The Intention to Harm

Mental Hindrances
Reference: Rightness

The intention to harm is morally so unacceptable that when not fully confronted it gets buried deep in the psyche. It then causes anxiety and unhappiness.

Some of the forms of this intention are as follows:

(1)    SELFISHNESS.  One thinks of the satisfaction of one’s own desires without caring of the effects it creates on others in its wake.

(2)    EXPLOITATION. Any action that exploits others for personal gains has the intention to harm underlying it.

(3)    SEXUAL DESIRES. This is a special instance of the above when it leads to actions that cause suffering to the object of one’s affection.



Purpose: To fully understand and release the “intentions to harm.”

  1. Read the introduction to this exercise. Make a list of “intentions to harm” as they appear in your mind without effort. These do not have to be your intentions.

  2. Add to this list, intentions that you have encountered in your life. These do not have to be just your intentions.

  3. Contemplate on the following question letting the mind associate freely.

    Meditation Question: “HOW DOES [an item from the above list] APPEAR TO MAKE SENSE?”

  4. See if there is some response that appears on its own. Please note that the response may not be an exact answer to this question.

  5. No matter what the response is, take time to inspect and experience it fully without resistance.

  6. Let the mind associate freely whatever follows, until the attention frees up enough to look around.

  7. Ask this question again per step 3, and follow it up per steps 4, 5, and 6.

  8. Keep on asking the question as long as responses are appearing in the mind. In other words, let the mind un-stack itself naturally on this subject of “intention to harm.”

  9. When there is no more response, take up the next item on the list with the question in step 3.

  10. Continue this procedure with subsequent items on the list until some persistent thought, emotion or impulse has just left. NOTE: This may not always occur.

  11. Continue this procedure until you can BE THERE comfortably with a deep understanding of “intention to harm” on a first-hand experiential basis.

  12. Follow up with the exercise per Mindfulness 12: Let it be effortless, and let the mind complete the review of this session as necessary.


Further references: KHTK Mindfulness


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