The three Poisons / Die drei Gifte / Os três Venenos / Los tres Venenos

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Greed, hatred, and delusion are known as the three poisons, the three unwholesome roots, and the three fires.

Greed refers to your selfishness, misplaced desire, attachment, and grasping for happiness and satisfaction outside of yourself.

Hatred refers to your anger, aversion and repulsion toward unpleasant people, circumstances, and even toward your own uncomfortable feelings.

Delusion refers to your dullness, bewilderment, and misperception; your wrong views of reality.

The poisons of greed, hatred, and delusion are a byproduct of ignorance – ignorance of your true nature, the awakened heart of wisdom and compassion.

Out of your ignorance, these poisonous states of mind then motivate nonvirtuous thoughts, speech, and actions, which cause all manner of suffering and unhappiness for yourself and others.

Greed, hatred, and delusion are deeply embedded in the conditioning of your personality.

Burning within you as lust, craving, resentment, misunderstanding, and anger these poisons waste hearts, lives, hopes, and civilizations, driving you blind and thirsty through the seemingly endless round of birth and death (samsara).

The actual root cause of unwholesome karma and the entire spectrum of Human suffering.

With this understanding you can clearly see and feel the factors that are causing confusion, unhappiness, and suffering in your life.

And with this clarity and insight, you can make the choice to eliminate those factors. In addition to meditation practice, there are also the antidotes.

These antidotes are called the three wholesome roots: non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion.

To antidote and overcome greed, you learn to cultivate selflessness, generosity, detachment, and contentment.

If you are experiencing greed, strong desire, or attachment and you want to let it go, you can contemplate the impermanence or the disadvantages of the objects of your desire.

You can practice giving away those things you would most like to hold onto.

You can also practice acts of selfless service and charity, offering care and assistance to others in any way you can, free of all desire for recognition or compensation.

In truth, there is no objection to enjoying and sharing the beauty, pleasures, and objects of this material World.

The problems associated with greed and attachment only arise when you mistakenly believe and act as if the source of your happiness is outside of yourself.

To antidote and overcome hatred, you learn to cultivate loving-kindness, compassion, patience, and forgiveness.

When you react to unpleasant feelings, circumstances, or people, with hatred, anger, or aversion, you can use these sublime antidotes to counteract the poisons.

You learn to openly embrace the entire spectrum of your experiences without hatred or aversion.

Just as you practice meeting unpleasant experiences in the outer world with patience, kindness, forgiveness, and compassion, you must also practice meeting your own unpleasant feelings in the same way.

Your feelings of loneliness, hurt, doubt, fear, insecurity, inadequacy, depression, and so forth, all require your openness and loving-kindness.

Your challenge in spiritual practice is to soften your habitual defenses, open your heart, and let go of hatred, aversion, and denial. In this way, you can meet and embrace yourself, others, and all inner and outer experiences with great compassion and wisdom.

To overcome delusion, you cultivate wisdom, insight, and right understanding.

Learning to experience reality exactly as it is, without the distortions of your self-centered desires, fears, and expectations, you free yourself from delusion.

Deeply sensing and acting in harmony with the interdependent, impermanent, and ever-changing nature of this World you free yourself from delusion.

As we develop a clear understanding of karma, knowing the positive, wholesome actions that bring happiness and the negative, unwholesome actions that bring suffering, you cultivate the wisdom, insight, and right understanding that free you from delusion.

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