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Countering Pride

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  • Countering Pride

    Dear Venerable Sunyo,

    I hope the reading of this message finds you well. I am interested to know what practices or meditation objects are useful in countering the defilement of pride. I was trying to imagine what its opposite would be, such as in terms of the brahmaviharas, but I'm not certain. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    Sincerely,

    Jenny

  • #2
    Hi Jenny,

    Traditionally the meditation object said to counter pride is the contemplation on no-self (anatta). It's reflecting on all things in life that we don't control and don't really own. Intelligence for example isn't really something you own. You're born with it and haven't really done anything to get it. The same thing is true with beauty. Some people are simply born with a look that agrees with societies view on what makes someody beautiful, but they don't really own that beauty. Reflecting like that makes you lose your pride regarding those things. This reflection on no-self can get much deeper than that; in order to do the deeper reflections you'll need deeper meditation experiences as well.

    That would be the more traditional response. However, in general all sorts of meditation will gradually lessen pride. Any type of reflection that lessens your sense of "me" will do that. Meditation on loving kindness, the sharing of your kindness with others, will be very effective as well. In effect any brahmavihara will do the job.

    Also, try not to think of meditation as a kind of "battle" where you have to counter every emotion with an opposite one. If you meditate like that you'll get quite restless.

    With kindness,
    Sunyo

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