Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ten negative actions and the Four Antidotes

According to the Buddha, there are three outlets through which our actions manifest themselves- our bodies, our speech, and our thoughts.  

Three of these negative actions are carried out by the body:
sexual misconduct

Four are driven by our speech:
harsh speech
divisive speech

Three are perpetrated by our minds:
harmful intent
perverse views (i.e. insisting on seeing things opposite from how they really are and denying that actions have consequences) 

Considering each of these honestly, many of us may have committed at least a few of these negative actions within our current lifetime. In some cases recalling past negative actions may make us feel sad, regretful, or even ashamed. 

The good news is that just as the Noble Eightfold Path was the medicine prescribed by Buddha's Four Noble Truths to end the suffering of all beings, the Four Antidotes are used to remedy the adverse karmic effects of the ten negative actions.

They are:
Power of Regret
Power of Purification
Power of Resolve
Supreme Power of Meditation

In short, these mean that in addition to refraining from the ten negative actions, we exhibit true remorse, purify ourselves, and resolve to not repeat the negative action. Using the Supreme Power of Meditation, we cultivate our efforts to understand the true nature of things, including ourselves.

For more information about the benefits of meditation and how to begin, please read this great article.

Have you heard these terms before? What do they mean to you? Do you have anything to add?

May all beings be happy!


  1. This is a wonderful post you did!

    These are the things I meditate on often!

  2. Thanks so much, Lon- I am glad you enjoyed this post. Lately I have been posting a lot about the events in my own life, which I wanted to balance by focusing on posts centered around core Buddhist concepts. Moreover, I wanted to keep them concise and relevant to Buddhists and others who might be interested.

    I am so happy that this post was relevant to you!

    May you be well!

  3. This is a great post Renata. As makes me think. I'll be meditating on these as I ride my horse alone in the hills this morning (my "riding" meditation)! Thank you for this, it came at a perfect time.

    1. Hello Eline!

      It is so nice to hear from you! I am glad that you found this post helpful and thought-provoking. I am also happy that you found it so timely!

      I hope you had a great time during your horseback meditation. I hope that I can try that too someday!

      May you be well!

  4. Renata, I didn't see that you commented on my comment. Lol! My ride was GREAT! And I went into it thinking that I was going to contemplate this post and the Four Antidotes (which I somehow missed in my Buddhist studies!), and instead I thought of absolutely nothing. Which I think is just as good. I'm gonna post about it now! lol

    1. Hello Eline! I am so glad you enjoyed your ride- whatever you thought about! :) It must be a wonderful meditative activity, especially since it is essentially practiced so close to another sentient being!


Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment! If you enjoyed this post, please share with others. -With Metta, Renata