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Offlinesykobish
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The meaning of pain & suffering.
    #1961803 - 09/29/03 05:01 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

This is an old diary entry of mine. I'm sure some of you have already heard this from me, but i thought it would be a good idea to share my thoughts on what pain and suffering means, with the hopes of helping some of you get thru trying times.

Friday May 30 2003 - 11:08am.

I just realized something and believe it or not, i feel kind of refreshed. I just realized what pain and sadness and suffering really is. Every upsetting situation that we are faced with in life is not about getting someone back, wallowing in your pain, or how horrible things are or have become. It's about becoming a deeper individual. About growing. It makes you who you are. You can't grow as a person if you dont experience some downfalls. Instead of being sad and crying over someone you lost, or something you had to give up, look at how you feel emotionally as a way to learn more about yourself. To appreciate a new song, learn a new thing or to indulge in something that you never quite gave yourself the chance to do before. That is how you regain positivity and with positive energy, good things will happen. It may be hard at the time, but keep in mind that you will become a better, stronger person because of the situation. Take that time to get to know yourself, to realize something about yourself that you over looked before. This is life. Everything happens for a reason.


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I would rather have had one breath of her hair, one kiss from her mouth, one touch of her hand, than eternity without it. One.
-={Nite-Crew}=-

*-_Thread_Jacker_-*
To love is to admire with the heart; to admire is to love with the mind. - Th?ophile Gautier.
Seek not every quality in one individual - Confucius.
Global Living Space


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Anonymous #1

Re: The meaning of pain & suffering. [Re: sykobish]
    #1962817 - 09/29/03 03:23 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

so true....


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: The meaning of pain & suffering. [Re: sykobish]
    #1967545 - 09/30/03 10:35 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

The more pain and suffering one encounters, the more sensitive they'll be to good feelings and happiness, and vice-versa..

This is why a "bum" could consider it a fantastic day if he finds a nickle in the gutter, while somebody who's been "pampered" their whole life can have a fucking tantrum over losing a game of chess.


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Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
In addition: SHPONGLE


Edited by Strumpling (09/30/03 10:37 PM)


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Offlinesykobish
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Registered: 03/15/03
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Re: The meaning of pain & suffering. [Re: Strumpling]
    #1967951 - 10/01/03 12:28 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Exactly.  It makes you appreciate things more.  To not take so much for granted.  :thumbup:


--------------------
I would rather have had one breath of her hair, one kiss from her mouth, one touch of her hand, than eternity without it. One.
-={Nite-Crew}=-

*-_Thread_Jacker_-*
To love is to admire with the heart; to admire is to love with the mind. - Th?ophile Gautier.
Seek not every quality in one individual - Confucius.
Global Living Space


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Anonymous #1

Re: The meaning of pain & suffering. [Re: sykobish]
    #1975858 - 10/03/03 12:44 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Excellent.. I am glad to be reading this. I only wish I had read it a while ago.


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InvisibleRipple
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Re: The meaning of pain & suffering. [Re: sykobish]
    #1975868 - 10/03/03 12:47 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Great post.....thanks


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The bus came by and I got on that's when it all began!



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Offlinesykobish
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Registered: 03/15/03
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Re: The meaning of pain & suffering. [Re: Ripple]
    #2086166 - 11/09/03 10:24 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I thought this could use a bump. Seems to be alot of people down and maybe this will help you thru your hard times. This diary entry was also made not even a month after i was having horrible thoughts of suicide that continued for weeks on end.

Grab life by the horns. Beat life. Don't let it beat you.


--------------------
I would rather have had one breath of her hair, one kiss from her mouth, one touch of her hand, than eternity without it. One.
-={Nite-Crew}=-

*-_Thread_Jacker_-*
To love is to admire with the heart; to admire is to love with the mind. - Th?ophile Gautier.
Seek not every quality in one individual - Confucius.
Global Living Space


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Offlinebigfatdork
Now I Have Teeth

Registered: 10/19/03
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Re: The meaning of pain & suffering. [Re: sykobish]
    #2086516 - 11/09/03 02:35 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

"I teach about suffering and the way to end it"
Shakyamuni Buddha


INTRODUCTION
The teachings on the four noble truths are among the very first of many teachings that Shakyamuni Buddha gave in Sarnath (near Benares or Varanasi in North-East India), seven weeks after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya. These teachings are known to contain the essence of the Buddhist path, regardless of the tradition one follows.

1. THIS IS SUFFERING
According to the Buddha, whatever life we lead, it has the nature of some aspect of suffering. Even if we consider ourselves happy for a while, this happiness is transitory by nature. Often, if we have a problem in the world, it is not because the world is what it is, but the fact that we do not accept that the world (as we experience it) is unsatisfactory or suffering by nature. The fact that we suffer or are happy depends entirely on our own state of mind. This mean that at best, we can only find temporary happiness and pleasure in life.

Suffering (or unsatisfactoriness) can be distinguished in three types:
1. Suffering of suffering: this refers to the most obvious aspects like pain, fear and mental distress.
2. Suffering of change: refers to the problems that change brings, like joy disappears, nothing stays, decay and death.
3. All-pervasive suffering: this is the most difficult to understand aspect, it refers to the fact that we always have the potential to suffer or can get into problematic situations. Even death is not a solution in Buddhist philosophy, as we will simply find ourselves being reborn in a different body, which will also experience problems.

To illustrate this with the words of the 7th Dalai Lama (from 'Songs of spiritual change' translated by Glenn Mullin:

"Hundreds of stupid flies gather
On a piece of rotten meat,
Enjoying, they think, a delicious feast.
This image fits with the song
Of the myriads of foolish living beings
Who seek happiness in superficial pleasures;
In countless ways they try,
Yet I have never seen them satisfied."

