable with and continue with them for the next 10 years. These therapists help you on your journey through life; the first half of life (get married, kids, career, raise kids) and the second half of life (no kids, no idea who you’re married to, shit starts to make no sense, and so forth, or a “midlife crisis,” which I’m going through myself.) A guide through both halfs of life is very helpful.

Face it, life is a bitch and a good guide (therapist) is very handy to have. Doctor-client privileges exist, so your discussions are completely private (there are some terms and conditions that apply around crime, self harm, suicide, and so on,) and a good therapist will walk with you down the path, lead you to your answers, but will not point them out. It’s like the saying “If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” If your therapist tells you what to do and gives you all the answers, then you aren’t going to learn a damn thing. But when they lead you to the answer and YOU find it, that is what Oprah calls an “ah-ha moment,” and it’s quite amazing when you learn something, that clarifies something about you that you’ve never understood. Find out why you do what you do. It’s amazing.

I am in no way promoting IMC for any reason except my personal bias.