ill will - harmfulness

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

ill will - harmfulness

Postby heraclito27 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:10 am

Hello, I have read that is good practice to give up passions like ill will and harmfulness. I have some questions about it.

What is ill will and harmfulness exactly? How do you know when ill will is in your mind?

What is the inmediate cause of ill will and how it can be extinguished?
heraclito27
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:13 pm

Re: ill will - harmfulness

Postby AdvaitaJ » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:38 am

Heraclito,

Not sure why you're asking, and I'm concerned I might be missing the real intent of your question. But, my definition of "ill will" is closely tied to "harmfulness". I think "ill will" is wishing harm to befall someone else. "Harmfulness" is the actual capacity to do harm. For instance, I used to routinely wish harm would befall "bad guys" and that would generate ill will within me.

Someone else may know a more precise cause, but I suspect delusion is often the root cause of ill will or wishing harm. I'll vouch for the benefits of giving up feelings of ill will and harmfulness. The problem is that feeding thoughts and feelings of ill will inclines the mind in that direction which then increases delusion. (Try to remember that when someone cuts you off in traffic. :guns: )

For what it's worth...

Regards: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai
User avatar
AdvaitaJ
 
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:17 am
Location: Michigan, USA

Re: ill will - harmfulness

Postby Dhammakid » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:46 am

heraclito27 wrote:Hello, I have read that is good practice to give up passions like ill will and harmfulness. I have some questions about it.

What is ill will and harmfulness exactly? How do you know when ill will is in your mind?

What is the inmediate cause of ill will and how it can be extinguished?


Hello there and welcome to Dhamma Wheel :)

To put it simply, ill will is the desire to cause or wish harm upon another sentient being. It can manifest as just a thought or an action or words.

If you're hoping or causing harm upon another sentient being, you are acting out of ill will.

The cause of ill will is hatred, the second of the three unwholesome roots (the other two being greed and desire). Hatred stems from the desire to want things to be other than they are (selfishness) and the tendency to want to control things. It also stems from attachment to views and beliefs.

Ill will is eradicated through proper mindfulness, morality and renunciation. Proper mindfulness meaning paying attention to when thoughts of ill will arise and stopping them before they manifest into actions. Moral action is critical in eradicating the three unwholesome roots. It helps us to eliminate unwholesome actions, keeps regret at bay which aids in meditation practice, and helps us gain favor with our companions. And renunciation is the practice of letting go of desire and attachment - so not attaching to views, beliefs and wanting things (or people or actions) to be other than they are, but instead staying in the present moment and practicing some acceptance of reality.

Hope this helps :)

:anjali:
Dhammakid
User avatar
Dhammakid
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Georgia, USA


Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: robertk and 3 guests