Nivarana — The Five Hindrances

During our mindfulness of the breathing practice we must attempt to fix mindfulness to our body or, in other words, the in-breath and out-breath. Establish the contentment to be with the breath, confine the six senses — eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind — within the body. Do not let your mind wander outside of this body. 
If you feel restless, know that our old friends are visiting. This group of friends is called the five hindrances (nivarana).
The five hindrances are
sensual desire (kdmachanda)
ill will (byapada)
sloth and torpor (thinamiddha)
restlessness and anxiety (uddhaccakukkucca) and 
doubt (vicikiccha).
Practising mindfulness of the breathing
to prevent delusion with cognitive objects
Normally our mind is connected to the external world. We think of the past and future, endlessly judging others. Moreover, we usually allow our mind to think nonstop. If we encounter an unpleasant experience, we tend to keep the feeling of displeasure for a long time, even for years.
By the same token, we also keep pleasing memories in our minds for long periods of time. But once we find that this Joyful feeling does not last or that we have to pait with things we love, we are unhappy again.
If our mindfulness is continually aware of the in-breath and out-breath it means we are living in the present moment. Thus we will not cling to emotions. We will not think of our past experiences, both pleasing and unpleasing, which make us happy or sad. We will be able to discard these feelings totally and gain a healthy state of mind and be happy.

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