Mental factors that hinder progress in meditation. The five hindrances are sensual desire, ill will, sloth/torpor, anxiety and doubt
In the Buddhist tradition, the five hindrances (Sanskrit: pañca nivāraṇa; Pali: pañca nīvaraṇāni) are identified as mental factors that hinder progress in meditation and in our daily lives. In the Theravada tradition, these factors are identified specifically as obstacles to the jhānas (stages of concentration) within meditation practice. Within the Mahayana tradition, the five hindrances are identified as obstacles to samatha (tranquility) meditation. Contemporary Insight Meditation teachers identify the five hindrances as obstacles to mindfulness meditation.
The five hindrances are:
Sensory desire (kāmacchanda): the particular type of wanting that seeks for happiness through the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and physical feeling.
Ill-will (vyāpāda; also spelled byāpāda): all kinds of thought related to wanting to reject, feelings of hostility, resentment, hatred and bitterness.
Sloth-torpor (thīna-middha): heaviness of body and dullness of mind which drag one down into disabling inertia and thick depression.
Restlessness-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca): the inability to calm the mind.
Doubt (vicikicchā): lack of conviction or trust.