Thinking on the Eight Worldly Dharmas

Today is this month’s New Moon Uposatha, and today I have my thoughts on the idea of the eight worldly preoccupations, sometimes called the eight worldly dharmas.

For those who might not be familiar, the eight worldly dharmas described as being concerned with the following dualistic concepts:

  1. Getting what you want, and avoiding getting what you do not want
  2. Wanting (instant) happiness, and not wanting unhappiness
  3. Wanting fame, and not wanting to be unknown
  4. Wanting praise, and not wanting blame.

Using this as a guide, starting today I will be considering the motivations for my actions. Contemplation of why we do things, even seemingly small things, can and should speak volumes to us about how much we are really thinking of others, or really just thinking of ourselves under a veil of thinking of others.

For instance, even starting this blog has it’s roots in the idea of self. I like to think that I can slowly put selfish constructs aside as I share my thoughts with those who choose to read them, perhaps benefiting everyone, but I think we all would do well to admit that we like talking about ourselves and our experiences, otherwise I imagine most of us wouldn’t bother starting blogs at all.

I hope you are at peace today and that this Uposatha is fruitful for you.  Be well, friends.

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4 comments

  1. Thanks for paying us a visit and leaving a ‘like’. All credit to you for educating your son yourselves – being a teacher is a huge responsibility, especially when you’re a child’s only teacher(s). We’re working to make all schools great places for children to be, where they can learn creatively at their own pace, and develop all of their intelligences, including the spiritual. It’s sad that so many schools are so far from this ideal. Best wishes. GF

    1. Thank you very much, and I agree… many schools are are in an unfortunate state, and while the reasons for it might be debatable by some, I can at least assure that our children will have free-range to express their own spirituality (even if it differs from my own) without ridicule as a result of our choice to home-school.

  2. Such an interesting post. I am always trying to analyse the motivations for what I say and do. It’s such a great area for developing practice – especially mindfulness. I once heard a dharma talk where the teacher said that if you really want to “get enlightened quick” (said with jest) that you should analyse why you are about to say what you are going to say. And ever since I heard that, I have tried to do just that. And it’s interesting how many times I pick myself up. With unpure intentions. I will either decide not to say what I was going to, or rephrase it, so it comes from a different intention.

    1. Thank you. I have realized that I wouldn’t really speak much at all if I eliminated all of my impure intentions and frivolous chatter… but actually getting to that point seems very challenging in an environment where others are constantly droning on and on about things and expecting a response. Hey, if it was easy, would it be worth doing? Ha!

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