Tomorrow night we are going to begin a new topic of exploration into the nature of the defilements. Thanks to the diligence and wisdom of Daniel and Kenny we have obtain 20 copies of Ashin Tejaniya’s book Don’t Look Down on the Defilements They Will Laugh at You. The book is primarily about practicing with the defilements so before beginning the book, we’ll take a brief pause to explore the nature of the defilements. Tejaniya refers to the defilements as the “gross manifestations of greed, hatred and delusion”. Thus a good starting place would be an inquiry into the nature of greed, hatred and delusion.
Greed, hatred and delusion are commonly referred to as the 3 unwholesome roots. They are the underlying human tendencies around grasping. They are, foundationally, the reason why we suffer. Greed is what causes us to lean into what we like and hatred is what causes us to push away what we don’t like. Generally, the mind resides in delusion which obscures the push and pull of the other two. Liberation from any suffering requires that we see this underlying pushing and pulling from the mind. These tendencies are extremely subtle. They naturally feel intuitive, supportive and near impossible to question.
It is in the defilements that their true nature can be questioned. Have you ever questioned why we like some things and don’t like others. Why does some sounds, tastes, sensations, smells, images please us and others don’t? How can we begin to challenge the existence of something like pleasure or pain. Tomorrow night we will begin our inquiry. Maybe if you see the subtle nature of greed, hatred and delusion you will more readily appreciation practicing with the grosser manifestations of the defilements. Until then…