Wisdom Card: The Eight Worldly Winds

The Eight Worldly Winds

Pleasure and Pain

Praise and Blame

Fame and Disrepute

Gain and Loss

The eight worldly winds are pleasure and pain,
praise and blame, fame and disrepute, gain and loss.
They 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.
When we get carried away by these winds we can easily stray off course.
Pleasure, fame, praise and gain all make us feel good.
Our ego may be bolstered by fame,
we may lose sight of our responsibilities with pleasure,
rely on external validation with praise,
or feel exceedingly comfortable with gain.
These things we all desire 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,
we can feel excessively guilty with too much blame,
and loss can leave with us with endless grief.
Being swept away by any of these eight winds causes emotional instability.
Stirring things up they cloud our clarity.
We therefore aim to set a course down the middle.
Not going directly against the wind, or with it.
We respond and accept each wind without following it,
realizing its conditions are impermanent.
Then when the wind changes direction we can respond flexibly.