Perseverance is necessary

If we want to train our mind for realization of the Dhamma, we have to try to fight against all forms of obstacles which shatter peace and destroy our wisdom. Whenever Nivarana appear, they remove our wisdom and any time we make a resolution, it is undermined.

When we intend to stay up all night or till midnight, as soon as sloth or torpor appear, our mind is automatically affected and weakened by it. Consequently we decide to go to bed. We cannot stay up as planned because the Pa¤eakkhanda (Five Aggregates) cannot stand it any more. This means that we are submerged by the Nivarana, and we will be prevented from achieving the Goal at this point.

During our meditation sessions, our mind becomes very busy with various thoughts, impulses and emotions. It is impossible to know where things start or end. All we know is that all these emotions go on and on. When they get worse, it becomes unbearable for us. So before we give up, we try to persuade ourselves that there is no point in sitting any longer. As a result, peace can never be found, and we also create unskilful actions. It would be best therefore if we did not carry on sitting. Nivarana got the better of us.

Another very common problem for meditators is the fear of their own mind, and the anxiety that they will never master the mind. If only we had a skilful means to see through the whole thing, we would know that it is the hindrance and not our own mind which is the cause of the fear. The hindrance has a trick to dominate us. Each time we meditate and go through the same experience again, we will understand that it is the hindrance which stands in the path of virtue and which persuades us to indulge in the restlessness and turmoil which results in our lack of mindfulness and our uncontrolled emotions which causes confusion to arise each time we sit in meditation.

When we know what happens, we will not be led astray, but will try to cultivate peace and tranquility in the mind. To acquire the composure of the mind, we have to sit for a long period of meditation, and spend a lot of time practising mindfulness during standing, walking, sitting and lying down, becoming aware of body and mind. If we are not discouraged, our mind will begin to concentrate and the confusion within it will calm down and peace will occur. The mind will become concentrated because we can see what the hindrances are up to. So we are not overcome by them when they arise within our mind.

People who surrender to the hindrances will always be losers. Whenever we start to meditate, we are restless and are tempted to give up. Sloth, torpor and laziness discourage us to do good. Physical pain also tortures us. So we stop sitting because we cannot stand all these.

They are the hindrances for which we have no proficiency in means or method to see in which direction they are leading us, because we have never experienced and overcome the hindrances such as sloth, torpor, laziness, restlessness and physical pain; we will always submit to them.

If we are accustomed to lifting our mind to rise above sloth, torpor and restlessness, we will always repeat the performance. This experience will lead to the awareness of hindrances which we will be able to eliminate every time they happen.

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