Most of my social conversations invariably involve people asking me about relationship issues. And almost always, they end with the question, “How to control one’s thoughts?” The same thing happened the other night with my dear friend Hope.
It’s a predicament that affects countless individuals, but the solution often eludes them. The issue isn’t that the answer is complicated but that the problem is deeply ingrained in people’s psyches, making it difficult to recognize.
We often go through life on autopilot, our minds preoccupied with everything except the present moment. Our thoughts are consumed by regrets of the past and anxieties about the future, preventing us from fully experiencing the here and now. It’s a pervasive challenge of the human condition that we must confront to live a fulfilling life.
Mental barriers and habits can also prevent us from reaching our full potential. It’s a common affliction that many individuals face, but few are willing to address. The solution to this problem is simple, yet it requires conscious effort and a willingness to change.
The issue’s complexity and the solution’s simplicity create a paradox that has plagued humanity for centuries. We have the answer right before us, waiting for us to embrace it. It’s time to take control of our thoughts and live our lives with intention and purpose.
The Cause of Suffering: The Kleshas:
The kleshas are afflictions that cause us pain, suffering, torment, and misery. They manifest as mental states that cloud our minds and lead to harmful actions. The mental turbulence caused by the kleshas prevents us from being present in the moment. Furthermore, the kleshas blind us to our inherent capability as humans to live our lives consciously.
The Kleshas: Poisons That Intoxicate Our Minds
The kleshas are like poisons that intoxicate us, causing us to behave in ways that go against our best interests. They create drama and conflict in our lives, causing pain and suffering for us and those around us. The more chaos we make, the more addicted we become to it, leading us to a downward spiral. It’s like a lethal, addictive drug that takes us on a journey into a deep, dark hellhole.
The kleshas hold us back from living with intention beyond our basic and survival instincts. It is a significant challenge that prevents us from living a fulfilling life.
What Are The Kleshas
“Klesha” is a Sanskrit term that means “poison” and is frequently mentioned in Hinduism and Buddhism. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras define kleshas as negative mental states that impede spiritual growth and lead to suffering.
Kleshas also represent obstacles that obstruct an individual’s path to enlightenment and liberation from samsara, the endless cycle of suffering. They are negative emotions or mental states that obscure the mind and create conditions for suffering to arise.
The usual list of kleshas includes the following thought patterns:
- Ignorance, Stupidity, Delusion
- Desire, Attachment, Greed
- Pride, Arrogance, Conceit
- Anger, Aggression, Hatred
- Doubt, Indecision, Indecisive Wavering
- Jealousy, Envy
Overcoming The Kleshas
The kleshas are a formidable enemy that preys on our minds, causing pain, suffering, and misery. Their toxic and addictive nature clouds our judgment. It can easily overpower us, blocking reason and making us act against our best interests.
Worse still, the contagious energy generated by the kleshas can quickly infect others, with just one clouded mind spreading negativity to hundreds, thousands, or even millions. Social media has given them exponential power and reach, thus exacerbating the mass hysteria and hatred we have seen during the past few years.
It’s crucial to be mindful of our thoughts and emotions and prevent the spread of negativity online. By practicing self-awareness and cultivating positive qualities, we can overcome the kleshas and achieve greater happiness, fulfillment, and inner peace.
In conclusion, kleshas are powerful mental afflictions that cause suffering and misery in our lives. They manifest as negative thought patterns and emotions that cloud our minds and prevent us from experiencing true happiness and fulfillment.
However, by cultivating self-awareness, mindfulness, and positive qualities, we can overcome the kleshas and live more consciously and authentically. We can break free from negative patterns with practice and support and experience greater inner peace and happiness.
Let us strive to recognize and overcome the kleshas in our lives and live with conscious effort and intention.