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Thread: Life is Suffering ? What does that mean?

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    Forums Member Genecanuck's Avatar
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    Life is Suffering ? What does that mean?

    Hello everyone,

    I am new to understanding concepts and principles and have been doing a lot of reading..... I am still trying to really appreciate the meaning of Dukkha and found this source.. is this credible?

    Life Is Suffering? What Does That Mean?

    http://buddhism.about.com/od/thefour...khaexplain.htm

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Hi Genecanuk,

    This is a quote from the words of the Buddha in the Pali Canon suttas:


    SN 56 .31 The Siṃsapa Grove

    On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Kosambi in a siṃsapa grove. Then the Blessed One took up a few siṃsapa leaves in his hand and addressed the bhikkhus thus: “What do you think, bhikkhus, which is more numerous: these few siṃsapa leaves that I have taken up in my hand or those in the siṃsapa grove overhead?”

    “Venerable sir, the siṃsapa leaves that the Blessed One has taken up in his hand are few, but those in the siṃsapa grove overhead are numerous.”

    “So too, bhikkhus, the things I have directly known but have not taught you are numerous, while the things I have taught you are few. And why, bhikkhus, have I not taught those many things? Because they are unbeneficial, irrelevant to the fundamentals of the holy life, and do not lead to revulsion, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. Therefore I have not taught them.

    “And what, bhikkhus, have I taught? I have taught: ‘This is suffering’; I have taught: ‘This is the origin of suffering’; I have taught: ‘This is the cessation of suffering’; I have taught: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’ And why, bhikkhus, have I taught this? Because this is beneficial, relevant to the fundamentals of the holy life, and leads to revulsion, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. Therefore I have taught this.

    “Therefore, bhikkhus, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

    https://suttacentral.net/en/sn56.31


    The Buddha's core teachings are The Four Noble Truths and the first is that there is suffering. (i.e. we feel discontent,conflict, unsatisfactoriness etc about different aspects of our lives.) You can read more about it in this booklet from the "Overview" onwards:

    http://www.amaravati.org/dhamma-book...-noble-truths/

    and another of our pinned resources at the beginning of the topic list in this Discovering Buddha's Teachings forum, is a 21 minute extract of a talk about practising with the Four Noble Truths from Ajahn Amaro.

    http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries...-(Ajahn-Amaro)

    Hope that helps.

    With kind wishes,

    Aloka

    PS.

    Sorry, I didn't have time to read what the "Buddhism Expert" (who more accurately is a journalist and a Zen student) had to say on the "About Religion" website.
    Last edited by Aloka; 08 Oct 16 at 17:13. Reason: adding P.S.

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    Hi Genecanuck

    Thanks for the URL it is quite good, I am not a teacher but it does reflect my understanding as I stand at the moment.

    I stopped using "Suffering" a while ago and I agree with Barbara O'Brian in that there is no adequate translation of the word, you will find there are words that have a similar problem. It is a common problem with modern languages, no matter ancient ones

    That does not mean you can not understand them though, I find I keep picking up nuances when I read something referring to Dukkha, it builds a picture of what the word means.

    Life is Dukkha? what does that mean? Well that is the whole of the Buddhist investigation, good fortune in gaining the understanding

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    Forums Member Genecanuck's Avatar
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    Many thanks Aloka and McKmike.... I will read this information and reflect.

    Regards

    Genecanuck

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    I personally came to Buddhism because of Dukkha being translated into "suffering". I wanted to find a way to relieve it. But, as I study, I find that I am often translating it into "dissatisfaction". Today, as I read some of Bhante Gunaratana's work, I began to see it in the ways she described in the article without realizing the change in my thought process. Thanks for the read.

    Jesse

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    Forums Member Genecanuck's Avatar
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    HI Jesse,

    I can identify. I think that is what attracted me to Buddhism as well. I am still trying to understand Dukkha and suffering.


    Regards

    Gene
    Last edited by Aloka; 29 Oct 17 at 17:30. Reason: accidental repeats

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    Forums Member DJhanaB's Avatar
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    Dissatisfaction comes closest, I think, it can be a hunger pang, a stone in the shoe, that fleeting cold realisation that all of this will end some time, the last mouthful of some delicious food... really they’re all states of mind. Suffering is too closely linked to bodily sensation, for me, whereas that is only the half of it.

    Ajahn Sumedho's booklet on the 4 Noble Truths, linked above, covers that theme with immense clarity.

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    Forums Member Genecanuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJhanaB View Post
    Dissatisfaction comes closest, I think, it can be a hunger pang, a stone in the shoe, that fleeting cold realisation that all of this will end some time, the last mouthful of some delicious food... really they’re all states of mind. Suffering is too closely linked to bodily sensation, for me, whereas that is only the half of it.

    Ajahn Sumedho's booklet on the 4 Noble Truths, linked above, covers that theme with immense clarity.
    Thank you DJhanaB,

    Regards

    Gene

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    Forums Member Doshin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Genecanuck View Post
    Thank you DJhanaB,

    Regards
    In regards to your subject on your post "life is suffering". If you read it as "in life there is suffering", I do think it makes much more sense.

    It is the first noble truth, and it can be found in the Sutta's.

    One translation of Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta: Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (note that he translates dhukka as "stress"):
    ..
    Now this, monks, is the noble truth of stress: Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful, separation from the loved is stressful, not getting what is wanted is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful.
    ..
    Note, a list of subjects in life, are listed as stressfull (dhukka).

    _/\_
    Doshin

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    Forums Member Genecanuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doshin View Post
    In regards to your subject on your post "life is suffering". If you read it as "in life there is suffering", I do think it makes much more sense.

    It is the first noble truth, and it can be found in the Sutta's.

    One translation of Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta: Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (note that he translates dhukka as "stress"):

    Note, a list of subjects in life, are listed as stressfull (dhukka).

    _/\_
    Doshin
    Thank you Doshin,

    This is an important distinction.

    Regards

    Gene

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