A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Mental afflictions

Not many of us live simple lives as I mentioned yesterday, even fewer live with a simple concept of who they are. We all have an image of ourselves; we have carefully cultivated it over the years. I am this, I believe in that, I don’t accept that, I like that, and I don’t like that. Think of your self view; find one thing that you use to define yourself that you consider inconsequential. Now renounce it give it up, surrender that viewpoint of you. Done now don’t think of yourself that way for a month. We may say oh this is easy, yet ask any smoker who has renounced being a smoker, anyone who has renounced being overweight, or any of a thousand other resolutions, just how easy it is. Renouncing what we do or say out of habit is not easy. Your probably thinking I picked tough ones for my examples, so here I’ll give you an easier one, renounce using one profane word, choose which ever one you use the most, after all its only a word right. Our mind is not only greedy, it also likes familiarity. Ever notice if someone leaves our circle of friends that was never fully part of our circle of friends, someone will say something like so and so wasn’t so bad, however I would have liked them a lot more if….. Our mind likes everything to be a certain way, our way. These mental attitudes or afflictions are amongst the hardest for us to overcome, however if we can we enter a state of acceptance, simplicity and openness that allows clarity of purpose and vision, which will lead us to understanding the roots of negativity.


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