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The root afflictions: Arrogance

19 Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature

Part of an ongoing series of teachings (retreat and Friday) based on the book Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature, the third volume in The Library of Wisdom and Compassion series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron.

  • Inflated sense of self
  • Seven types of arrogance
  • Thinking one is superior to someone who is inferior, equal or better
  • Difference between arrogance and self-confidence
  • Conceit of I am
  • Pretending one has good qualities that one doesn’t have
  • Seeing self as inferior to someone who is better
  • Mistaking one’s faults as virtues
  • Seven types of arrogance by Nagarjuna
  • Disparaging oneself, thinking one is unqualified
  • Thinking one has attained a result that one has not attained
  • How arrogance impedes spiritual practice

Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature 19: Arrogance (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Think of a time when you had arrogance in your mind. What were some of the disadvantages from your own experience? How does arrogance prevent you from learning and integrating the Dharma in your life?
  2. Make personal examples for each of the seven types of arrogance from the text. Which kind of arrogance is most present within you?
  3. Observe your mind from early morning until evening, noting when you want to be better than others. Write these down. How do you feel about this in the light of the teachings?
  4. What is the difference between arrogance and self confidence? Make some examples of each.
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.