The third layer of the wheel of life depicts the six realms of worldly existence: the kinds of world we can live in according to our state of mind. Building on the fundamental truth of karma – the fact that actions have consequences – the six realms show how our experience of life, the world and other people is shaped in dependence upon the mental states that result from how we act.
In this talk, Bodhinaga gives us a tour of three of these realms, helping us to recognise when we’re in them and what the Buddha offers as a way to uplift our mental states. These three traditional worlds called the titan realm, the realm of hungry ghost and the hell realm could be translated in today’s words as ‘big egos, addicts and beings in pain’. By understanding which realm we tend to inhabit we can choose the best path to overcome our habitual mental states and move towards a world where we can be healthy, happy and make spiritual progress.
This series of talks explores three great Buddhist symbols that describe the way things are: the wheel of life, the spiral path and the ultimate goal of Enlightenment. Together they form a guide to escape from the ultimate vicious circle into the complete freedom and fulfilment of Awakening.
Questions for reflection and discussion:
Which of these three realms do you spend most time in?
What is it that really nourishes you?
Recorded at Sheffield Buddhist Centre on 21.1.20