According to Buddhism, we probably have traits to all of them.
In my favorite podcast, which I’ve been listening to a lot lately, the running theme is suffering, or more precisely – how we cause our own suffering. It comes down to the three poisons — anger, greed and delusion. They’re at the root of unhappiness.
Curious to know which one of these poisons is most pervasive in your personality?
In the podcast it was broken down like this:
When you enter a new room, do you…
A. Immediately critique everything. You think to yourself Ugh, those pictures are so tacky. And how awful is that rug. OMG, I’d die living in here, it’s so clutteredd!
B. Immediately want everything. You think to yourself I want that couch. I must have those lights. I’m going out later today to get that stuff.
C. Not notice a thing. You think think to yourself What is that weird stain on my shirt? How did it get there? I must’ve spilled my coffee. Goddamnit, I”m such a slob!
If you answered A — congratulations, you’re a hater!
If you answered B — salutations, you be greedy!
If you answered C — you’re just delusional!
Hello, my name is Elysha and I’m a hater. When the podcast was describing the qualities of choice A…I was like – OMFG, that’s Me!
But then it went into describing greedy, and I was like – wait…I kind of get like that too. Especially when I’m shopping for a job. I want to buy everything for myself.
And yes, I have my moments of delusion as well…getting super caught up with how I look etc…
I’ve got each of these charming qualities swimming around in my personality, causing me to act unskillfully.
What’s a woman to-do to manage all that?
Well according to the podcast (Buddhism) and in yoga, it’s about making space so that all these parts can exist. We practice mindfulness for self awareness so the next time we notice our judge-y anger coming up, or going nuts in the greed department, we can pause and choose a different reaction.
So when you walk into the room, rather than think UGH, this room is ugly. You pause. Of course that thought will come up, but there’s nothing to-do about it. You just let it come…then go.
Knowing the antidotes to these emotions may also help.
When feeling anger. Be compassionate.
When feeling greedy. Be generous.
When feeling delusional. Be wise with your words and actions.
I know, way more easier said than done.
In yoga this morning the teacher said something which could also be useful when subjected to the poisons — set an intention, then embody it. So when I start to get judge-y about terrible decor, I can set the intention of kindness. Then try to embody it…let it be my essence. I’ll probably have to keep reminding myself of the intention because oh how quickly we forget, particularly when confronted by our stuff.
But it’s a practice.
And remember, we don’t practice for perfection.
We practice to be better.
Here’s the link to the podcast incase you want to hear more.
Which of the poisons do you most easily suck in?
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Excellent post, Elysha. Just who does not have negative emotions? It is how we deal with them that matters. In Buddhism as well as meditation, the teaching is detachment. Acknowledge these emotions and observe their effect on us. The more detached we are, the better off we can be. As you indicated, it takes practice. Lots of them.
Thanks for your comment, Terry. Do you practice Buddhism? I’ve been dabbling into the teachings for a bit, and find it a beautiful complement to yoga as well as a solid foundation for meditation.
My grandmother was a devout Buddhist. I guess it rubs off on me. Like you I just dabble in it as I do with yoga and meditation. I would agree they all go well together.
Good morning Elysha, I am greedy :). I blame my three planets in Taurus :). I love the antidote to greed – generosity. I may also be prone to anger…
Hi Sara, That’s right – 3 planets in taurus is a lot of stuff, but at least it’s Venusian, pretty stuff ????
Thanks for sharing this Elysha. I am checking out the podcasts. Whatever is happening right now is a process of change. Change changes change! I have been practicing Buddhism for a number of years. There’s always something more to learn. I recently heard someone say that when those thoughts come into your head and distract you, they are there to remind you to turn back to mindfulness.
What a beautiful reminder…the distractions are there to help us find our way back. Love this, thank you!