Overcoming our negative qualities and perfecting our positive ones.

 

 

 

 

Mental defilements

 

No good comes of no good.  

Anonymous

 

Let a wise man remove impurities from himself even as a silversmith removes impurities from the silver: one after one, little by little, again and again.

The Dhammapada

 

All contaminated phenomena are unsatisfactory.

Seal Two of the Four Seals of Buddhism

 

The implication is that those things that do not arise from such contaminated causes can be satisfying and fulfilling.  When we talk about contaminated phenomena in this context, we are referring to events and experiences that arise under the power of negative impulses, or afflictive thoughts and emotions; they are called “contaminated” because they are tainted by the pollutants of the mind.  That is why they are fundamentally unsatisfying, and why their nature is said to be duhkha, or suffering.

... the causes and conditions that give rise to the origination of a thing are the very causes and conditions that also plant the seed for its cessation.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama – “Transforming the Mind – Eight verses on generating compassion and transforming your life”

 

The Unwholesome Roots (Buddhism)

Greed

Hatred

Ignorance

 

The Wholesome Roots (Buddhism)

Generosity

Loving-kindness

Wisdom

 

The Inciting Nafs (Islam)

Including:

Stinginess

Greed

Envy

Ignorance

Arrogance

Lust

Anger

Heedlessness

Coveting

Bad manners

Involvement in useless things

Making fun of others

Having malice for them

Harming them with speech or hand.

 

The Seven Deadly Sins (Christianity)

Lust

Gluttony

Greed

Sloth

Wrath

Envy

Pride

 

 

Intentions, mental defilements, and karmic actions

If your intentions are influenced by mental defilements, then the resulting actions are said to be “karmic actions” according to Buddhism.  Karmic actions are said always to be troublesome and to have negative effects on the person who does them, not to mention on the other people affected.  

Actions that affect others, and whose intentions do not have mental defilements, are fully aligned with the Healing Principle and the Definition of Goodness.  According to Buddhism, these actions lead to happiness.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bright Lines

 

A Bright Line is a line you would never step over, a rule you would never break, under any circumstances.  

It is often worth thinking about a Bright Line at your leisure, in advance, fixing it in your mind so that you won’t forget it under pressure.  

For example, if there is someone you love very fiercely, you may decide in advance that you will sacrifice almost anything for them.  

 

Virtue Ethics