Though there are many difficulties that can beset us on our path to enlightenment, almost all of them stem from The Three Poisons. They are:

  • Attachment
  • Aversion
  • Delusion

 To avoid your chance of being hurt by these poisons, let’s take a look at each of them, see how they manifest in our lives, and how we can overcome them.


  1. Attachment

What is an Attachment?

An attachment is a mental addiction. It is something temporary that we hold onto, in the belief that keeping it in our lives will keep us safe and happy.

 How does it Work?

For instance, if we once felt happy around a certain person, but we still keep them in our lives - even though they now undermine us - that would be an attachment. Or feeling like having an alcoholic drink will always cheer us up, even though it often makes us sick, angry, and melancholy. Attachments keep us rooted in the past. But happiness is RIGHT HERE – RIGHT NOW!

How do I stop it?

All attachments begin in the mind. If you can trace them back to their very root, and destroy the desires that produce them, then you can put an end to the pain they cause.


  1. Aversion

What is an Aversion?

 At the opposite end of the spectrum is aversion. Aversion comprises all of those things that we have decided we dislike and wish to avoid. At its most minor level, it can be a food we detest, or a chore we dislike doing. But, at its most extreme, aversion can manifest as hatred, prejudice, racism, fears, phobias, and neurosis. Surely it is best to be rid of them while they are still small, before they turn into something bigger?

How does it Work?

The reason Aversions are so dangerous is that they imprisons us and limit our lives. We say ‘I can be happy and at peace, provided I don’t have to be with that person, or go there, or be in that situation.’ We refuse to participate in activities that might benefit us, because we are afraid of them. Aversions are always trapped in the future, because they are fears of what might happen – not what will happen.

How Can I stop it?

But avoiding life – any of it – is not what being a Buddha is all about. A true Buddha knows that happiness comes from within, and is independent of our external life. A Buddha could be just as happy in warzone or a brothel as anywhere else. Why? Because he makes no distinctions. Rise above discriminating thoughts, and you’ll find that there is no reason why your happiness should ever be restricted.


  1. Delusion

 What is Delusion?

Delusions are ultimately the basis of all suffering. A delusion is a falsehood. It is a belief about the world which bears no relation to how things actually are. An example would be an insecure woman who thinks that she is fat, even though she is anorexic. Or people who think that having lots of money and material possessions will keep them happy and safe from disaster.

How does it Work?

Our biggest delusions come from our approach to reality. There is perhaps no greater delusion than the belief that we are separate and disconnected from everything else. Life is an intricate web that binds everything – an ocean of consciousness and joy.  The belief that there is anything apart from us is the true cause of all suffering.

How Can I stop it?

Through meditation and Buddhist practice, it is possible to cleanse the mind, so that we can finally use it to tell truth from delusion. Follow delusion, and you will always suffer. But follow truth, and you will be liberated from everything.

Thank you! Hope you enjoyed reading. Do share your thoughts in the comments below!