The Five Hindrances

This six week course examines the Buddha’s teachings on the five hindrances that undermine the clarity and stability of mind. These afflictive states are often regular visitors for meditators. With practice, sense desire, aversion, dullness, restlessness, and doubt can be more quickly recognized with a non-judging awareness in a way that neutralizes their disturbing and obscuring effect on the mind. Developing these skills goes to the heart of calming the mind and living in a skillful and compassionate way.


Study Resources


Below I have included some reflections for Week Four.

  1. Clearly recognize/admit when the mind is filled with wanting or aversion. No need to be ashamed, it is skillful to clearly acknowledge how it is. For example, notice that the mind is burning with desire or sick with anger. What is the effect of clearly calmly noting the predominate states?
  2. By tracking our experience, notice that sense desiring arises and passes without gratification. This is important to see because it seems based on our ignorant view, that the pain of craving won’t go away until we get the object of our desire. Seeing the passing away of craving without gratification undermines this mistaken view.
  3. Remember that every mind state is a conditioned thing, if fed it will become stronger and arise more frequently in the future, if starved it will fall away and be less likely to re-arise. How have you noticed the mind feeding or starving the hindrance of craving? How have you noticed the mind feeding or starving the hindrance of aversion?
  4. How might you skillfully guard the sense doors to protect the mind from states of craving and aversion?
  5. Can you notice the quality of joy in states of renunciation, contentment, and states of lovingkindness and compassion?