Oakville Zen Meditation

#206 Mind-made 6 poisons Jan 1st 18

                                                                   Mind-Made 6 poisons


The main roadblock against inner peace and serenity is our ego-driven mind

 Our “I, ME, MYSELF and MINE” are critical for identification, survival, protection, enhancement, pleasure, procreation and many more other functions. This is wonderful but.....

Zen Buddhism considers our little self that is “I” is also the main cause of our unhappiness, dissatisfaction and suffering. These negative feelings and uneasiness are triggered by so called 3 main “poisons” in Zen Buddhist:

1) Desire/ craving/expectations or what we want 2) Dislike/Hatred/aversion or what we don’t want

3) Ignorance, better called illusions. They are affecting us more subconsciously than consciously.


Desires / craving/ expectations: I WANT.......this, I want that

It is OK to have desires but what and how much do we need? Being addicted to more and more stuff is automatic suffering since they are endless and can never be satisfied 100% all the time. The quest for happiness from having more and more is pure delusion and a great source of unhappiness. A great roadblock against serenity.

Dislike/ Hate/Aversion: I DO NOT WANT ........About people, events, ideas, beliefs, etc.

Hatred / aversion are creating avoidance, resistance, loneliness and even fighting back.

All of them creating negative energy and negative emotions away from serenity.


It does not mean stupidity but rather the inability to differentiate the real from the fictional. To be ignorant means to be deluded or being in a constant dream of self- created illusions/delusions.

Here are few examples of our main illusions. We believe that:

  • Past and future exist and are real. No so. Only the present moment exist and we exist only now.
  • Each of us is a permanent, independent, unique, separate self-entity with a self- intrinsic existence.

Not so since we cannot survive by ourselves. Thinking of being isolated, permanent and unique is a main source of uneasiness and worries.

  • We believe that almost everything is permanent. Nothing is since impermanence and ongoing change are the basic characteristics of life.
  • We control our life, people, time and environment. This is just wishful thinking. What do you control?

5)   Because they are coming from our mind we believe in our thoughts. Not so, thought does not mean

truth. In fact, thoughts exist but, by definition, they are fictional and not real.


To these 3 main poisons, one may add the following 3:

 Negative thinking and negative emotions. Our brain/mind is wired towards them. Anti- serenity by excellence.

Having a frozen mind-set:

Being stuck with pre-conceived ideas creates a painful mind trap. This is why Zen Buddhism is advocating to learn and keep an open mind called “Don’t know mind” or “ No mind” . “Beginner mind”, “Mirror mind”

"Don't know mind" or "no mind" does not mean being stupid or ignorant.



Etymologically : to be one / to fasten with something/somebody. There is nothing wrong to be attached to something/somebody we love but impermanence and lack of control are always behind the corner. Attachment always creates subconscious fear of disconnection or loosing something/somebody inducing suffering.



Controlling our mind-made poisons is an huge and difficult undertaking especially during difficult times.

The practice of mindfulness meditation which is simply experiencing the true reality of the moment is probably one of the most efficient approach since we learn to be aware to these ongoing mind-made poisons.

Without their awareness, we cannot control them and get intoxicated permanently..