Thread: Is Nirvana worth aspiring to?

  1. #1
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    Is Nirvana worth aspiring to?

    As I understand it, if you Nirvana, you have freed yourself from mental stress.

    Not being overly stressed is a good thing, but is an entirely tensionless state the ultimate happiness?

    Somebody once said something like: people don't really want a tensionless state, but instead want challenges worthy of them. Without any tensions, you never have a feeling of accomplishment. Is there nothing to be said for the feeling you get when you overcome obstacles?

    Even if you are playing a board game, or card game, there are some moments of stress. Without those moments, the game is no fun.

    Seems to me that if you ever reached a state of Nirvana, you would be barely be aware you are alive.

  2. #2
    Hi walter,

    You might find this reflection from Ajahn Sumedho helpful:

    A Difficulty with the Word Nibbana

    by Ajahn Sumedho

    A difficulty with the word Nibbana is that its meaning is beyond the power of words to describe. It is, essentially, undefinable. Another difficulty is that many Buddhists see Nibbana as something unobtainable—as so high and so remote that we’re not worthy enough to try for it. Or we see Nibbana as a goal, as an unknown, undefined something that we should some-how try to attain. Most of us are conditioned in this way. We want to achieve or attain something that we don’t have now. So Nibbana is looked at as something that, if you work hard, keep the precepts, meditate diligently, become a monastic, devote your life to practice, then your reward might be that eventually you attain Nibbana—even though you’re not sure what it is. Ajahn Chah would use the words “the reality of non-grasping” as the definition for Nibbana: realizing the reality of non-grasping. That helps to put it in a context because the emphasis is on awakening to how we grasp and hold on even to words like Nibbana or Buddhism or practice or sila or whatever.

    It’s often said that the Buddhist way is not to grasp. But that can become just another statement that we grasp and hold on to. It’s a Catch 22: No matter how hard you try to make sense out of it, you end up in total confusion because of the limitation of language and perception. You have to go beyond language and perception. And the only way to go beyond thinking and emotional habit is through awareness of them, through awareness of thought, through awareness of emotion. “The Island that you cannot go beyond” is the metaphor for this state of being awake and aware, as opposed to the concept of becoming awake and aware.

    Continues at the link:

    https://www.abhayagiri.org/reflectio...e-word-nibbana

  3. #3
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    Thank you.

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