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suffering

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  • Richard Horvitz
    Is suffering bad?
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 9, 2007
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      Is suffering bad?
    • LouAnne Jaeger
      Not bad....just unavoidable until we are completely liberated from our attachment to the self! LA
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 9, 2007
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        Not bad....just unavoidable until we are completely liberated from our
        attachment to the self!

        LA



        On 7/9/07, Richard Horvitz < rhorvitz@...> wrote:

        Is suffering bad?


      • Richard Horvitz
        Why should we want to avoid it, rather than accept it? If you are not attached to your suffering you can simply observe I am suffering as you might observe
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 9, 2007
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          Why should we want to avoid it, rather than accept it? If you are not
          attached to your suffering you can simply observe "I am suffering" as you
          might observe anything else.

          On Mon, 9 Jul 2007, LouAnne Jaeger wrote:

          > Not bad....just unavoidable until we are completely liberated from our
          > attachment to the self!
          >
          > LA
          >
          >
          >
          > On 7/9/07, Richard Horvitz <rhorvitz@...> wrote:
          >>
          >> Is suffering bad?
          >>
          >
        • Joseph Kozono
          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
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 9, 2007
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            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 / \
             
            JK

             
             
             
            :
            Is suffering bad?


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          • LouAnne Jaeger
            Because suffering is self-inflicted. Suffering, which is different from pain, is the thoughts we have about circumstances that are not to our liking, in. Pain
            Message 5 of 9 , Jul 9, 2007
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              Because suffering is self-inflicted.  Suffering, which is different from pain,
              is the thoughts we have about circumstances that are not to our liking, in.

              Pain is burning yourself on the stove.

              Suffering in this instance would be beating up on yourself for getting burned on the stove, e.g.
              "WHY ME?  WHY ALWAYS ME??  I"M SO STUPID!!!!!  WHY
              CAN'T I PAY BETTER ATTENTION TO THINGS?"

              This is a simple example, but you get the idea.  Why suffer when the
              path to liberation from suffering is open to anyone?

              LA









              On 7/9/07, Richard Horvitz <rhorvitz@...> wrote:

              Why should we want to avoid it, rather than accept it? If you are not
              attached to your suffering you can simply observe "I am suffering" as you
              might observe anything else.

              On Mon, 9 Jul 2007, LouAnne Jaeger wrote:

              > Not bad....just unavoidable until we are completely liberated from our
              > attachment to the self!
              >
              > LA
              >
              >
              >
              > On 7/9/07, Richard Horvitz <rhorvitz@...> wrote:
              >>
              >> Is suffering bad?
              >>
              >


            • Richard Horvitz
              Thanks for your replies. Of course, I do understand that suffering and pain are different things. Still, it seems implicit in everything that has been said
              Message 6 of 9 , Jul 9, 2007
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                Thanks for your replies. Of course, I do understand
                that suffering and pain are different things. Still, it seems implicit in
                everything that has been said that suffering is bad, that is, it is
                something to be avoided. Now, this seems perfectly natural in a relative
                way of thinking, but if we are refraining from separating the good from
                the bad, why is there anything to avoid? Of course, this seems the
                *purpose* of refraining from separating the good from the bad, i.e. to
                avoid suffering. It seems that if you want to avoid something, then you
                believe that thing is bad, even if you refrain from calling it such.
                I remain confused, as usual.
              • Weasel Tracks
                ... This is because the situation has a strange loop in it. I think, if I remember it right, a strange loop is something like This statement is false. Is the
                Message 7 of 9 , Jul 9, 2007
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                  >Thanks for your replies. Of course, I do understand
                  >that suffering and pain are different things. Still, it seems implicit in
                  >everything that has been said that suffering is bad, that is, it is
                  >something to be avoided. Now, this seems perfectly natural in a relative
                  >way of thinking, but if we are refraining from separating the good from
                  >the bad, why is there anything to avoid? Of course, this seems the
                  >*purpose* of refraining from separating the good from the bad, i.e. to
                  >avoid suffering. It seems that if you want to avoid something, then you
                  >believe that thing is bad, even if you refrain from calling it such.
                  >I remain confused, as usual.

                  This is because the situation has a strange loop in it. I think, if I
                  remember it right, a strange loop is something like "This statement
                  is false." Is the statement true or false?

                  Likewise, suffering is "bad" or undesirable because, by definition,
                  we suffer when our desires are frustrated. We desire that the
                  frustration of our desires cease, and until that desire is dealt
                  with, we suffer. That desire can never be fulfilled, so that leaves
                  only the option of dropping it. Thus our suffering ceases when we
                  cease to desire it to cease. See the strange loop?

                  Suffering *is* the judgment that something is "bad." Naturally, we
                  wish to avoid what is bad, because that is what bad means. You get
                  confused because a strange loop gets set up and you confuse one part
                  of it for another. But actually, it isn't resolvable by reason. It's
                  just a direction in which to alter one's attitude, as a matter of
                  practice. No need to resolve that.

                  ---Weasel Tracks
                • ColdMtnBum@aol.com
                  Hi Richard, I think the loop Weasel Tracks is referring to might be summed up this way.? If you are no longer desiring to avoid your suffering, is it still
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jul 11, 2007
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                    Hi Richard,
                    I think the loop Weasel Tracks is referring to might be summed up this way.  If you are no longer desiring to avoid your suffering, is it still suffering?
                    Avoiding (aversion) or grasping (desire) being the operative activators of suffering, if you can be at a place where you no longer want to avoid your "suffering", you have arrived at the place Joe refers to where samsara and nirvanna are one.
                    By helping me develop some small amount of equanimity, practice has brought me closer to that place.
                    Gassho, Al

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                  • Lee
                    Mundane suffering is pretty easy to deal with. But dukkha/dis-ease is at the base of all things we seek permanence in. It is right there, in the middle of
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jul 11, 2007
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                      Mundane suffering is pretty easy to deal with.    But dukkha/dis-ease is at the base of all things we seek permanence in.   It is right there, in the middle of our deepest happiness.    It is simply a fact of life.          

                                 What we do in practice is become more effective at recovery:  not clinging or being adversed for as long as we used to be.   But it never disappears totally, as long as you are alive, except in deep mediation.   The plucked string simply comes back to the center and is stilled more readily,  open to the next plucking.

                                
                      --
                      Lee in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
                      http://mashikopots.blogspot.com/

                      "To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts." - Henry David Thoreau

                      "Let the beauty we love be what we do." - Rumi
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