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The five types of afflictive views

The five types of afflictive views

The text turns to training the mind on the stages of the path shared with intermediate level practitioners. Part of a series of teachings on the Gomchen Lamrim by Gomchen Ngawang Drakpa. Visit Gomchen Lamrim Study Guide for a full list of contemplation points for the series.

Gomchen Lamrim 48: Afflictive views (download)

Contemplation points

  1. View of a personal identity or jigta: Because of it, we grasp to an inherently existent “I” and “mine.” Venerable Chodron said that the reason this view is so pernicious is that once we have this view of a real me, we see the entire world in terms of me (what benefits me? what harms me?) and thus begins our conflict with other beings and the world. We feel there is a real “I” that has to be protected, must have happiness. This becomes the purpose of our life and through that we create a ton of negative actions. Think of how this form of afflictive views operates in your life. How does it harm yourself and others?
  2. View of extremes: This is an afflictive intelligence that, because of the view of the personal identity, we think that at the time of death, we either go out of existence entirely or we will exist unchanging forever. Think of how the view of extremes operates in your life. How does it harm yourself and others?
  3. Holding wrong views as supreme: This is thinking that our wrong views are the best views to hold (we’re digging our heels in). Consider that when we think in this way, we stay stuck, putting up a barrier to spiritual progress that is very difficult to breach. How has holding wrong view as supreme operated in your life? How does it harm yourself and others?
  4. View of rules and practices: This is a wrong idea of what ethical conduct and practices (or observances) lead to upper rebirth and liberation. What afflicted views of rules and practices do you see in the world around you? What afflicted views have you seen operate in your own life? How do these harm yourself and others?
  5. Wrong view: This is specifically referring to wrong views about the spiritual path and either denies the existence of something that exists or accepts the existence of something that doesn’t exist. Give examples of both of these that you observe in the world around you. Have you held any of these wrong views? How do these harm yourself and others?
  6. Seeing how these five forms of afflictive views operate in your life, leading you to create negativities and the conditions under which you experience dukkha, resolve to watch for them in your life and apply the antidotes throughout the week.
Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.