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The Five Hindrances Part III,

Sloth-and-Torpor

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While pursuing the Noble Eightfold Path with commitment and diligence a sublime peace will eventually begin to establish itself within. As you see the various phenomena that appear in the mind as being impermanent then a sense of relief arises – relief due the fact that what had once caused you so much suffering – the feelings, the emotions, the regrets, the worries, the resentments – are not as real as you had thought them to be. On probing these mental events you unveil them as being “void, hollow, and insubstantial”*, and subsequently they lose their weight and the mind is relieved...(*SN 22:95)

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The Five Hindrances Part II

Ill-Will

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This is the second of a series of posts on the Five Hindrances to meditation.

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First, the bad news. Ill-will is more blamable than sense-desire. The good news: ill-will is easier to remove. (The Buddha stated this, though I can’t, for the moment, find its source.) So, for those of us who tend to suffer more from this particular concentration corrupter, we have some good news.

Ill-will is the second of the five hindrances to concentration. It comes in various guises such as anger, aversion, irritation and plain dislike. It covers all those states ranging from the slightest resistance to something, to full blown hatred for everyone and everything. Sometimes in our practice we go through periods where this hindrance dominates our meditation. We may at times feel utter contempt for the breath, or for whatever our object of meditation is. But don’t worry, because this is just the hindrance of ill-will and it’s trying to divert you from the path.

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The Five Hindrances Part 1

Sensual Desire

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Let’s say you’re planning on growing some vegetables in your garden. You’ve decided you’d like some horseradishes, cabbages, parsnips and asparagus. Now, before you embark on your voyage of vegetable cultivation you need to know that in the shadows there lurk certain beings whose sole purpose in life (it seems) is to torment you. These go by the names of rabbit, butterfly, slug and snail. These creatures will do their utmost to hinder your progression in the art of vegetable growing. So, in order for you to grow a humdinger of a horseradish, you’re going to have to work out how to overcome these charming little chompers.

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