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Kilesas (Defilements)

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  • christine_forsyth
    Dear All, After reading a little on this topic, maybe I ve misunderstood the seriousness of kilesas. They seem to be a little more dangerous than an
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 2, 2002
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      Dear All,

      After reading a little on this topic, maybe I've misunderstood the
      seriousness of kilesas. They seem to be a little more dangerous
      than an individual idiosyncracy, or bad habit...a little more than
      a harmless tendency to react in a certain way. The
      description "baneful influence" certainly catches the attention.....

      Christine

      "One must not think that these kilesas are little things, which are
      just tacked onto oneself somehow. They are extremely important and
      are very deep in the heart. It is just these kilesas that cause all
      the trouble in the world - nothing else. Atomic bombs don't let
      themselves off, they require people to do so; bullets are not fired
      from guns without people behind them; and what is behind each person
      is his own kilesas all the time.
      So the whole trouble in the world springs from these kilesas, which
      are quite subtle, extremely resourceful and ever-present. They are
      resourceful because they dwell there in each person's own heart (or
      citta), which they usurp. They use its inherent cleverness to further
      their own ends.

      The kilesas are there in the heart, and Dhamma is there also, all
      mixed up; it depends on circumstances which one dominates at any one
      time. These kilesas are there in the heart all the time, and so they
      are continually flowing out and displaying themselves in action,
      speech and thought. In fact, we could say that the average person is
      almost entirely the kilesas. It is not that sometimes they are there
      and sometimes they are not - they are there all the time, colouring
      our outlook, causing our understanding to be deluded. Our basic
      perceptions of the world, other people, ourselves, religion and
      endless other things are all distorted, because they all come under
      the baneful influence of kilesas."
      http://www.abm.ndirect.co.uk/fsn/36/wisdom.html
    • johnrloganis
      Christine, Thank you for your very clear elaboration. I had not seen the Kilesas the way you described them. I had wondered why even immediately after
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 2, 2002
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        Christine,
        Thank you for your very clear elaboration.

        I had not seen the Kilesas the way you described them. I had wondered
        why even immediately after understanding the basic principles of the
        Dhamma, after a meditation in which much clarity has been realized,
        the most ugly things can pop out most unexpectedly.

        It seems that I must really do more practice and work on making the
        Dhamma more dominant in my heart/mind.

        Thank you again,
        Layman John

        > "One must not think that these kilesas are little things, which are
        > just tacked onto oneself somehow."
      • Sarah
        Dear Layman John, ... Thanks to both of you for your helpful reminders......Yes, the kilesas are so very deep-rooted and I think it s because of one of these
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 3, 2002
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          Dear Layman John,

          --- johnrloganis <johnrloganis@...> wrote: > Christine,
          > Thank you for your very clear elaboration.
          >
          > I had not seen the Kilesas the way you described them. I had wondered
          > why even immediately after understanding the basic principles of the
          > Dhamma, after a meditation in which much clarity has been realized,
          > the most ugly things can pop out most unexpectedly.
          >
          > It seems that I must really do more practice and work on making the
          > Dhamma more dominant in my heart/mind.
          >
          > Thank you again,
          > Layman John
          >
          > > "One must not think that these kilesas are little things, which are
          > > just tacked onto oneself somehow."
          >

          Thanks to both of you for your helpful reminders......Yes, the kilesas are
          so very deep-rooted and I think it's because of one of these kilesa in
          particular (wrong view) that there's an idea of 'oneself' with kilesa
          'tacked' on.....Personally, I find it more encouraging to know they are so
          deep-rooted and 'not-self' (and therefore of no surprise when they arise)
          than the reverse view that having studied the basic principles of dhamma,
          we should be more equanimous in daily life.

          I don't think we've heard from you before, though obviously you already
          have good friends like Lucy;-) If we can encourage you, anytime, to say a
          little more about yourself or interest in the Dhamma, that would be great.
          This is optional of course;-)

          Sarah
          ================================






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        • Jonothan Abbott
          John Hello and welcome from me. Thanks for coming in on this interesting thread of Christine s. ... This is a useful observation of a phenomenon that I
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 5, 2002
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            John

            Hello and welcome from me. Thanks for coming in on this interesting
            thread of Christine's.

            --- johnrloganis <johnrloganis@...> wrote:
            > Christine,
            > Thank you for your very clear elaboration.
            >
            > I had not seen the Kilesas the way you described them. I had wondered
            > why even immediately after understanding the basic principles of the
            > Dhamma, after a meditation in which much clarity has been realized,
            > the most ugly things can pop out most unexpectedly.

            This is a useful observation of a phenomenon that I suspect some people
            choose not to acknowledge. It is natural to want see a reduction in the
            kilesa that are so apparent in our lives, and having embarked on a
            meditation practice designed to achieve this, some may be unwilling to
            face up to a the reality that nothing has changed.

            I don't wish to be discouraging, but it is my understanding that the
            underlying kilesa that constitute the ‘ugly things popping up in our
            lives’ can be attenuated only by the development of insight, and that this
            is such a gradual thing that progress is barely perceptible.

            However, I believe it is better to be forewarned about this than to become
            discouraged or, worse still, disillusioned further down the line because
            of dashed expectations. (And if I’m wrong and insight can be developed
            more quickly than I think, then so much the better!)

            > It seems that I must really do more practice and work on making the
            > Dhamma more dominant in my heart/mind.

            I appreciate your resolve here, John. I hope you will find this list
            useful in channelling your efforts in the right direction. We look
            forward to hearing more from you.

            Jon


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