Sunday, November 25, 2007


In Buddhism, the five hindrances (Pali: pañca nīvaraṇāni)[1] are negative mental states that impede success with meditation (jhana) and lead away from enlightenment. These states are:

  1. Sensual desire (kamacchanda): Craving for pleasure to the senses.
  2. Anger or ill-will (byapada, vyapada): Feelings of malice directed toward others.
  3. Sloth, torpor and boredom (thina-middha): Half-hearted action with little or no concentration.
  4. Restlessness and worry (uddhacca-kukkacca): The inability to calm the mind.
  5. Doubt (vicikiccha): Lack of conviction or trust.
I am in the middle of reading Wherever you go, There you are and have just finished Eat, Pray, Love. This sudden dive into meditation writings is due to a recent revelation that "I am ANGRY". Mind you there are nouns that could follow that statement and be true, i.e. "I am angry at (fill in the blank)", but those statements would not truthfully describe why the drive for meditation. I think that it would be fair to say that I have always been somewhat angry. To me though, it often offered clarity in confusing situations rather than preventing me from experiencing life. It would appear that perception no longer holds and I honestly believe that my anger is actively a hindrance to a well lived life.

Which, you know, great. Elizabeth Gilbert made a point in on her website. She has an FAQ on the book and one of them is whether she felt selfish for tkaing the year off to focus on herself. In her answer she describes how everyone around her suffered because of her depression/anger/frustration/general unhappiness. This makes sense to me. I can see me getting angry at things people tell me that should in no way generate anger in me, but it does and then anything I say in response is affected by the anger. They know it, I know it and it leaves me feeling awful. So I am going to spend the time to try very hard to fix the anger. Wish me luck.

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