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Common Blocks to Creative Power - A Portrait of Five Primary Hindrances

Peri Enkin
Jul 19, 2008
Here are the most common blocks to Creative Power that I know of. They come from the Buddhist tradition and are called The Five Primary Hindrances. You will probably recognize them.

A Portrait of Five Hindrances

Craving: I find myself drawn to other things that suddenly seem more interesting than what my chosen focus is; activities to indulge my 5 senses; like watching TV, watering my plants, sewing a button on my pants, etc.

Judgment: I start making a mental list of all the things that I do not like about myself, my partner, my neighbors, my life. Or I get distracted and annoyed by the slightest noise or disruption and my whole day goes down the tubes.

Spiritual Laziness: I start feeling very tired, my brain gets foggy, and my eyes glaze over. It seems like a good idea to take a nice cat nap, or a very, very long sleep.

Restlessness: My mind races and I cannot concentrate. I start remembering things I need to do. I have bills to pay, errands to run, calls to return and I have no time for anything else right now.

Doubt: I feel stupid, slow and incapable. I do not think I can ever break through this cycle of confusion. I am just going in circles. Maybe this is all a waste of time?

Do you recognize any of these hindrances as your own? Good! Once you know about them you can acknowledge their presence and decide not to take them seriously or to let them occupy too much of your mental energy. We have a tendency to spin stories with our thoughts- stories that have nothing to do with the present moment.

It is good to be aware of the Five Primary Hindrances and to watch for their appearance in your life. They can be sneaky and they can undermine your success and sabotage your happiness. I keep this list posted by my desk. When I am feeling stuck or discouraged I check to see if any of the following are present:

1. Craving
2. Judgment
3. Spiritual Laziness
4. Restlessness
5. Doubt

When I am able to be honest with myself and to admit when doubts or judgments are holding me back I have more clarity and more personal power. I invite you to notice your primary hindrances and to not let negative thoughts stop you from actualizing your potentials. Your creative power grows the more connected you are to your own authentic nature.
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