2021-05-27-Kusala (4 of 10) The Roots of the Unwholesome: Greed, Hatred and Delusionon
1:05AM May 28, 2021
Continue the topic of wholesome and unwholesome fundamental concept for kind of the entire teachings of the Buddha. And the focus today will be on more on the unwholesome next week will be more the wholesome and unwholesome the is said to have three roots. And the roots are greed, hatred and delusion. And the idea of routes is very interesting. A route is not something route of a plant is underground and you can't see it. But some plants if you chop them off at the surface level and the ground, then the roots are still alive in the end, those plants will still sprout or grow again from the roots. And so, and sometimes plants die back and they're not really at all seen visibly above the ground. But then spring comes and and maybe in the rainy season comes and they start growing again and there they are. Sometimes greed, hate and delusion as, as roots are called latent tendencies, they may lay inside of us latently ready to sprout. Whenever the conditions are right for it. Some people might feel that they have no greed, hatred and delusion. Because they don't see it in themselves. But then some point that conditions come together and like boys that ever there. And the there's a story and the suit does have of maybe I told you this, then you don't think I told you last week but I was thinking of it. of, of a woman of an of who was always kind. But then someone said maybe this is not only kind of surface deep. And so someone challenged her in a simple way. And sure enough, she got angry and, and violent even. So this idea of the latent roots, the roots inside, and it being greed, hatred and delusion. And teachers like me and a lot of Tera vaada teachers will repeat this phrase greed, hate and delusion a lot. And when I was a younger student, I heard it a lot. And I think part of my brain just kind of checked out what I heard it I heard it so often it was so repetitive. So wrote. And, and so you'd almost like I didn't hear it anymore, because it was emphasized so much and, and but the reason is emphasize is that the truth is that these these other roots deep inside, they give birth to all kinds of unwholesome behavior. I find it very compassionate to call it unwholesome behavior, as opposed to in a bad behavior, evil behavior or wrong behavior. There's a lot of judgments that around some of the ways we judge, look, we understand people's behavior, but unwholesome means that you can change it into something wholesome, unwholesome is more the quality of the activity, and doesn't necessarily judge the person, some behaviors unwholesome. And, but they had these three roots and, and inside of ourselves like there's a deep inside unseen many times can be living inside of us a source from which an unhelpful unbeneficial behavior arises. And in the simplest kind of way, and it's related to tension, to holding to places we feel hurt, places where we've coagulated or condensed around our pain or sadness or conceit, all kinds of things we're holding on to and and that can be very deep and subliminal and, and not even seen the records late and these tensions, but they're ready to express themselves in all kinds of ways. And so part of this practice of the Dharma is to really reach down into the roots of Very being, not just the places that we can see a no. But
deep inside that from which unwholesome behavior springs, this deep holding patterns and tensions and, and inside. And and so for that the process of relaxing and feeling safer and safer, relaxing deeper and deeper, releasing, releasing until we touch these places that are usually not seen, but where the roots the deep inside. And so when we pull the root of a plant out of the ground, then the plant doesn't sprout again. So, we have these ideas of these three roots of greed, hatred and delusion. And I think of these as umbrella terms, for a whole family of related motivations or feelings or attitudes. And in the ancient texts, they have synonyms or describe some of the words for some of the other elements of that family. So with greed, that's related to lust. To relishing, relishing is enjoying, but holding on and really wanting more, getting the most squeezing the most out of it. longing, attachment, clinging, and craving. So these are all in the family of greed. And when we say greed, we include all of these elements included within it. And, and where do those surface from where it what's the root of those inside of you. When you feel greed when you feel lust or lose deep longing or attachment, or clinging or craving to really respect these in a way that's beneficial to respect the power of them and the influence they have on us? Where are the roots? Where are they arising out of? What's the deeper disposition from which they come? What's the deeper feeling tone, what's the deeper tension that we carry with us, that seems to be from where they arise? hatred is the synonym for that is wanting to harm. Anger, hostility, Filipino angered, is a little bit confusing that word because not all anger is wanting to harm in but in this Buddhist list, that's all has to do with wanting to harm so. So hostility or wrath, malice. obstructing one word is irritation. But so the question is irritation, does that mean causing harm, but some kind of ill will is there as part of it?
delusion, ignorance, bewilderment, foolishness, dressing, not knowing, oh, not not not really understanding suffering. If we don't understand our suffering some deep way, and see how it arises, how it seizes, we don't really understand it. suffering, not understood, is a source for delusion. And that then gets expressed often in greed and hatred, and ill will. So the, these have a wide influence on us. And what's interesting in there Buddhist analysis of human behavior, that all unwholesome behavior, all behavior, which is harmful, in some ways to ourselves or to others, has its roots in these three forces inside of us these three categories of things. And if these are the roots, then the task is to is to somehow get sensitive enough, still enough, feel comfortable enough in oneself, feel a sense enough security in oneself, to really be quiet and touch those roots, to really feel what is subliminal feel what's often latent. And one of the avenues to do that is physical, is to feel the physical tension with a very heightened sense of mindfulness, to really tune in deeply, deeply, deeply to the subtlest forms of tension that sometimes only are felt. If the surface tension is finally relaxed enough. In my even after a long period of kind of peace and ease, will we get a sense sense all look at that there's a little tightening of contraction, a little kernel of tightness, or pressure or something, and, and then to help that soften and relax, that that release. And even though it might be feels like a small little kernel subtle, deep inside, it's often the very seed and just like a seed of a redwood tree is quite small, but the tree goes really big. So, in the same way, these little seeds deep inside of greed, hate and delusion, they might seem in quite consequential because they're so small. But in deep, quiet meditation, that's the place where sometimes we can touch those roots or those seeds, and let them relax and release. And in that all wholesome behavior, unwholesome behavior comes from these, it becomes really useful to address them to meet them to understand them. And so, one of the practices in Buddhism is to recognize greed, hatred and delusion, that arises, but not recognized. Sometimes those words are so big words, they seem like they represent, you know, big, obvious movements of greed and hatred that everyone can see. But the tendency in Buddhism is to see them even the very subtle movements like one word for one synonym or connection to hatred is irritation. And, and attachment can be very, very small, very mild, but, but any movement like that, where there involves, you can kind of self harm or self tension, any tension we have holding, tightening. That's, that's chronic, is a kind of crazy, very unhelpful conditions for us. And as we relax that is often that we create conditions for something's very positive, the opposite of greed, hatred and delusion. And those also can be roots. And they have the roots of non greed, non hatred, non delusion, be the source from which we operate, is a whole sea change in how some people can live their lives. But and that also is discovered by deeply relaxing, they're waiting for us those seeds are waiting for us and they also grow into big redwood trees and become strong. So greed, hatred and delusion, and one of the things to become sensitive to, so that we are not pushed around by them caught in bondage to their their influence. So thank you, and
by offer these words and thoughts about these deep roots inside of us, with the tremendous respect for your depth, your roots, care for it, and really wishing that in that depth of who you are, that you can find peace. Well, being in love and freedom. I get through something deep inside can release and let go. Thank you.