After meditation yesterday, which I must mention is becoming easier for me, Grant spoke about the 5 pain bearing obstructions in life also known as the 5 Klesha’s. This is something so interesting to me. I have done a lot of reading on it from just last night. I want to study more about this...but so far I think this is what I understand...there is still so much to learn.
When we are meditating, eventually thoughts will arise. It could be a weak thought or an intense thought, it could be an honorable thought or a negative thought. In any case the situation is the same. It seems necessary to do something about this right then and there and there are usually 3 things we can do about these thoughts.
The first thing is that we need to recognize that the thought has arisen, and once we recognize that the thought is in attendance we need to somehow restrain the thought, in other words get hold of it. Finally we need to apply a remedy, a wisdom that serves as an antidote to that thought.
When you first start with meditation there can be some thoughts that seem quite uncomfortable to sit with. You don't examine or investigate the thought. All you “do” is in a calm way look directly at it. When you look directly at the thought, the material of the thought will disappear, and all that you’ll see is its nature. As a beginner I have experienced this whether I wanted to or not. It came with the territory of mediating. Practice does make perfect and I do believe that down the road I will be able to apply what I’ve learned and have the ability to see the nature of the thought first, rather than its substance.
So the first step is recognizing that a klesha has arisen. Usually we aren’t even aware of it when it happens as we’re so use to these feelings. Once you’re at a point where you’re more mindful of these feelings we’re able to acknowledge them right away and deal with it properly.
The 5 Klesha’s
They are our thoughts. They are the origin of all the desolation and afflictions of life. We live and suffer from beginning to end with these flaws, and they must be understood before any real practice can begin.
They are obstacles we must overcome so we’re able to enjoy Yoga, a happy life and true cosmic harmony, and unless we can learn to sit with it, and control them, we might find that we are more or less discouraged.
Not the same as Stupidity, but “not seeing” or “ignore”. The work of avidya is to suppress the real nature of things and present something else in its place. Looking at something, but seeing something else. For example an alcoholic sees another drink as the answer to his problems.
2.Asmita: Ego “I-am-ness”
The work of asmita is when we create a self-image of ourselves that we believe is us, but it is not us. An imagined personality. “Ego is a mask we wear to try and hide and veil what we are.”
Attachment to things, people, or ideas. In its negative to things we cannot own or keep. Having the mindset that “this is mine” Raga has been known to cause war, conflicts with race, money, and countries. People begin to pursue human relationships, prosperity, information and power, but considering change is the nature of all creation…all within are temporary and therefore could be lost at anytime.
4.Dvesha: Repulsion “the hate which follows pain”
A very strong dislike for something; the very opposite of Raga. When we experience something we like, we want more. When the experience leaves us feeling pain, eventually the pain and anger turns into depression, helplessness, and hatred. This can be towards you, others, or the world, and in most cases all 3.
5.Abhinivesha: The fear of death…the fear of life…
Why do we fear death? Is it because we know it’s the ending of the ability to fulfill our desires and destiny? Or that’s our existence will be terminated? Abhinivesha is the main cause of all our fears. We might not like to admit it sometimes…but we ARE afraid. We all have our reasons. When anything obstructs our gain on these objects of love and/or desire, WE are annoyed, we are afraid of that, and we lose our mental balance. We become selfish and jealous of those things that we are not able to enjoy, yet other do.
We should instead sit (tapas) with the thoughts or feelings that arise (samskara’s) and deal with them. Find out the root of the problem. By doing this the thing that is deeply buried in your subconscious mind should be released or dispelled. When something like this comes up again in life we’ll feel stronger, we’ll deal with it differently (or maybe we won’t) therefore reducing the samskara’s.
The kleshas are embossed on chitta, the “individual consciousness”(memory bank)
Even after death the chitta retains the kleshas in seed form and they sprout to full fruition in the next incarnation. This leads us to karma.
Karma: “for every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful”
So you’ve recognized the arising of the klesha, and although normally we consider kleshas poisonous and challenging, you don't try to stop or get rid of the klesha when it comes up, nor do you try to chase it out, stop it, or indulge it. You don't need to stop it because the nature of the klesha is empty (made up from fear/ignorance)
So consequently once you have recognized the arising of whatever klesha it is, then you simply look directly at its nature without altering anything, without attempting to alter your mind or the klesha. You sit with it, stir up some heat. This is called Tapas, literally meaning “heat”. As you look at its nature you will experience and recognize its nature. In order to do this your mind needs to be somewhat relaxed, but also you need to have a lucid consciousness (meditation).
While the klesha does not particularly disappear, its nature is recognized(understood from all angles) and it is no longer poisonous or problematic creating more or deepening old samskara’s “scars”
I had no idea what to call this blog...because my mind was so tired, FULL and overflowing with information...it's SUCH an amazing feeling!