• 22min

Written by Buddho.nl


The Buddha taught with great regularity that concentration (samādhi) is a cornerstone of the path to liberation from suffering.

On this path, sooner or later, you will encounter the five hindrances (pañca nīvaraṇāni) that prevent the development of concentration:

  1. Sensory desire (kāmacchanda)
  2. Aversion (vyāpāda)
  3. Dullness and torpor (thīna-middha)
  4. Restlessness and Worrying (uddhacca-kukkucca)
  5. Doubt (vicikicchā)

These hindrances are mental factors that are latent in each of us as ordinary mortals.

They prevent concentration and thus insight.

If, as a beginner, you do not encounter these hindrances in your meditation, it usually means that you are completely overwhelmed by them and do not yet have the clarity of mind to see them for what they are.

That’s also one of the reasons they sometimes seem to become more manifest during the first days of a retreat. Your consciousness then becomes quieter and you begin to see them better.

The Effects of the Hindrances

It is important to recognize the hindrances as soon as possible. If you recognize them quickly, they have less strength and thus less power over your consciousness.

Here are some examples that the Buddha gave to get a feeling of the hindrances (see the quote from the Sangarovo Sutta).

Suppose you have a bowl filled with water in which you try to see your own reflection, the real nature of your own consciousness, then you can compare the hindrances to the following metaphores:

  1. sensory desire is like water with dye in it which discolours your perception;
  2. aversion is like boiling water which puts you at risk of burning yourself;
  3. dullness and torpor is like water over which algae grow, causing stagnation;
  4. restlessness and worry is like water that is swept up by strong winds that sway you back and forth;
  5. doubt is like murky, muddy water that obscures your sight.

You Are Not Alone

One of the most important points when it comes to the hindrances is knowing that they are not unique to your consciousness.

Before you know it you think you can’t meditate, that your consciousness is very ‘bad’.

That’s nonsense.

The hindrances occur to a greater or lesser extent in everyone. However, for each person, but also in time, it can differ which of the hindrances prevails.

Don’t worry about your consciousness. You are not alone. Just keep practicing patiently.

Don’t Give them Attention During your Meditation

It is not helpful to start thinking about the hindrances during your meditation when you notice them in your own consciousness. Once you do this, you are no longer concentrating.

Furthermore, thinking about things is not a form of vipassanā (insight) either. That’s what people sometimes think. However, insight does not result from thinking, but only from a direct perception of reality. This happens in mental silence.

If, while meditating, you start thinking about the hindrances, the mill of consciousness begins to turn, and before you know it, you start thinking about all kinds of things. During meditation being busy with the hindrances is a new manifestation of the obstacle restlessness and brooding.

If you notice an obstacle: just recognize it and let it go. See the obstacle for what it is and go back to the object of your meditation, in our case buddho. That’s what the process of concentration comes down to, letting go of things that come up in your consciousness.

Conscious attention (sati) is crucial here, and an indispensable aspect of samatha meditation.

If you increase you ability to see with conscious attention everything that comes up and to immediately let go of it, you directly increase the time your consciousness focuses on buddho.

The more you focus on buddho, the deeper your concentration can become.

The deeper your concentration is, the better you can perceive the distorted reality.

Take a Look at Them After the Meditation

Sometimes an obstacle is present in force and it has gained such power over your consciousness that it is no longer possible to focus on buddho.

Then sometimes it may be wiser to stand up for a moment and walk back and forth and take some distance from the meditation.

In addition, when you have finished a meditation session, it is fine to briefly analyze what has happened.

You can then try to see what hindrances there were and take a close look at them.

This is another aspect of conscious attention (sati), namely the aspect of clear recollection.

Conditions for the presence or Absence of a Hindrance

The Buddha taught that everything is subject to change and transient, that everything rises and falls depending on conditions. This also applies to the hindrances.

You can distinguish three progressive forms of conscious attention (sati) when it comes to seeing the hindrances and their conditions in one’s own consciousness:

  1. Diagnosis: When an obstacle becomes manifest, see which conditions give rise to its appearance.
  2. Healing: If an obstacle is present, see what conditions contribute to its removal.
  3. Prevention: When an obstacle has been removed, see what conditions help to prevent its future appearance.

Viriya (energy) also plays a role in the form of correct effort, constantly trying to purify and keep the consciousness pure.

