Monday, 28 March 2011


Interestingly, the kilesas, although they may appear to come singly, work interdependently.  Some degree of moha (i.e. avijja) is present with all except perhaps uddhacca.  Conceit and viewpoints sustain greed, hatred, shamelessness and moral recklessness.  Restlessness and torpor seem to work alternately - either the mind is too busy or it's like a block of wood.  While doubt is rooted in delusion (i.e. avijja) and fuelled by restlessness (the inability of the mind to concentrate sufficiently to investigate).

Kilesas are "defilements".  So what do they defile?  Me! No, not you.  There is no permanent self to be defiled.  It's the mind that is defiled.  Like contaminated water, once the contaminants are removed, the water is completely pure.  So with mind, once the kilesas are removed there is complete purity.  So, what is pure? Me! No, that's a kilesa ,too.  The mind is pure.  Mind without kilesas is completely pure.

Two ways of achieving this:

1. Practising Dhamma continuously, moment to moment.  Then no kilesas can alight.  This is like the very healthy man.  Diseases can't get a grip'

2. Every time a kilesa is spotted, apply the specific Dhamma cure.  This is like the man who is not completely healthy or perhaps run down.

New Project: FIRE SERMON 

Monday, 21 March 2011


Kilesas are like birds. They can be seen all over the world. But they are not evenly distributed. There are places where they congregate: estuaries, woodland, fish markets, municipal dumps,Trafalgar Square, bird tables, cliffs. The dedicated bird watcher comes to recognise this.

It is the same with diseases. Some locations attract them and they congregate there: garbage dumps, sewers, contaminated water, battle fields, schools, Derriford Hospital.

It is the same with kilesas. Some locations attract them and they congregate there. Pubs, football matches, gambling casinos, night clubs, universities. Also some activities; professional sport (the more money involved, the more kilesas), politics (the more money the more kilesas), drug and alcohol abuse. Some ways of life; hunting, theft, prostitution. Some careers; vivisectionists, arms dealing, slaughterhousemen, factory farming, mercenaries.

(Bird watchers spend a lot of time poring over books which give detailed descriptions of birds so that when they go out spotting, they can easily identify them).


Monday, 14 March 2011


The list of ten kilesas comes from the Visuddhimagga.  Kilesas are mentioned often in the suttas but not as a list.

The ten are: (1) greed (lobha) (2) hate (dosa) (3) delusion (moha) (4) conceit (māna) (5) view points (ditthi) (6) doubt (vicikicchā) (7) mental torpor (thīna) (8) restlessness (uddhacca) (9) shamelessness (ahirika) (10) moral recklessness (anottappa).

Kilesa means defilement or poison. It is the mental equivalent of a physical disease. Kilesas can be suppressed if one has good concentration and determination. But they will remain latent. Or they can be uprooted by investigation and understanding.

Buddhadhamma provides information about kilesas and also methods to deal with them individually or as a group. If you practice dhamma all the time, it is the mental equivalent of keeping yourself physically healthy so that you don't catch the disease. Otherwise, having caught it, you need to spot the symptoms early and do something before it develops. Once it becomes chronic, great efforts may be needed to overcome it. Self awareness is essential.

Looking at the world situation, vast clouds of kilesas are drifting around the planet, infecting the vulnerable, who become infectious themselves and pass on these mental diseases just as they pass on physical diseases.

(Carry a list of the kilesas with you for reference. Watch out for the appearance of kilesas in yourself and others.  Become a Kilesa Spotter!)


Sunday, 6 March 2011


If you use Dhamma, you make yourself a good person. 

If you allow the kilesas to overcome you, you make yourself a bad person. 

A good person makes good footprints. He creates a good environment around him. If there are enough good people, they can create a good world. 

It is clear that at the moment it is the kilesas that are rampant in the world. The Dhamma is still there. It's just that people do not use the Dhamma.

New Project: