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Lesson 5 - Stumbling Blocks and Compassion

Wanting, the fault finding mind, restlessness and worry, dullness and doubt about what to do are the stumbling blocks on the path to peace. Compassion and equanimity are 2 qualities that support us.

Compassion and equanimity are two more skillful means to bring us down the path to the end of suffering. On the other hand, wanting, the fault finding mind, restlessness, dullness and doubt about what's skillful are the stumbling blocks along the path.


When the stumbling blocks arise, be mindful of them with a kind heart. If we are looking at them, we won't be lost in our head, thinking about them and making ourselves more miserable with our added agitation. Just seeing them as they are, with no mental additions, they disappear.

When we catch ourselves in the "Fault Finding Mind", turn and look at the cup 1/2 full instead. What is the positive side of the situation.

Listening to talks by wise teachers and testing what they say is the cure for doubt.

Compassion is the quivering of the heart when we see someone in pain. It's important to have compassion for ourselves as well as others.

When we have done what is reasonable to address suffering, but some still remains, then equanimity is the most skillful attitude to adopt. Equanimity is a serene heart. it is unflappable calm regardless of what is happening. It arises naturally out of our practice of stillness and wisdom.

Compassion (Karuna) - a short you tube video by Ajahn Sona

Equanimity (Upekkha) - a short you tube video by Ajahn Sona

The stumbling block of wanting - a short you tube video by Ajahn Sona

Next step:

Download the PDF for the entire Lesson Five.

Download PDF • 116KB

More Resources:


  • Loving Kindness – The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzberg

  • Being Nobody, Going Nowhere by Ayya Khema. This book contains a helpful overview of the Five Hindrances and how to overcome them.

  • Working with the Five Hindrances by Ajahn Thiradhammo (link is to a page that will allow you to download a PDF)


  • Five Ways to Let Go of a Grudge – 35 minute talk by Ajahn Sona.

You Tube:

  • Ajahn Sona’s YouTube playlist of short videos on the Five Hindrances.

  • Ajahn Sona’s YouTube playlist of short videos on Ingenious Emotions (the Brahmaviharas or divine abidings)

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