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  • Maxwell Casazza

The Three Fires of Buddhism

The three fires of Buddhism are: passion, aggression, and ignorance. In order to extinguish these fires, one must recognize their nature. Their nature is fleeting, impermanent, and unsubstantial. By extinguishing these fires gradually through meditation, they cease to grip and govern the individual.


So long as these fires consume a person, they are unable to see their life situation clearly. The fires are not dependent on phenomena. If they were dependent on specific phenomena of life, then changing the situation would change the grip of the fires. The deceiving part of these fires is that in ignorance, one becomes convinced that changing circumstance will dissipate these fires. In reality, they exist outside of all circumstances.


The most challenging aspect of extinguishing these fires is the fundamental emptiness, spaciousness, and even panic that arises as a result. It can be so unnerving that people would rather hide in these discursive mental states than feeling the emptiness that arises after a lifting of the personality veil.



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