While meditating, you will not only notice that hindrances are present, but also that their strength decreases until they are finally absent.

Clean Consciousness, Clear Consciousness, Concentration, Wisdom

When Ahba talks about meditation, he often says:

“When you meditate, you get a clean consciousness, a clear consciousness, concentration, true knowledge.”

What he says is that the process, the practice of samatha meditation, is primarily aimed at purifying your consciousness.

The impurities of your consciousness are aspects of the three unholy roots desire, anger and ignorance. The hindrances are the direct manifestation of these roots in your meditation.

From the first time you sit on your meditation pad and focus on buddho, you are engaged in samatha meditation. However, getting (or acquiring) full concentration requires a lot of practice.

For most people it is a slow grinding process. You learn to see, as it were, what your consciousness is doing and to focus it consciously.

The ‘normal’ consciousness, however, counteracts this and does everything in its power to prevent silence. You could say that the untrained consciousness resists being ‘controlled’. After all, your consciousness is accustomed, without any restrictions, to be as free as a bird.

In the meditative grinding process it is first important to clean your consciousness. That means in particular seeing and letting go of the hindrances of desire and aversion. That is the first step in the process.

The easier it is for you to let go of things in and around you and to focus your consciousness permanently on buddho, the cleaner it becomes. After all, your consciousness is not busy with desire or aversion, your consciousness is busy with buddho.

Buddho embodies the qualities of the Buddha and is thus a very pure and high (or grand) object. When your consciousness focuses on that, you develop the qualities of buddho, as it were; your consciousness and buddho are integrating and becoming more and more one. In this way your consciousness purifies itself.

As the consciousness anchors itself more and more in buddho, it also becomes light and pliable. Dullness and slowness decrease. The restlessness sinks into the background and your consciousness stops worrying.

Your consciousness then becomes clear and luminous.

Every now and then fragments of thoughts pass by, but they also fall away before they really take shape. Maybe you see light or shapes or experience pleasant feelings.

Now deeper concentration can arise.

Just keep paying attention to buddho. Don’t get distracted by mental phenomena. For example, the moment you start to like the light you see, the hindrance of desire rises again and your concentration falls apart.

If you simply remain focused on buddho in silence, without wanting to, the consciousness will deepen by itself.

External factors affect you less and less. At a certain point, the consciousness will automatically only find an anchor in buddho.

If your consciousness completely focuses on buddho, becomes absorbed in it, no longer distinguishes itself from it, then you have high concentration.

If you can reach high concentration again and again, quickly and easily, then there will be room for wisdom.

Wisdom arises in the clean pure consciousness that can look at reality without distortion, without fooling itself.

Wisdom therefore begins with letting go of the hindrances.

The Cessation of the Hindrances

As long as the hindrances are present, there is no concentration.

The nice thing is that the reverse is just as true. If you slowly but surely acquire concentration then you feel the hindrances decrease.

This is not possible without meditation. Your consciousness will not concentrate by itself. That requires training. You can’t get there by thinking about it very deeply.

In meditation the hindrances slowly but surely decrease, until the first moment when the hindrances have to give up their grip on your consciousness (initially temporarily).

That is a special moment. Anyone who is and remains seriously engaged in samatha meditation can experience this in his or her life.

This can feel extremely liberating and enlightening. The Buddha gave very beautiful examples of this feeling (see the quote from the Samannaphala Sutta):

  1. The cessation of sensory desire is like being freed from a guilt.
  2. The cessation of aversion is as if you are recovering from a serious illness.
  3. The cessation of dullness and torpor is as if you are set free from a guilt.
  4. To stop restlessness and brooding is like being freed from slavery.
  5. Stopping doubt is as if you have successfully crossed a dangerous desert.

You feel your desire to get up from your pillow and your aversion to any physical pain disappears. You experience physical and mental peace and tranquility. You feel how your dullness gives way to a new clarity that you have not experienced before, how your restlessness comes to a deep stillness and you have only one-pointed attention.

And this process has a lot of depth.

The Hindrances and the Factors of Enlightenment

There is an antagonistic relationship between the hindrances and the factors of enlightenment.

The Buddha taught that the factors of enlightenment need to be increasingly developed and need to be fully balanced in order to eventually free consciousness.

You can only develop the factors of enlightenment once the hindrances lose their grip on consciousness, while at the same time the factors help keep consciousness stable and firmly focused and thus work against the hindrances.

