Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Oct 5, 2020

According to the Buddha, thoughts create karma, our present reality and our future. Yet our thoughts can be so deceptive. This episode will help us explore and question our thoughts, as well as direct them toward what is beneficial. Specifically, we will look at the three non-virtuous actions of mind: coveting, malice and wrong view.


  • “Coveting: The bases of covetousness are the wealth or possessions of another. The motivation is the desire to make the wealth or property your own. The culmination is thinking “May it become mine,” about wealth and the like. Asaṅga describes this as “the determination that it will become yours.” 


For this to be full-fledged covetousness, five qualities are required: 

(1) having a mind that is exceedingly attached to your own resources; 

(2) having a mind of attachment that wants to accumulate resources;

(3) having a mind of longing due to comprehending or experiencing the good things of others—their wealth and so forth; 

(4) having an envious mind, thinking that whatever is another’s should be your own; 

(5) having a mind that is overcome, due to covetousness, by shamelessness and an obliviousness about the determination to be free from the faults of covetousness.

2. Malice: Thinking such thoughts as, “How nice it would be if they were killed, or bound, or their resources were ruined, either naturally or by another person.” 

Moreover, it is complete if the following five attitudes are present. The five are: 

(1) an attitude of hostility driven by a reifying apprehension of the characteristics of the causes of harm and the phenomena related to them; 

(2) an impatient attitude by way of not being patient with those doing the harm to you; 

(3) a resentful attitude based on repeated, improper attention to and mindfulness of the causes of your anger; 

(4) an envious attitude which thinks, “How nice if my enemy were beaten or killed”; 

(5) an attitude that is dominated by a lack of shame about your malice and obliviousness about the determination to be free of its faults.” 

-- Je Tsongkhapa, Great Treatise of the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (see reference below)

3. Wrong Views:  Holding tightly to a denial of the existence of an object of wisdom that is very beneficial to us, such as the law of karma. It is not simply having doubts. It is a very closed mind.

Karmic results of the 3 non-virtuous actions of mind:

  • covetousness — comes a predominance of attachment
  • malice — comes a predominance of hostility 
  • wrong views — comes a predominance of confusion 


Guard against anger erupting in your mind;

Be restrained with your mind.

Letting go of mental misconduct 

Practice good conduct with your mind.


The wise are restrained in body, 

Restrained in speech.

The wise are are restrained in mind.

They are fully restrained.

—Buddha, The Dhammapada  

Links and References

Buddha.The Dhammapada. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. Shambala, Boston and London, 2011, pp.61.

Je Tsongkhapa. Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, Volume 1. Pages 224-227. Translated by the Lamrim Chenmo Translation Co.