Reflections for “Five Hindrances”

by | Jan 28, 2024 | Buddhism.net Blog

The post titled Five Hindrances is now up on Buddhism for All. Angela from the Buddhism.net team reflected on it, and invites you to do so too.

🌕 Angela’s Reflections:

The five hindrances of sensual desire, ill will, sloth & torpor, restlessness & remorse, and doubt, are what we know very well. In life, these hindrances obstruct peace, joy and the innately awakened mind. In meditation, these hindrances obstruct the mind from meditative absorption.

The five metaphors for the five hindrances are so powerful: being in debt (sensual desire), being sick (ill will), imprisoned (sloth & torpor), enslaved (restlessness & remorse), lost in a desert (doubt).

What would the mind be like if it were free from these five hindrances?

So long as these five hindrances are not abandoned in him, a monk considers himself as indebted, as ailing, as imprisoned, as enslaved, as traveling in a wilderness. But when these five hindrances are abandoned, he considers himself as free from debt, rid of illness, emancipated from the prison’s bondage, as a free man, and as one arrived at a place of safety. And when he sees himself free of these five hindrances, joy arises; in him who is joyful, rapture arises; in him whose mind is enraptured, the body is stilled; the body being stilled, he feels happiness; and a happy mind finds concentration.” (Source: Dīgha Nikāya 2)

🌱 Journal Reflection Prompts for You:

  • 📝 What would your mind be like, if it were free from the five hindrances of sensual desires, ill will, sloth & torpor, restlessness & remorse, and doubt?

  • 📝 Contemplate the five metaphors used for the five hindrances. Could you understand why being in debt describes sensual pleasure, being sick describes ill will, being imprisoned describes sloth & torpor, being enslaved describes restlessness & remorse, and being lost in a desert describes doubt?

  • 📝 Examine your mind: to what extent are each of the five hindrances of sensual desires, ill will, sloth & torpor, restlessness & remorse, and doubt present now?


Featured image, an AI-generated artwork, by Angela Ho.

Angela Ho

Extra Ordinary human bean, sharing union of Zen (or Chan 禪) timelessness x tech boundlessness. 5 years spiritual sabbatical. Past life: leadership roles in Singapore public service. MIT and CMU graduate. Who is Angela? What's her story?