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Feelings and the ethical dimension of afflictions

31 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.

  • Pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral feeling occurs with afflictions
  • Virtuous mental states are accompanied by happy feeling or equanimity
  • Mental happiness or unhappiness occur with auxiliary afflictions
  • Ignorance, view of a personal identify, view of extremes are ethically neutral
  • Explanation of mixed ignorance and unmixed ignorance
  • Afflictions in the form and formless realms are ethically neutral
  • Examining how harmful actions are rooted in ignorance and triggered by afflictions
  • Learning to apply remedial measures to afflictions

Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature 31: Feelings And The Ethical Dimension of Afflictions (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Why is it that we can’t just drop our afflictions?
  2. Examine your own mind: When you are under the influence of an affliction, are you seeing the object, situation, person, etc accurately? Does it have the qualities you perceive? What are some of the thoughts that influence how you see it? How might transforming the thoughts and seeing it accurately change the way you relate to it?
  3. What are the strongest of the afflictions for you? Resolve to watch your mind and apply the antidotes right away.
  4. Venerable Chodron said that it’s helpful to make personal examples. Take some time to consider your own experience in light of these afflictions. Where do you see them operate in your own life?
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.