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396Re: [U-Zendo] suffering

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  • Joseph Kozono
    Jul 9, 2007
      Hi everybody:
      I am now back in the USA after my extended trip in Asia.  Among other things, I had the opportunity to attend and participate in the opening ceremonies of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Singapore, right in the heart of its Chinatown.
      This is the first time I am logging in after a long time and I have not read all the messages generated in this list.  But I thought this new thread is quite interesting and I wanted to share some of my thoughts:

      Richard Horvitz <rhorvitz@...> wrote:
      > Is suffering bad?
      LouAnne, with great skill as usual replied:
      > Not bad....just unavoidable until we are completely liberated
      > from our attachment to the self!
      I totally agree with Lou Anne's assessment.
      In Mahaayaana it is stated that there is no inherent difference between Samsaara (the realm of on going birth, attachment and suffering) and Nirvaana.  The difference lies in our common mind.  Thus we have questions such as "Is suffering bad?" or "Is Nirvana good?
      These kinds of questions come about because that is how we think.  Hence, we are in Samsaara.  Lou Anne states that this is unavoidable until we awaken to this fact.  One way to do so is by becoming conscious of our attachments and then do something about them.  For instance, we practice Samatha and Vipasyaana or Zazen. 
      Also, the notion that Samsaara and Nirvaana are inherently the same helps us see that it is because of suffering that we become aware that something is not "right" and generates in us the "desire" to do something about it.  In Mahaayaana Buddhism, this is called the "fuel of enlightenment".  So, if I am forced to give a conditioned response to Richard's query, it will be "yes, provitionally speaking, suffering may be good for us."
      In gasshou / \

      Is suffering bad?

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