The Five Poisons and The Eight Worldly Concerns

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”Learn to bear them patiently, as if they were mere echoes..”


In Buddhist psychology different types of mental affliction are categorised. These are the so-called mental poisons. In addition there are the eight worldly concerns, or those things that normally drive us.

The five poisons are 

Ignorance, attachment, aversion, pride, jealousy.

Also could be known as desire, anger, envy, delusion and pride.

In different systems of Buddhism there are different numbers of poisons, but they all hover in or around the same ideas.

The eight worldly concerns or preoccupations are 

Hope for happiness and fear of suffering.

Hope for fame and fear of insignificance.

Hope for praise and fear of blame.

Hope for gain and fear of loss.

Easier worded as ATTACHMENT to pleasure, gain, praise and fame, and AVERSION to loss, pain, blame and bad reputation.

Nagarjuna mentions the Eight Worldly Concerns in a Letter to a Friend from the 2nd century CE.

Chatral Rinpoche gave advice as to how we might deal with these mental afflictions or disturbing emotions….


So rely constantly on mindfulness, vigilance and conscientiousness.
No matter where you stay—be it a busy place or a solitary retreat—
The only things that you need to conquer are mind’s five poisons
And your own true enemies, the eight worldly concerns, nothing else,

Whether it is by avoiding, transforming, taking them as the path or looking into their very essence,
Whichever method is best suited to your own capacity.
There’s no better sign of accomplishment than a disciplined mind,
This is true victory for the real warrior who carries no weapons.

The root of all affliction is a mind that clings to the idea of ”I”.

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Generally just Being. Nothing in particular, no claims to fame. I like gardening and the sea, nature, art in all forms from poetry to films and everything in between, and being in the company of my family.

Posted in Buddhism, Uncategorized
2 comments on “The Five Poisons and The Eight Worldly Concerns
  1. A.D. says:

    Well, Jac, I was moved to instant tears by your enormously generous comments….that’s what happened. So, gosh, I will make endeavours to follow the chain, though I must let you know I am a) a bit lazy, b) a tiny bit time-constrained at the moment and c) not yet hugelyinvolved in the world of bloggery, aside from my own efforts. It would be the most easily flowing for me to simply write how great I find your writing and your energy, because I do.The very few other Blogs I follow in my reader – which have at one time or another touched me in some flash of lightning way – range from the sublime to the insane, and do not necessarily reflect me or my opinions. Just some spark from the divine that was in them at the moment, like the whisper of God from the mouth of a drunkard, made me press Follow on an impulse. So, I will take a look over them, and see if I can pick up the torch. Thank you for your kindness, it touched me deeply.


  2. jac forsyth says:

    See, this is pretty much why you have just made my Liebster Award list of Chosen Ones.
    Check out the link to see what I’ve written about your blog and decide if you have the time, inclination, degree of insanity, to pick up the torch.


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