Will it helpful to do the opposite of not skillfull things without having deeper knowledge of that thing ?

Ex: I asked a question on Laziness, here. But didn't recived a satisfying answer. So,Can being aware on laziness and being not lazy help to understand laziness ?

Some other similar topic : conceit

  • I think that this topic has answers which explain what "conceit" is, also the Wikipedia article Māna.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 6:33

2 Answers 2


MN8 is a notable sutta that has a long list of skillful qualities, forty-four to be exact. Here is the first:

MN8:13.1: Cunda, I say that even giving rise to the thought of skillful qualities is very helpful, let alone following that path in body and speech. That’s why you should give rise to the following thoughts. ‘Others will be cruel, but here we will not be cruel.’ ...

I have found this list extremely practical and it requires no deeper knowledge. Indeed, the sutta remarkably starts out emphasizing that meditation itself (and therefore the deeper insight thereby gained) is separate from the exercise and practice of the listed qualities, the practice of self-effacement. Ethics, wisdom and immersion are all required. They are the three practices. MN8 directly addresses details of ethics, of skillful qualities.


What matters is not the action but the motivation. Pushing someone in anger vs pushing someone to save him/her getting hit by a vehicle has different karmic consequences. So one should develop the opposite mental qualities of those which are unwholesome (greed, hatred & delusion). What is no unwholesome will be wholesome (non-greed, non-hatred & non-delusion). See p21-33 The Roots of Good and Evil By Nyanaponika Thera for details. The whole book might be good to read.

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