Note that "suffering" is a most inadequate translation of the word "Dukkha", but it is the one most commonly found. "Dukkha" literally means "intolerable", "unsustainable", "difficult to endure", and can also mean "imperfect", "unsatisfying", or "incapable of providing perfect happiness". Interestingly enough, some people actually translate it as "stress".

"Suffering is a big word in Buddhist thought. It is a key term and it should be thoroughly understood. The Pali word is dukkha, and it does not just mean the agony of the body. It means that deep subtle sense of unsatisfactoriness which is a part of every mind moment and which results directly from the mental treadmill. The essence of life is suffering, said the Buddha. At first glance this seems exceedingly morbid and pessimistic. It even seems untrue. After all, there are plenty of times when we are happy. Aren't there. No, there are not. It just seems that way. Take any moment when you feel really fulfilled and examine it closely. Down under the joy, you will find that subtle, all-pervasive undercurrent of tension, that no matter how great this moment is, it is going to end. No matter how much you just gained, you are either going to lose some of it or spend the rest of your days guarding what you have got and scheming how to get more. And in the end, you are going to die. In the end, you lose everything. It is all transitory."
Henepola Gunaratana, from 'Mindfulness in Plain English'.


2. THE CAUSES OF SUFFERING
The reason that we experience suffering comes ultimately from our mind. According to Buddhism, our main mental problems or root delusions are: attachment, anger and ignorance. Because of these delusions, we engage in actions that cause problems to ourselves and others. With every negative action (karma) we do, we create a potential for negative experiences. (See also the page on karma.)

How can attachment bring us suffering?
We just have to think of chocolate and there is the temptation of eating more than is good for us.
Or as example, my favourite story: the way people used to catch monkeys in South India.

One takes a coconut and makes a hole in it, just large enough that a monkey can squeeze its hand in. Next, tie the coconut down, and put a sweet inside. What happens next is pure attachment. The monkey smells the sweet, puts his hand into the coconut, grabs the sweet and ... the hole is too small to let a fist out of the coconut. The last thing a monkey would consider is to let go of the sweet, so it is literally tied down by its own attachment. Often they only let go when they fall asleep or become unconscious because of exhaustion.

Ultimately, the Buddha explains that our attachment to life keeps us in cyclic existence or samsara, which does not bring us continuous happiness. (See also the page on Attachment.)

How can anger bring us suffering?
As will be explained in the page on karma, all of our actions have consequences. Doing harm to others will return to us as being harmed. Anger is one of the main reasons we create harm to others, so logically it is often the cause of suffering to ourselves. (See also this page on anger.)

How can ignorance bring us suffering?
This is explained in two ways:

- The conventional explanation is to understand is that because we are not omniscient, we regularly get ourselves into trouble. We do not realise all the consequences of our actions, we do not understand other beings and we do not understand why the world is exactly the way it is. So we often end up in situations where we do not take the best actions. Just reflect for a moment how often we think: "If only I had known this earlier..."

- The more complicated explanation refers to the most profound aspect of Buddhist philosophy: ultimate truth or emptiness. This is a vast subject, and also after reading the page on wisdom it is unlikely that you will be completely clear; it takes years of study and meditation to realise the insight into the wisdom of emptiness. To put it very simple: reality is not what it seems to us. As reality is different from our opinions about it, we get ourselves into trouble. As long as we fail to realise the ultimate truth, we will be stuck in cyclic existence. While being in cyclic existence, we will always experience some aspect of suffering (which is at least having the potential for future suffering).

^Top of Page

3. SUFFERING CAN END, NIRVANA IS PEACE
This is the most positive message of Buddhism: although suffering is always present in cyclic existence, we can end being in cyclic existence and enter Nirvana, which is a state beyond all suffering.
The reasoning behind this Third Noble Truth is the fact that as suffering and the causes of suffering are dependent on states of our own mind, then if we can change our own mind, we can also eliminate suffering.
The reasons we do actions that cause ourselves and others harm come from our delusions. Also our delusions themselves cause us problems. When we possess the proper wisdom (conventional and ultimate), we can rid ourselves of delusions, and thus of all our problems and suffering. When this process is complete, we can leave cyclic existence and enjoy the state of Nirvana, free of problems.

The reasoning so far is simple enough, but it is like with taking medical treatment and medicines. When we are ill, we need the help of a doctor, we need to take medicines and follow up the doctors advice. If wisdom is the medicine that a spiritual teacher can prescribe, we still need to take it in and follow the instructions, otherwise there will be no effect. That leads us to the last Noble Truth of the Path.

^Top of Page

4. THE TRUE PATH, OR EIGHT-FOLD NOBLE PATH
If we can control our body and mind in a way that we help others instead of doing them harm, and generating wisdom in our own mind, we can end suffering and problems.

The Buddha summarised the correct attitude and actions in the Eight-fold Noble Path:

1. Correct thought: avoiding covetousness, the wish to harm others and wrong views (like: actions have no consequences, I never have any problems, there are no ways to end suffering etc.)
2. Correct speech: avoid lying, divisive and harsh speech and idle gossip.
3. Correct actions: avoid killing, stealing and sexual misconduct
4. Correct livelihood: try to make a living with the above attitude of thought, speech and actions.
5. Correct understanding: developing genuine wisdom.
The last three aspects refer mainly to the practice of meditation:
6. Correct effort: after the first real step we need joyful perseverance to continue.
7. Correct mindfulness: try to be aware of the "here and now", instead of dreaming in the "there and then".
8. Correct concentration: to to keep a steady, calm and attentive state of mind.

The Buddha explained that one can use the Four Yardsticks to assess if one is practising the correct way:
one should feel happiness, compassion, love and joyous effort when practising.



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"But it was alright, he had won the battle against himself, He Loved Big Brother"


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