More on seeds and latencies

35 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.

  • Latent and manifest afflictions
  • Perception and appearance
  • Latencies of afflictions
  • Underlying tendencies, manifest afflictions, actions
  • Ethical conduct, concentration, wisdom as counterforces
  • Seeds and latencies of karma
  • Three mental actions are forms of afflictions
  • Three levels of destruction of virtues
  • Three levels of reduction of suffering results

Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature 35: More on Seeds and Latencies (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Why does better understanding the seeds of the afflictions help us to avoid complacency and arrogance? Consider how, under the right set of conditions, any affliction can arise until we’ve eliminated it completely. Make personal examples of this.
  2. In the Pali traditions, they list three ways in which latencies and seeds function. What are these three?
  3. Give a personal example of the ripening of potencies into manifest fetters and then into motivating forces.
  4. Describe the three higher trainings and how they work with seeds and latencies?
  5. How can we diminish the results of negative actions from multiplying, consuming potency and so forth? How can we destroy the negative karma by its very root? Explain this process in terms of the four opponent powers.
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.