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Laziness (Skt. kauśīdya; Tib. ལེ་ལོ་, Wyl. le lo) — one of the five faults and twenty subsidiary disturbing emotions. It is a fault because it prevents us from even beginning the practice of meditation and prevents diligence. It is of three kinds.

Three Causes of Laziness

The Bodhicharyavatara (VII, 3) mentions three causes of laziness:

  1. savouring the pleasurable taste of idleness, out of attachment to the pleasures of distraction and a failure to exert yourself in virtue;
  2. an indulgence in sleepiness and an increasing desire to lie in bed upon your pillow; and
  3. the failure to be saddened by the sufferings of samsara.

Three Kinds of Laziness (ལེ་ལོ་གསུམ་, le lo gsum)

  1. the laziness of lethargy or inactivity (སྙོམ་ལས་འཛིན་པའི་ལེ་ལོ་, snyom las 'dzin pa'i le lo)
  2. the laziness of attachment to negative behaviour (བྱ་བ་ངན་པ་ཞེན་གྱི་ལེ་ལོ་, bya ba ngan pa zhen gyi le lo)
  3. the laziness of self-discouragement or despondency (སྒྱིད་ལུག་བདག་ཉིད་བརྙས་པའི་ལེ་ལོ་, sgyid lug bdag nyid brnyas pa'i le lo)

Overcoming the Three Kinds of Laziness

Patrul Rinpoche says:

Spurred on by the hook of impermanence, you can overcome the laziness of inactivity. The laziness of attachment to negative behaviour can be overcome by thinking about the joys of the sacred Dharma. The laziness of self-discouragement can be overcome by encouraging yourself and bolstering your self-confidence.

Further Reading

  • Sogyal Rinpoche, A Treasury of Dharma (Lodeve: Rigpa, 2005), pages 178-182.