The Buddha explained that the cause of our human suffering are The Three Poisons.
These three poisons are Greed, Hatred, and Delusion.
Greed (Lobha) also means desire, and is our attraction to things we think we need but ultimately never satisfy us.
Hatred (Dosa) show up as anger, hostility, dislike, aversion, or ill-will; wishing harm or suffering upon another person. With aversion, we habitually resist, deny, and avoid unpleasant feelings, circumstances, and people we do not like. We want everything to be pleasant, comfortable, and satisfying all the time. With hatred and aversion, we deny, resist, and push away our own inner feelings of fear, hurt, loneliness, and so forth, treating these feelings like an internal enemy. With the poison of hatred, we create conflict and enemies in the world around us and within our own being.
Delusion (Moha) is our ignorance. It is what prevents us from seeing the true nature of things.
Ah, but wait, there is an Antidote!
The antidote to overcome greed is learning to cultivate selflessness, generosity, detachment, and contentment. If we are experiencing greed, strong desire, or attachment and we want to let it go, we can contemplate the impermanence or the disadvantages of the objects of our desire. We can practice giving away those things we would most like to hold on to. We can also practice acts of selfless service and charity, offering care and assistance to others in any way we can, free of all desire for recognition or compensation. In truth, there is no objection to enjoying and sharing the beauty, pleasures, and objects of this material world. The problems associated with greed and attachment only arise when we mistakenly believe and act as if the source of our happiness is outside of ourselves.
The antidote to overcome hatred is that we need to learn to cultivate loving kindness, compassion, patience, and forgiveness.
And the antidote to overcome delusion is that we cultivate wisdom, heedfulness, and right understanding. Learning to experience reality exactly as it is, without the distortions of our self-centered desires, fears, and expectations, we free ourselves from delusion. To be fully present.
This was the first time I had heard about the Three Poisons, and some of the explanations I use here are borrowed from other websites.
But I found this teaching to be so relevant, that I wanted to study it more this morning. And I also felt compelled to share with all of you.
Towards the end of the film, a Buddhist Nun says “This is our base camp on the way to the summit”.
I love that!
And the Buddha showed us that we do not need to suffer as he did, to reach enlightenment. We don’t have to leave our Family, starve ourselves, or live an ascetic lifestyle.
The Buddha merely touched his fingers to the ground, and saw the connectedness and impermanence of all things. He became one.
And he taught us that this is available to all of us right here and right now. We simply need to remove our hands from our eyes so we can see it.
We need to see the Three Poisons, and see there is an antidote.
So thanks for coming to “Base Camp” with me. I’ll see you at the Summit!