Category Archives: Mindfulness

Agitation

The fourth in the usual list of five hindrances to meditation (and much else) is restlessness and worry, sometimes “restlessness and remorse”. This is approximately the opposite of lethargy/drowsiness, a mindstate which is like checking out of life. With restlessness/worry … Continue reading

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Practicing friendliness

The Buddha, and many teachers after his time, recommended practicing  mettā (loving-kindness) regularly as a remedy for the hindrance of ill-will. In this practice, we meet ill-will with mindfulness when it’s present, and when it’s absent, we practice mettā. If we … Continue reading

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Patience

The hindrances are not our fault, but they are our responsibility. Greed and hatred in particular are not things we should blame ourselves for; they are part of the natural, imperfect world. At the same time, if we let them … Continue reading

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Goodbye anger

Confronting our own ill-will is hard, but if we are to make any headway towards a peaceful heart (let alone liberation from all suffering) we must make the effort. Example: Let’s say someone we know makes a forceful, bossy, cutting-off … Continue reading

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Hello anger

The second of the hindrances is ill-will. It covers a lot of ground from minor irritation to rage, and includes dislike, annoyance, resentment, aversion, frustration, anger, hostility, impatience, and hate (in addition to irritation and rage). General grumpiness could also … Continue reading

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Working with desire

Once we’ve been alerted to the dangers of our compulsive or obsessive desire (the first of the five hindrances), how can we address it? The first step is to diagnose the problem: how does a specific desire drive us in … Continue reading

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The conundrum of desire

Sensual desire and ill-will, the two hindrances that top the list (of five) in the Pali canon, are evolutionarily useful, attracting us to desirable conditions and keeping us from harm, but they can also seriously obscure our vision. Both are … Continue reading

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