In this way you create, as it were, the aforementioned preventive conditions.

The enlightenment factors are:

  1. Sati (conscious attention, mindfulness or awareness)
  2. Dhammavicaja (investigating phenomena, this is an aspect of knowledge)
  3. Viriya (energy)
  4. Pīti (enthusiasm or delight)
  5. Passaddhi (calm)
  6. Samādhi (concentration)
  7. Upekkhā (equanimity)

In the following short descriptions of each of the hindrances, we will touch on the relationship with the enlightenment factors from time to time (see also the quote from the Nivaranappahana Vagga). In another post we will pay more attention to the factors themselves.

Sensory desire (kāmacchanda)

Sensory desire is not only present when objects appear that stimulate desire, it is also an inherent tendency that has nestled itself in consciousness.

The Buddha has indicated many times that even if everything you can think of were to be accomplished, you would still not reach the end of your desire.

This is because you have not understood the intrinsic process of desire. It doesn’t stop by itself. It doesn’t let go of itself.

The typical dynamics of sensory desire is an unquenchable thirst for more. Each time desire is satisfied, it reinforces the appetite for the next new desire.

The Buddha has explained that the path to inner peace depends on slowly but surely letting go of this maelstrom.

If the hindrance of sensory desire is emphatically present during meditation, it can help to reflect on the less attractive sides of the human body and the certainty of the degenerative process of degradation to which we are all subject.

This can be done, for example, by remembering the repugnance of a decomposing body (asubha-cammaṭṭhāna) or death (maraṇa-cammaṭṭhāna).

Note that it is expressly not the intention to arouse aversion. The point is to slowly try to get out of the maelstrom. Release from desire.

Since the opposite sex often has a prominent role in lust, practice is also advised to see representatives of the opposite sex as brothers, sisters or sons and daughters.

In that light, consider that in your countless past lives you have had all possible relationships with other people, and that you have actually taken the position as a brother, sister, son, or daughter at one time or another.

Aversion (vyāpāda)

Aversion during meditation often occurs in practice in the form of anger towards someone else or towards yourself.

There is a particularly painful aspect to aversion. The Buddha gives as an example for aversion that you are hit by two arrows.

The first arrow is the negative energy with which you are initially confronted. For example, someone may have said something nasty, or a nasty thought about yourself may have surfaced in your consciousness.

The second arrow is your own reaction to it. Whether that is that you become angry with the other person or yourself. That way you hurt yourself twice.

Because that reaction can also have karmic repercussions, it is of the utmost importance to monitor and control your own reactions.

If you manage to do so, a basis for an extremely important quality is created, namely, the enlightenment factor of equanimity (upekkhā).

Since a consciousness filled with aversion can only see negative qualities, a first approach is, for example, to consciously think about positive qualities of the other person or yourself. That other person also has people who love him or her, and there certainly are people who love you, so there will be positive qualities as well.

Through the positive qualities the cycle of aversion can be weakened.

However, the most important remedy for the tendency to get into aversion or anger, either towards yourself or towards others, is to give love-friendliness (mettā).

Dullness and torpor (thīna-middha)

The appearance of dullness and torpor is caused, among other things, by dissatisfaction, boredom, laziness, drowsiness caused by eating too much and by a sombre consciousness.

An effective approach is to generate the illumination factor energy (viriya).

In this context, energy initially means to keep trying to focus your consciousness on buddho. This automatically makes the consciousness increasingly more powerful.

There are also some direct practical options. When you notice dullness and torpor during meditation, for example, you can sprinkle your face with water, pull your ears, slap your legs and arms, and so on. In addition, the comments also refer to physical light that you can look at. If that does not work then it is better to stand up and walk around for a while than to sit down nodding.

The most important remedy against dullness and torpor, however, is the creation of ‘mental lightness’.

A mental quality that occupies an important place in this is mental lightness or mobility (lahutā). It is the ability of consciousness to focus quickly and easily.

To develop this quality, nothing more than patient practice of samatha meditation is needed.

Restlessness and remorse (uddhacca-kukkucca)

Restlessness often arises as a result of a too ‘pushy’ posture towards the meditation.

Here it helps to take another good look at your motivation and letting go of a possible business attitude in the sense of “I now spend twice as much time on meditation, so the meditation process must now also be twice as fast”.

