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5176RE: Mental stress as passion, aversion & delusion

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  • antony272b2
    Nov 10, 2013

      Hi Tep,

      Thanissaro Bhikkhu elaborates on his translation of lobha as passion:

      "Sensual passion" covers not only sexual desire, but also any hankering for the pleasures of the senses that disrupts the peace of the mind.
      As the Buddha pointed out, sensual passion depends on aberrant perceptions: we project notions of constancy, ease, beauty, and self onto things that are actually inconstant, stressful, unattractive, and not-self. These misperceptions apply both to our passions and to their objects. We perceive the expression of our sensuality as something appealing, a deep expression of our self-identity offering lasting pleasure; we see the objects of our passion as enduring and alluring enough, as lying enough under our control, to provide us with a satisfaction that won't turn into its opposite. Actually, none of this is the case, and yet we blindly believe our projections because the power of our passionate attachments has us too intimidated to look them straight in the eye. Their special effects thus keep us dazzled and deceived. As long as we deal only in indulgence and repression, attachment can continue operating freely in the dark of the sub-conscious. But when we consciously resist it, it has to come to the surface, articulating its threats, demands, and rationalizations. So even though sensual pleasures aren't evil, we have to systematically forego them as a way of drawing the agendas of attachment out into the open. This is how skillful renunciation serves as a learning tool, unearthing latent agendas that both indulgence and repression tend to keep underground."


      From: Trading Candy for Gold: Renunciation as a Skill

      by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

      With metta / Antony.

      ---In buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, <tepsastri@...> wrote:

      Dear Antony, -

      There are several meanings of "passion" in the every-day usage that does not directly reflect 'lobha' as defined by the Buddha:


      Pas·sion  n.

      1. A powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred, or anger.

      2. a. Ardent love. b. Strong sexual desire; lust.  c. The object of such love or desire.

      3. a. Boundless enthusiasm: His skills as a player don't quite match his passion for the game. b. The object of such enthusiasm: Soccer is her passion.

      4. An abandoned display of emotion, especially of anger: He's been known to fly into a passion without warning.

      5. Passion a. The sufferings of Jesus in the period following the Last Supper and including the Crucifixion, as related in the New Testament. b. A narrative, musical setting, or pictorial representation of Jesus's sufferings.



      greed [griːd]  n  1. excessive consumption of or desire for food; gluttony 2. excessive desire, as for wealth or power.  .. reprehensible acquisitiveness; insatiable desire for wealth (personified as one of the deadly sins)


      So it is clear that greed is much better translation for lobha than passion. 




      ---In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, <antony272b@...> wrote:

      Hi Tep,

      I found this in the Urban Dictionary:

      "Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind body and soul into something as is possible."

      With metta / Antony.

      ---In buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, <antony272b@...> wrote:

      Dear Tep,

      You wouldn't tell a starving person in Africa that their mental stress was due to greed, hatred and delusion. But you could explain it in terms of passion, aversion and delusion.

      With metta / Antony.

      ---In buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, <tepsastri@...> wrote:

      What is passion?  Most-often-seen meanings are ardent love, strong sexual desire; lust.

      What is greed? It is excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves.

      Greed(lobha) is always present as a latent tendency, whether there is passion or not.

      Passion originates from greed. Greed can cause aversion/anger/hatred(dosa) and delusion/ignorance(moha: a synonym of avijja) without a  passion. Also, dosa or moha can condition greed to arise without any passion.

      So I think greed is the better rendition of lobha than passion.



      ---In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, <antony272b@...> wrote:

      I think that "stress" can often be a much more profound translation of dukkha than suffering. My difficult person is a nurse educator, and my teacher once said that nurses were "stressed out of their heads". But according to Buddhism, although physical stress is unavoidable, mental stress can be skillfully discovered to be unnecessary and is associated with the three unskillful roots of passion, aversion and delusion (usually mistranslated as greed, hatred and delusion).

      I want my difficult person to be free from mental stress so that she doesn't have any passion, aversion and delusion to take out on other people. And I want to be free from passion, aversion and delusion so that I don't suffer mental stress thinking about her.

      The three skillful roots are dispassion, goodwill and discernment. My difficult person has the seeds for these qualities and I can help her to water them by including her in my metta practice.

      This post is recorded in mp3 audio in our files section:
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