What Are The 8 Worldly Winds

Heartwood Refuge Blog

The eight worldly winds are:

pleasure and pain, praise and blame, fame and disrepute, gain and loss. These are pairs of opposites:  one we are attracted to, the other repulsed by.   The conditions of their blowing are beyond us and can’t be controlled.  We get carried away by these winds and can lose our course easily.  Pleasure, fame, praise and gain all make us feel good, like the stock market on an upward swing.  We may get a big head with fame, lose sight of our responsibilities with pleasure, rely on external validation with praise, or feel exceedingly comfortable with gain.  These things we all desire and delude our clear minds.  Conversely, we can be carried away by their opposites.  We can become absorbed by our pain, our esteem can suffer from disrepute, feel excessively guilty with too much blame, and loss can leave with us with endless grief.  Being swept away by any of these 8 winds causes  emotional instability.  Stirring things up they cloud are clarity.  Just set a course sailing down the middle–not directly against the wind nor with it–and respond with the tiller to keep things straight.   Accept each wind without following it, realizing its conditions are impermanent. Then when the wind changes direction you can respond flexibly.


excerpt from the Lake Minnetonka Meditation Blog.