How to cure Heavy
Lethargy and Laziness!
Lethargy-&-Laziness may often be induced by self-destructive behaviour
Alcohol, drugs, dope, pills, marihuana, sniffing, over-eating,
excessive masturbation and night-living. Such often life-long chemical or
behavioural causes of Lethargy-&-Laziness should be eradicated.
As long as this is not achieved one remains a phlegmatic & apathetic
drifting downwards due to inability to initiate advantageous behaviour.
Lethargy-&-Laziness (thīna-middha) emerge can make it evaporate:
Herein, Bhikkhus, when Lethargy-&-Laziness is present in him, the
notes & understands: There is Lethargy-&-Laziness in me, and when this
Lethargy-&-Laziness is absent, he notes & understands: Now there is no
Lethargy-&-Laziness in me. He indeed also understands how not yet arisen
Lethargy-&-Laziness arises. He understands how to leave behind any arisen
Lethargy-&-Laziness, and he understands how left Lethargy-&-Laziness will
not arise again in the future. MN 10
What is the
feeding cause that makes Lethargy-&-Laziness arise?
There are boredom, apathy, tiredness, lazy stretching of the
drowsiness after too big meals, and mental sluggishness. Frequently giving
irrational and unwise attention to these mental states, this is the
cause of the arising of Lethargy-&-Laziness, and the feeding cause of
worsening and deepening of already present Lethargy-&-Laziness. SN 46:51
What is the
starving cause that makes Lethargy-&-Laziness cease?
There is the quality of initiative. There is the quality of
There is the quality of tenaciously enduring persistence. Frequently
rational & wise attention to these three mental elements, is the starving
cause for the non-arising of Lethargy-&-Laziness, and the starving cause
for the arousing and stirring of already present Lethargy-&-Laziness. SN
Before the Buddha sat down to meditate in order to attain
he made this determination: May just all flesh and blood of this body dry
up into a stiff frame of only bones, tendons and skin... Not a second
having achieved, what can be achieved by male strength, power, and energy,
will I rise from this seat... MN 70
How to stimulate the mind:
How does one stimulate the mind at a time when it needs
If due to slowness of understanding or due to not having yet reached the
happiness of tranquillity, one’s mind is dull, then one should rouse it
reflecting on the eight objects stirring urgency. These 8 objects are:
decay, disease & death; the suffering in hell, demon, ghost & animal
The suffering in the past and the future rooted in Samsara.
The suffering of the present rooted in the pursuit for food and living.
Perceiving the suffering in impermanence:
In a Bhikkhu, who is used to see the suffering in impermanence
frequently reflects on this, there will be established in him such an
sense of the danger in laziness, apathy, inactivity and lethargy, just as
he was threatened by a mad murderer with drawn sword! AN 7:46
Lethargy-&-Laziness is an inner mental Prison:
Just as when a man has been forced into prison is Lethargy-&-Laziness,
but later when he gets released from this (inner) prison, then he is safe,
fearing no loss of property. And at that good he rejoices glad at heart...
Such is the breaking out of Lethargy-&-Laziness...
Another person has been kept in jail during a festival day, and so could
none of the shows. When people say: Oh, how fun was this festival! He will
remain shy, mute and silent because he did not enjoy any festival
Similarly is prison of Lethargy-&-Laziness...
Another person that once had been in jail on a festival day. But when
and celebrating the festival on a later occasion, he looks back: Before
to my own careless laziness,
I was in prison on that day & could not enjoy this fine festival. Now I
therefore be alert and careful. Since he remains thus alert and careful no
detrimental state can overcome his mind. Having fully enjoyed the
he exclaims: What a fun festival! Good is absence of
Whoever lives only to satisfy his
search & urge for pleasure and beauty,
unguarded in senses, immoderately indulging in eating, lazy, lethargic,
inactive, dulled into apathy;
Such ones Mara sweeps away like breaking
a branch of a tiny bush ...
Even if one should live a hundred years,
if lazy and idle, better it would be
to live but just a single day
striving with all one got.
Easy is the shameless life now.
Easy is it to be bold, retaliating,
lazy, uninformed and wrong-viewed.
Rouse yourself! Sit up!
Resolutely train yourself to attain peace.
Do not let the king of death, seeing you
lazy, lead you astray and dominate you.
Sutta Nipāta II, 10
More on curing this common defilement:
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Friendship is the
Bhikkhu Samāhita _/\_ ]
Lethargy & Laziness
Ruins any Life!
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