Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 12/07/2018

Lower Realms


I’ve been reflecting a lot on the sufferings of the beings in the lower realms and have tried to spend each morning doing tonglen for the beings in each of the lower realms of existence. I usually begin with the cold hells and then move onto the hot hells. After that I reflect on the condition of the petas (hungry ghosts), the animals and the asuras. I have found the practice to be both a great way to keep me to my practice commitments as well as a way to really connect with the sufferings of others. All of this, of course, needs to be balanced with equanimity and frequent reminders that one cannot actually take on the suffering of another. And, even if one could, what good would that do since the Buddhadhamma doesn’t have the idea of redemptive suffering found in Catholicism.

I’ve made a YouTube playlist of both guided meditations and descriptions of the lower realms to help me contemplate and flesh out these realms in my practice and daily life. May it be of use:

Suffering of the Lower Realms

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.