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Vimalakirti’s 8 Dharmas to stop defilements

When asked what a Bodhisattva can do to stop the increase of defilements, the great teacher Vimalakirti gave this list. He said that if we cultivate these eight things, then our defilements will not grow.


1. benevolence toward all living beings with no expectation of reward

2. endurance of suffering for all living beings dedicating all merits to them.

3. impartiality towards them with all humility free from pride and arrogance.

4. reverence to all Bodhisattvas with the same devotion as to all Buddhas

5. absence of doubt and suspicion when hearing sutras one has not heard before.

6. absence of opposition to the sravaka Dharma (ie Theravada)

7. abstention from discrimination in regards to donations and offerings received with no thought of self profit

8. self examination without contending with others.  


(from the Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra)



Daniel is a Zen Teacher in Kansas City. He leads Fountain City Zen, a floating meditation community. Daniel is affiliated with the Dharma Winds Tradition, where he ordained in 2018. Daniel is a co-owner of the website The Tattooed Buddha and he has a weekly podcast called Scharpening the Mind.

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