The Kleshas in Our Life

The Kleshas in Our Life

I discovered the kleshas recently. If you are like I was, you have no clue who or what that is. Kleshas are defined by an ancient sage as follows: “a negative mental state that clouds the mind causing suffering or the conditions for suffering to arise.” Or “referring to the obstacles that prevent a person from reaching a state of enlightenment or spiritual growth.

Turns out there are 5 of them … 

Ignorance (or delusion) – this is often referred to as the first or most important of the kleshas. Without ‘ignorance’ there is no foundation or basis for the other kleshas to develop. Ignorance is the place where negative or toxic habits are formed.

Egoism (includes pride and envy) – this is the belief that certain aspects of our mind are our true selves. It includes the tendency to have an inflated view of who we are in reality and in comparison to those around us and the rest of the world. Matters relating to “I” and “ME” are part of the concept of egoism and focusing on these prevents us from having a ‘growth mindset’.

Attachment  – relates to the desire or attachment to our desires or things such as material objects, power, and social status. It is also the belief that our happiness depends on attaining something external from ourselves and without these attachments, we cannot be truly happy. 

Aversion – is our overwhelming desire to avoid the ‘difficult’ or ‘unpleasant’. This includes uncomfortable experiences, people, events, or emotions. Aversion can often prevent us from having more wonderful and positive experiences and from developing deeper compassion.

Fear of death – this relates to the fear of physically dying but also more broadly the fear of endings. We often cling to the past for fear of letting go and believe that by relinquishing our grip, we will risk or cause damage to the relationship we have with the individual, event, or object.

Pretty compelling list I thought. Is it even possible to master all these? Who of us hasn’t experienced one or all at some time or other, in a single day, or even in a single hour.

Just when I thought life would do right by me if I did right by others. Just when I was starting to believe that my integrity was contagious and could be caught by others or maybe absorbed by osmosis. Just when I thought I was figuring things out. Now I have to deal with kleshas too!!!

Dear readers, the more I learn the more I realise I really don’t know anything. And sometimes I wake up and think I’ve really figured out nothing!! In fact, I have regressed. I sometimes wonder if I know less than I did before I went to bed. Is that even possible? Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know. Aaagghh the 4th klesha – aversion!!

Are you actually being negative? I ask myself writing this. You know you can’t post that! You know we only have control over our thoughts and our actions. Can I just say how much I have hated that line so many times in my life. And the next line is just as bad, How we will respond to the circumstances we have no control over will determine who we will become. Blaaaahhhhh! Booooooo! Hiiissssssss!

Sometimes my own words make me nuts.

Here’s what I know. I have made many (a really lot) of mistakes in my life and I have no regrets. Out of every ‘not brilliant’ choice, I have learned something valuable, which in hindsight is really irritating when I am wallowing in what feels like a disgusting swamp that I am positive I will actually drown in!

No, I don’t always get things at the time and often I’ve had to wait years before I understand what that was all about. Okay, some things I still have no clue what the lessons are, but I am too stubborn, driven, or stupid to give up on life, myself, and … others (often to my own detriment). I have convinced myself to have blind faith that everything is happening at the time it is supposed to and for a higher purpose.

I tell myself it’s about progress, not perfection, and the voice inside me screams, YES, but it’s also about integrity! What is integrity anyway? Oh yeah, integrity is not something you show to others, but how you behave behind their back.

I’m not perfect. Geez if I tried to be perfect, I would never have picked up a microphone, I never would have secured my first client, I never would have enrolled in a course, submitted that assignment, I would never have gotten off the kitchen floor after losing Ben, I would never have tried anything new, and I definitely never would have had as many screwed up relationships as I have had… oh wait that’s not a positive is it… 

I definitely never EVER would have put myself out there again and again and again and AGAIN but even I know that’s the only thing that makes us stronger. (Stupid thing!) It’s the only way to boost our superpowers. It’s the only way to get the fuel we need and the tools to cope with the next challenge we can’t control that’s just around the corner. Ugh Seriously!

So, what’s the point of this post? I’m not 100% sure but I’m going to publish it anyway. It can be really hard trying to find new content each week.

We don’t always get it right but for those reading this that are still alive (think about that for a minute – yes there are people dead inside pretending to be alive that dwell among us) we get to be here, and we get the opportunities to try again and again and again and AGAIN.

We don’t always know what we want, our purpose, or what happy means to us but we get to experience lots of things we don’t like, and self-reflection always brings us closer to what we DO.

And life doesn’t always deliver roses (or lillies) or turn out the way we want it to, or expect, no matter how much we feel we invest, but it ALWAYS turns out the way it’s supposed to.

Our story just isn’t finished yet. Don’t you want to see what happens in the next chapter? Who knows, it might just be the one where a major clue to this ridiculous puzzle of life is revealed.

Much Love
Dalya xx 💙

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