Dhamma Letter No. 31

Q&A No. 11

Q: How can I remove my strong greed and be in peace?

A: The Buddha described not only the five hindrances (Nivarana in Pāli), which block the meditator’s ability to see things as they really are, but also the solutions to them.

The five hindrances (pañcanīvaraṇa, 五蓋) are:

  1. Sensory desire (kāmacchanda)

  2. Ill-will (vyāpāda)

  3. Sloth-and-torpor (thīna-middha)

  4. Restlessness-and-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca)

  5. Doubt (vicikiccha)

These five hindrances are directly correlated with the five factors of Jhana (禪定, dhyana), which are the meditator’s skillful means for checking and finally overcoming all five of them.

  1. Vitaka (applied thinking) overcomes sloth and torpor

  2. Vicara (sustained thinking) overcomes doubt

  3. Piti (rapture) overcomes ill will

  4. Sukha (happiness) overcomes restlessness and worry

  5. Ekagatta (One-pointedness) overcomes sensory desire

The reduction and eradication of greed, which arises through contact with the five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching objects, can be done by cultivating Jhana (禪定). For example, a meditator can use a meditation method called the Ten kinds of foulness (ASUBHA) to check and overcome the arising of lust.

More meditation methods (like Samatha and Vipassana) will be discussed later, all of which can be applied as needed over a lifetime of practice. The essential point is that the more one understands the Dhamma, the more one can let go of not only greed, but all the hindrances!

May you be liberated from any bondages!

May you be happy and peaceful!

May you develop wisdom through practice during this lifetime!

With Metta,

Ayyā Kosallā & Mahāpajāpatī Bhikkhunī Sangha

We have begun translating the English version of The Dhamma Letter to Korean. Please click here for the Korean version.

한국어로 담마레터를 읽고 싶으신 분은 여기를 클릭 해주세요.

If you have any questions related to dhamma, please feel free to ask. You can reach Ayya Kosalla directly at bhikkhuni.kosalla@gmail.com. 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 see Mahapajapati’s 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.

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 !

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