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Today I was having a discussion with my father about the benefits of spiritual teachings, and I found myself talking about what helped me the most in the four years or so that I have been looking at Buddhism. I thought I’d briefly share here the conclusion that I came to while talking.
For me it was the teachings around the Three Poisons — desire, aversion and ignorance — and how to deal with them during insight meditation. When you turn within you can find in yourself places where you are not relaxed, are not at ease but are instead tense and stressed. Some traditions call these ‘knots’. If you can feel what negative emotion causes that within you, and can bring awareness and insight to that situation, you can dissolve those knots, and return your inner self to a feeling of peace and relaxation.
I’ve been working with this form of insight meditation for a few years now and it has lightened my load, increasing my happiness and inner peace. Sometimes I start from the memories of negative feelings, and I see to what event it leads me, and whether there is still tension and stress there. Then I start examining the roots of the feelings, what aspect of the Poisons or other negative mind states led me there.
So I was wondering, do you have a specific Buddhist teaching or practice that has greatly helped you?