Another example of turmoil are the intense (internal) discussions you can get into during meditation.

Also for this hindrance, patiently practicing the directing of consciousness during samatha meditation eventually offers the solution.

Through concentration you eventually develop a whole series of beneficial mental factors (kusala cetasika’s), including the enlightenment factor calmness (passaddhi) that combats restlessness and brooding.

Worrying is often caused by a feeling of guilt, such as knowing that you have done something wrong and feeling regret and remorse about it.

The remedy here is to pay close attention to your moral behavior in general to prevent this hindrance from manifesting itself.

This is one of the reasons that morality is extremely important in the Buddhist path. Without morality, the hindrance becomes irreversible and concentration is not possible.

Doubt (vicikicchā)

Doubt often consists of doubting the Buddha and his teachings on a deep layer within.

Often there is a personal side to this in the sense of “Can I do this?” or “Does this also apply to me?”.

Soon you come to the question whether liberation is really practical and the Dhamma is not just a theoretical treatise.

Doubt is like standing on a T-junction. You don’t go left and you don’t go right. You stand still. Because you are in doubt you can’t make any more effort for further progress and the process stops.

The most important tool for fighting doubt is to examine the objects of doubt in depth. It is not a matter of faith or trust but really of intelligent investigation and analysis.

This investigation is the enlightenment factor ‘investigation of phenomena’ (Dhammavicaja). This research includes looking at the salutary and unholy aspects of one’s own consciousness.

In this way the gaze can slowly but surely become focused on its own underlying unholy roots of desire, anger and ignorance.

It is only when these factors are recognized by someone as the ultimate problem factors, that the desire to get rid of them arises, not before.

If you practice samatha meditation you can look back every few months or years and see how these unholy roots have lost strength and how beneficial qualities have grown.

Seeing the extent of the problem and experiencing progress through practice can provide a lot of motivation and help overcome doubt.

Summary of the Approach to the Hindrances

Here is a summary of the approach to the hindrances as described in the Pali Canon.

Sensory desire (kāmacchanda):

  • Good knowledge of the construction of the human body and a regular contemplation of the unattractiveness of the body
  • Guarding the senses
  • Don’t eat too much
  • To have wise people around you and have the salutary conversations about the Dhamma

Aversion (vyāpāda)

  • General knowledge about meditation on love-friendliness
  • Contemplating the karmic consequences of your actions
  • To have wise people around you and have the salutary conversations about the Dhamma

Dullness and torpor (thīna-middha)

  • Don’t eat too much
  • Looking at light and eventually developing mental lightness
  • Spend time outdoors
  • To have wise people around you and have the salutary conversations about the Dhamma

Restlessness and worry (uddhacca-kukkucca)

  • To have knowledge of the Buddha’s speeches
  • Clarifying the speeches by asking questions
  • Pay attention to your ethical behaviour
  • Visiting more experienced senior citizens with wisdom and knowledge
  • To have wise people around you and have the salutary conversations about the Dhamma

Doubt (vicikicchā)

  • To have knowledge of the Buddha’s speeches
  • Gain clarity about the Buddha’s speeches by asking questions
  • Pay attention to your ethical behaviour
  • Strong dedication by understanding your own problems
  • To have wise people around you and have the salutary conversations about the Dhamma

What the Buddha said about the Hindrances

Here is a selection of quotes from suttas in which the Buddha talks about the hindrances.

Abhaya Sutta (SN 46:56)

We begin with the Abhaya Sutta (SN 46:56) in which the Buddha indicates that wisdom depends on lifting the barriers:

“On an occasion, prince, when one dwells with a mind obsessed by sensual lust, overwhelmed by sensual lust, and one neither knows nor sees as it really is the escape from arisen sensual lust: this is a cause and condition for lack of knowledge and vision; it is in this way that lack of knowledge and vision is with cause and condition.

“Again, prince, on an occasion when one dwells with a mind obsessed by ill will … obsessed by sloth and torpor … obsessed by restlessness and remorse … obsessed by doubt, overwhelmed by doubt, and one neither knows nor sees as it really is the escape from arisen doubt: this too is a cause and condition for lack of knowledge and vision; it is in this way too that lack of knowledge and vision is with cause and condition.”

“Here, prince, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. With a mind that has developed the enlightenment factor of mindfulness he knows and sees things as they really are. This is a cause for knowledge and vision; it is in this way that knowledge and vision are with cause and condition….

