A Mediation on the Three Poisons
I bring this mediation to this group at a time of thanksgiving and celebration of the harvest; the Winter equinox and passing of another season.
I bring it now because while we have cause for celebration, we also need to prepare spirituality for the growing power of forces who would bring our evolution to a halt.
What are they?
In the teachings of the Buddha, there are recognized three “poisons” that contribute to human suffering:
- greed, anger, and delusion.
Just as physical poison is harmful to the body, so too are these three traits toxic to us in the way they cause suffering in our daily lives.
Greed is all about clinging to someone, some thing, or some thought. When we want things to be other than the way they are, we have been poisoned by greed. Things get worse when we become rigidly attached to things, people, expectations, and ideas.
Anger is an expression of aversion. We want to push away that which we do not want, which usually causes the thing we don’t want to push back even harder. Aversion in the form of anger arises because we take things personally that have nothing to do with us.
Delusion is an expression of ignorance unintentional or otherwise. It is a failure to live in the present moment deluded by tainted memories of the past or wishful, fanciful thinking of the future.
What can we do?
The antidote for greed is to release the tight fist of clinging, and to acknowledge how things are in this moment.
The antidote for anger is to act with compassion toward ourselves and others, and to treat ourselves and others with loving kindness.
The antidote to delusion is to always remember that there is no “self” in anything.
Aacharya: In other words, we need to stop taking everything so personally.
Buddhist ‘three poisons’