I was listening to one of my favourite Buddhist podcasts the other day (Zencast) which talked about the 5 hindrances to meditation (in particular) and life (in general). The teacher, Gil, gave a wonderful analogy of the 5 hindrances, which goes like this:
Enlightenment is seeing things as they really are (especially the "self"). So we can compare this to looking into a pond and it's reflection. When the pond is still and clear we see things perfectly. But the 5 hindrances do the following:
- DESIRE - like adding a potent dye to the pond
- ILL-WILL - the water boils and bubbles
- SLOTH AND TORPOR - letting the pond grow over with algae and weeds
- RESTLESSNESS - a strong wind blows over the surface causing great ripples
- DOUBT - the water is thick with mud
I was thinking about them recently in my depressed state of mind, and would like to add 2 further hindrances to the bipolar sufferer:
- DEPRESSION - there is a drought. No water left in the pond. The mud of doubt is now solidified, with a few dead fish rotting amongst the cracks.
- MANIA - there is a flood. Water surges all over the place, no boundaries left. In time there'll be even more mud. A danger zone - if you don't keep your feet planted firmly on the ground you can get swept away and drown.