“Again, prince, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of equanimity, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. With a mind that has developed the enlightenment factor of equanimity he knows and sees things as they really are. This too is a cause for knowledge and vision; it is in this way that knowledge and vision are with cause and condition.

Sangaravo Sutta (SN 46:55)

In the Sangaravo Sutta (SN 46:55) the Buddha uses water as an example to give a feeling at the hindrances:

“Imagine, Brahman, a bowl of water mixed with lac, turmeric, dark green or crimson dye. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was. In the same way, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by sense-desires… then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, to the profit of others, to the profit of both. Then even sacred words he has long studied are not clear to him, not to mention those he has not studied.

“Again, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed with ill-will… then he cannot know or see… “Imagine a bowl of water, heated on a fire, boiling up and bubbling over. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was… “Again, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by sloth-and-torpor… then he cannot know or see…

“Imagine a bowl of water covered over with slimy moss and water-plants. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was… Again, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by worry-and-flurry… then he cannot know or see…

“Imagine a bowl of water ruffled by the wind, so that the water trembled, eddied and rippled. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was… Again, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by doubt-and-wavering… he cannot know or see…

Avarana Sutta (AN 5:51)

In the Avarana Sutta (AN 5:51) the Buddha describes the effects of the hindrances:

The Blessed One said: “These five are obstacles, hindrances that overwhelm awareness and weaken discernment. Which five?

“Sensual desire is an obstacle, a hindrance that overwhelms awareness and weakens discernment. Ill will… Sloth & drowsiness… Restlessness & anxiety… Uncertainty is an obstacle, a hindrance that overwhelms awareness and weakens discernment. These are the five obstacles, hindrances that overwhelm awareness and weaken discernment. And when a monk has not abandoned these five obstacles, hindrances that overwhelm awareness and weaken discernment, when he is without strength and weak in discernment: for him to understand what is for his own benefit, to understand what is for the benefit of others, to understand what is for the benefit of both, to realize a superior human state, a truly noble distinction in knowledge & vision: that is impossible.

“Suppose there were a river, flowing down from the mountains — going far, its current swift, carrying everything with it — and a man would open channels leading away from it on both sides, so that the current in the middle of the river would be dispersed, diffused, & dissipated; it wouldn’t go far, its current wouldn’t be swift, and it wouldn’t carry everything with it. In the same way, when a monk has not abandoned these five obstacles, hindrances that overwhelm awareness and weaken discernment, when he is without strength and weak in discernment for him to understand what is for his own benefit, to understand what is for the benefit of others, to understand what is for the benefit of both, to realize a superior human state, a truly noble distinction in knowledge & vision: that is impossible.

“Now, when a monk has abandoned these five obstacles, hindrances that overwhelm awareness and weaken discernment, when he is strong in discernment: for him to understand what is for his own benefit, to understand what is for the benefit of others, to understand what is for the benefit of both, to realize a superior human state, a truly noble distinction in knowledge & vision: that is possible.

Upakkilesa Sutta (AN 5:23)

In the Upakkilesa Sutta (AN 5:23) the Buddha gives gold as an example:

“Monks,[1] there are these five debasements of gold by reason of which debased gold is neither pliable nor workable, nor bright, but is brittle and of no use for the best work.

What five? Iron, copper, tin, lead and silver. Monks, these five debase gold.

But when gold is free of these five debasements, it is pliable and workable and bright, nor is it brittle, but fit for the best work; and whatever sort of ornament one wants, whether a signet-ring or an ear-ring, a necklace or a gold chain, it can be used for that.

In just the same way, monks, there are these five debasements of the mind by reason of which a debased mind is neither pliable nor workable nor bright, but is brittle and not rightly composed for the destruction of the cankers.

What five? Sensual desire, ill-will, sloth and torpor, flurry and worry, and doubt.

But when the mind is free of these five debasements, it is pliable and workable and bright, nor is it brittle, but is rightly composed for the destruction of the cankers; and one can bend the mind to the realization by psychic knowledge of whatever condition is realizable by psychic knowledge, and become an eyewitness in every case, whatever the range may be

Samannaphala Sutta (DN 2)

In the Samannaphala Sutta (DN 2) the Buddha gives examples to describe the hindrances and the liberation of the hindrances:

When they have this noble spectrum of ethics, this noble sense restraint, this noble mindfulness and situational awareness, and this noble contentment, they frequent a secluded lodging—a wilderness, the root of a tree, a hill, a ravine, a mountain cave, a charnel ground, a forest, the open air, a heap of straw. After the meal, they return from alms-round, sit down cross-legged with their body straight, and establish mindfulness right there.

