Three roots 8 – pre-emptive practice

Generosity, loving kindness, wisdom
Greed, hatred, delusion

As Phil pointed out in the previous post, it’s important to apply the remedy of loving kindness to hatred. I’m keenly aware that in all three cases of greed, hatred and delusion, the remedies can be DIRECTLY APPLIED in the moment when we become aware. If there’s anger and awareness follows, loving kindness is a natural remedy and also the physical and mental reward of letting go. When we drop a moment of clinging, our body and mind gives a sigh of relief and loving kindness is there. The bigger the clinging, the bigger the release. This is called nirodha in Pali.

Likewise with greed. When we see it and release it, a pleasant feeling of letting go – in this case generosity – is palpable.

Delusion is a bit trickier, because sometimes we don’t know that we’re framing a situation (incorrectly) in a way that causes dukkha. Still, if we can back up and look through the lense of the four noble truths (dukkha, its arising, its release and the way to its release), then wisdom is present.

It’s also possible and wise to practice generosity, loving kindness and wisdom on a regular basis, in order to weaken greed, hatred and delusion. Generosity is just the practice of sharing whatever you’ve got: time, money, food, attention, care. I’m not saying you have to give everything away, just that if you’re enjoying something, think about whether there’s a way to increase the enjoyment by sharing.

Loving kindness can be cultivated through daily practice. Here is a short verse that can be memorized and repeated:

May I be well, happy and peaceful.
As I wish to be well, happy and peaceful, may all beings be well, happy and peaceful.
May I be free from animosity.
As I wish to be free from animosity, may all beings be free from animosity.
May I be free from mental and physical suffering.
As I wish to be free from mental and physical suffering, may all beings be free from mental and physical suffering.
May I live in peace and happiness.
As I wish to live in peace and happiness, may all beings live in peace and happiness.

(from Sayadaw U Janaka)

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