Although there are countless physical, verbal and mental actions, all can be included in three: virtuous, harmful and neutral. The practices of giving, moral discipline, patience, effort in spiritual training, concentration and wisdom are examples of virtuous actions. Killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, divisive speech cause, hurtful speech, gossip, greed, malice, and holding wrong theories are harmful actions. The first three are physical, the four following, verbal, and the last three, mental. In addition to these ten negative actions, there are others, such as mistreating or torturing others. Every day we also perform many neutral actions. When we shop, cook, eat, sleep or rest without any particular intention, we are making this last class of shares.
All negative actions are contaminated because they are motivated by delusions, in particular, ignorance of self-grasping, and so does most of our virtuous and neutral actions. When, for example, we practice moral discipline, we cling to an inherently existence that practice, so that this virtue is still contaminated.
We cling to a mine and inherently existent at all times, day and night. This mind is the self-grasping ignorance. When we are ashamed or frightened, we get angry or feel proud, our sense of self increases. The I that we hold in these situations is inherently existent. Even when we are relaxed and calm, we still cling to this myself, although with less intensity. This mind of self-grasping is the source of other mental disorders and the cause of our problems. To free ourselves from them we must understand that the inherently existence to which we cling so strongly does not exist at all, it never has and never will. It is more than a mere figment of our self-grasping ignorance.