Giving up desire for the world, they meditate with a heart rid of desire, cleansing the mind of desire. Giving up ill will and malevolence, they meditate with a mind rid of ill will, full of compassion for all living beings, cleansing the mind of ill will. Giving up dullness and drowsiness, they meditate with a mind rid of dullness and drowsiness, perceiving light, mindful and aware, cleansing the mind of dullness and drowsiness. Giving up restlessness and remorse, they meditate without restlessness, their mind peaceful inside, cleansing the mind of restlessness and remorse. Giving up doubt, they meditate having gone beyond doubt, not undecided about skillful qualities, cleansing the mind of doubt.

Suppose a man who has gotten into debt were to apply himself to work, and his efforts proved successful. He would pay off the original loan and have enough left over to support his partner. Thinking about this, he’d be filled with joy and happiness.

Suppose there was a person who was sick, suffering, gravely ill. They’d lose their appetite and get physically weak. But after some time they’d recover from that illness, and regain their appetite and their strength. Thinking about this, they’d be filled with joy and happiness.

Suppose a person was imprisoned in a jail. But after some time they were released from jail, safe and sound, with no loss of wealth. Thinking about this, they’d be filled with joy and happiness.

Suppose a person was a bondservant. They belonged to someone else and were unable to go where they wish. But after some time they’d be freed from servitude and become their own master, an emancipated individual able to go where they wish. Thinking about this, they’d be filled with joy and happiness.

Suppose there was a person with wealth and property who was traveling along a desert road, which was perilous, with nothing to eat. But after some time they crossed over the desert safely, reaching the neighborhood of a village, a sanctuary free of peril. Thinking about this, they’d be filled with joy and happiness.

There are many more suttas in which the hindrances are described one by one, but this seems sufficient to give us a rough idea of the importance of seeing and reducing the strength of the hindrances.

Nivaranappahana Vagga (AN 1.10-20)

In the Nivaranappahana Vagga (AN 1.10-20) the Buddha explains the causes of the rise and fall of the hindrances:

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to sensual desire, or, when it has arisen, makes it increase and grow like the feature of beauty. When you attend improperly to the feature of beauty, sensual desire arises, and once arisen it increases and grows.”

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to ill will, or, when it has arisen, makes it increase and grow like the feature of harshness. When you attend improperly to the feature of harshness, ill will arises, and once arisen it increases and grows.”

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to dullness and drowsiness, or, when they have arisen, makes them increase and grow like discontent, sloth, yawning, sleepiness after eating, and mental sluggishness. When you have a sluggish mind, dullness and drowsiness arise, and once arisen they increase and grow.”

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to restlessness and remorse, or, when they have arisen, makes them increase and grow like an unsettled mind. When you have no peace of mind, restlessness and remorse arise, and once arisen they increase and grow.”

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to doubt, or, when it has arisen, makes it increase and grow like improper attention. When you attend improperly, doubt arises, and once arisen it increases and grows.”

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that prevents sensual desire from arising, or, when it has arisen, abandons it like the feature of ugliness. When you attend properly to the feature of ugliness, sensual desire does not arise, or, if it has already arisen, it’s given up.”

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that prevents ill will from arising, or, when it has arisen, abandons it like the heart’s release by love. When you attend properly on the heart’s release by love, ill will does not arise, or, if it has already arisen, it’s given up.”

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that prevents dullness and drowsiness from arising, or, when they have arisen, gives them up like the elements of initiative, persistence, and vigor. When you’re energetic, dullness and drowsiness do not arise, or, if they’ve already arisen, they’re given up.”

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that prevents restlessness and remorse from arising, or, when they have arisen, gives them up like peace of mind. When your mind is peaceful, restlessness and remorse do not arise, or, if they’ve already arisen, they’re given up.”

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that prevents doubt from arising, or, when it has arisen, gives it up like proper attention. When you attend properly, doubt does not arise, or, if it’s already arisen, it’s given up.”

Over Buddho

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