Dhamma Letter No. 13

Q&A No. 5


Q. How does one overcome sadness?

Subjectively, anger is experienced with a high-degree of intensity. In contrast, sadness is typically is felt as lethargy and with down-levels of energy.
However, the Dhamma tells us that the root of both emotional states is the same. In the Buddha’s teaching, sadness is treated and thought of in the same light as anger - they are two sides of the same coin.

Both sadness and anger derive from Moha (delusion and ignorance). From Moha, Lobha (attachment and greed) arises, which manifests as our desired or conceptualized possessions - what we 'have' and/or what we want.  Dissonance between reality and our Lobha gives way to Dosa (aversion and anger).

Herein is the process by which we become sad and angry - unfulfilled expectations born from attachment and greed, which in turn stems from ignorance and delusion.

Our job is to practice and study this system of mind in order to understand it as completely as the Buddha did himself.

As a vipassana meditator, we begin to understand this process by being mindfully (Sati) aware of it.

We seek to observe and understand the causal relationship between mohalobha, and dosa. In this way, you will begin to see your kamma (karma). Once observed, it will dissipate at a rate proportionate to its strength. When the wisdom (Paññā) arises, it will be disappear. The arising of wisdom is dependent on your understanding of anicca (impermanence), dukkha (dissatisfaction), and anatta (non-ego).

With Metta,

Ayyā Kosallā & Mahāpajāpatī Bhikkhunī Sangha
Edited by Max Montgomery   


May you be free from any suffering!
May you be well and peaceful!
May your Wisdom arise through the understanding of Dhamma!


Buddha Sāsanaṁ Ciraṁ Tiṭṭhatu! 
May the Buddha’s teachings last a long time!

​Bhavatu Sabba Sotiṁ ca Maṅgalaṁ ca!!  
May everyone be led on the path of peace and blessing!!

Sādhu Sādhu Sādhu !


If you have any questions related to Dhamma, please feel free to ask. You can reach Ayya Kosalla directly at bhikkhuni.kosalla@gmail.com or connect out via  our Facebook page. We will answer your questions and include them in future Dhamma letters.


Bhikkuni Kosalla Vipassini is the Abbess of Mahapajapati Monastery in Pioneertown, California. For monastery updates, please the Mahapajapati Facebook. Donations are gratefully accepted, whether you volunteer your time, offer funds, or provide needed requisites for the monastics. If you are inspired to donate, you may do so here.