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Buddhists/Disturbing emotions


Hello, What causes emotions to be disturbing? Also. Do you chase after sense pleasures less than before you started on your Buddhist path? Thanks.

Hello Tom -

These are some great questions.

As to your first question, I am not sure if my answer is technically correct from a Buddhist viewpoint, but from my experience, what causes emotions to be disturbing are what we call the three poisons - aversion, attachment and ignorance.  

First of all to clarify - ignorance does not mean being stupid, it means not understanding how the world really works - not understanding the principles of dependent arising, emptiness and karma.

So, from my side, if we could learn to let go of our aversion right there, we... or at least I would have a lot fewer emotions that would disturb my mind. Aversion means not wanting a specific outcome.  If I could train my mind to not be upset when something happens that I don't want to happen, I would have a lot fewer disturbing emotions.  

If I could learn not to grasp at things that I want which causes me to get my mind all agitated because I am attached to an outcome that I think would make me happy or see something or someone as fulfilling something in me that I think I don't have, so if I don't get it or I lose it after I have gotten it, I am unhappy, then I would have many less disturbing emotions.

And then because I don't really understand how the world really works, meaning I think things that happen to me are unfair, when really it is simply my own karma manifesting back at me, or I do not understand that things are not permanent and nothing is meant to last forever or things are not inherently from their own side pleasurable, painful or delicious - that it is simply my mind that deems things so, then I am bound to have emotions arise around these things that are disturbing.

However, once I can let go of attachment, aversion, and not understanding how the world works, there will be nothing to cause my mind to produce disturbing emotions and my mind will be peaceful.

That is the best answer I can give you.

As for question 2, the answer is a qualified yes. I do chase after sense pleasures less.  I still have a HUGE way to go in that area but thanks to the teachings of the Buddha, I have been able to let go of some sense pleasures that I used to go after.

I hope these answers help to some degree.

Don't hesitate to ask anything else. In the mean time, I hope you have much happiness.

Namaste - Laurie  


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Laurie McLaughlin


I can answer questions about basic Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism and meditation especially how the Buddha's teachings can help us in day to day living.


I have been studying Mahayana Buddhism and meditation since 2001. I have lead meditation classes and retreats for over 5 years. I have lived at a Buddhist retreat center for over 4 years and am currently ordained as a novice Buddhist nun. My nun name is Gyalten Yanghchen.

I hold a BA degree in technical theatre from the University of South Florida.

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