Elimination of Suffering

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Elimination of Suffering

Postby rachmiel » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:45 pm

Buddha laid out a methodology for the elimination of personal suffering.

Most of us who have put Buddhist teachings into practice suffer less than before.

But is there anyone here who can honestly say that your personal suffering has been *totally* eliminated?

I'm not trying to open a "Does Buddhism make good on its promise?" discussion. I'm just trying to get a sense of the reality of the effects of practicing Buddhism.
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:47 pm

why do you practice buddhism? only to eliminate suffering, with that motivation you cant completely eliminate suffering.

for me, great deal of suffering has been eliminated, but still there is suffering.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby rachmiel » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:49 pm

Thanks for your honesty, KZ.
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:53 pm

i might be wrong but personally i think something like that if you can eliminate the fear of death completely, you become worry free carefree and joyous happy and full of life. even though it doesnt take away the small sufferings of daily life still the biggest ''outer'' cause of suffering has been eliminated. the rest is done with the six perfections i think. or something. it works. and im not saying i have eliminated the fear of death. i havent, but personally i feel like its the biggest cause of suffering, cause i see it like the ultimate source of clinging, or the last resort of clinging to an i, self , me and mine.

sorry if off topic.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby rachmiel » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:00 pm

For me it's closer to fear of loss, which of course includes fear of personal death, but also includes fear of the loss of anything that is essential to my sense of well being. Yes, I clearly see the presence of self/ego here, the futile samsaric desire for permanence. But, for me, the seeing is NOT the freeing. It takes more than just seeing the problem to solve it.
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby rachmiel » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:11 pm

Anyone else open to sharing their SQ (suffering quotient)? Or lack of same ... ?
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby rachmiel » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:34 pm

Is the full elimination of suffering = to enlightenment?

In other words, does Buddha's assertion that personal suffering can be fully eliminated only apply to those very few beings who are fully enlightened?
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:57 pm

no i think the complete elimination of suffering is equal to arahats nirvana. enlightenment is something different.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby rachmiel » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:17 pm

So you would say that full elimination of personal suffering can come to an unenlightened person? Wouldn't some trace of illusion persist in such a person's mind, and wouldn't this illusion generate some degree of dukkha?
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:20 pm

arahats are completely liberated from samsara thus also completely liberated from suffering, or this is what the teachings say. samyaksambuddha is something completely different and on a totally different level.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby Jikan » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:30 pm

rachmiel wrote:But is there anyone here who can honestly say that your personal suffering has been *totally* eliminated?


Totally eliminated for all time? No. I can't say that for myself.

I can say I have a bit of skepticism on the idea that suffering is only or exclusively personal. I think samsara's interpersonal. Buddhahood too. Peter Hershock's book Liberating Intimacy is valuable on this point. Highly recommended.

http://www.amazon.com/Liberating-Intima ... 0791429822
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby Qing Tian » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:59 pm

So, I have found that as my level of personal suffering diminshes my perception of the suffering of others sharpens into focus.
And this causes an upwelling of compassion of which I never thought I had the capacity.
Maybe I am selling myself short, but in all honesty I am far from a good practitioner.
Seeing the crushing unhappiness of others, however, often leads to an increase in my own suffering as I feel my efforts at helping others are ineffectual.
Although the level never seems to exceed previous heights, so maybe I am doing something right now and then.
Real suffering continues everywhere.
And it is may heartfelt wish that the suffering of all sentient beings is lessened.
“Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.”
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:54 pm

rachmiel wrote:So you would say that full elimination of personal suffering can come to an unenlightened person? Wouldn't some trace of illusion persist in such a person's mind, and wouldn't this illusion generate some degree of dukkha?



According to alot of Mahayana teachings Arhats are free of suffering, but not of more subtle obscurations. They have completely realized the non existence of the self, but they have not realized selflessness of phenomena and similar.

Personally I have not met anyone who I think is free of suffering, but I have met a few special people who I suspect are light years beyond most of us in how much they suffer, and whether they can let it go.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby rachmiel » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:47 am

From my understanding of Buddhist basics (The Four Noble Truths) the way to eliminate all suffering is to eliminate all attachment (psychological grasping, aversion, etc.).

Eliminating -- letting go of -- some attachments comes relatively easily. But eliminating ALL attachments ... to in effect die totally to the known and live moment-to-moment in the endlessly unknown. How many are willing to do that? Or perhaps more accurately, how many are willing to let that happen, to let the leap be leapt?
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby xabir » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:56 am

rachmiel wrote:Is the full elimination of suffering = to enlightenment?

In other words, does Buddha's assertion that personal suffering can be fully eliminated only apply to those very few beings who are fully enlightened?

Yes. But there used to be much more liberated beings. Thousands of Buddha's disciples attained Arhatship/freedom from suffering during Buddha's times. The same cannot be said today.
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby xabir » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:57 am

rachmiel wrote:From my understanding of Buddhist basics (The Four Noble Truths) the way to eliminate all suffering is to eliminate all attachment (psychological grasping, aversion, etc.).

Eliminating -- letting go of -- some attachments comes relatively easily. But eliminating ALL attachments ... to in effect die totally to the known and live moment-to-moment in the endlessly unknown. How many are willing to do that? Or perhaps more accurately, how many are willing to let that happen, to let the leap be leapt?
It is not a matter of will. As my friend/mentor once said three years ago:

Hi Dawnfirstlight,

I see it otherwise. Dharma is deep and profound.

Even if we were to search the entire globe, still it is hard to find one that can be completely detached. Try as we may, ‘attachment’ continues to arise. The reason being detachment is not a matter of ‘will’, it is a matter of prajna wisdom and only in Buddhism this is pointed out and for this I am grateful to Buddha.

Although it is not right to spout high views, it is also important not to over simplify matters. In my view, if our mind is filled with ‘dualistic and inherent thoughts’, even with utmost sincerity and honesty in practice, there is still no true ‘detachment’.
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby undefineable » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:17 pm

Although it is not right to spout high views
Something tells me that person wouldn't approve of this forum :thinking:
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby rachmiel » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:06 pm

xabir wrote:Even if we were to search the entire globe, still it is hard to find one that can be completely detached. Try as we may, ‘attachment’ continues to arise. The reason being detachment is not a matter of ‘will’, it is a matter of prajna wisdom and only in Buddhism this is pointed out and for this I am grateful to Buddha.

Makes sense. Though the "only in Buddhism" claim seems wrong to me. I'm guessing Buddha wasn't the only human who ever understood that awakening can't be forced/willed, rather must come from wisdom.
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby dude » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:49 pm

rachmiel wrote:
xabir wrote:Even if we were to search the entire globe, still it is hard to find one that can be completely detached. Try as we may, ‘attachment’ continues to arise. The reason being detachment is not a matter of ‘will’, it is a matter of prajna wisdom and only in Buddhism this is pointed out and for this I am grateful to Buddha.

Makes sense. Though the "only in Buddhism" claim seems wrong to me. I'm guessing Buddha wasn't the only human who ever understood that awakening can't be forced/willed, rather must come from wisdom.


There is suffering in life. It can't be avoided.
I may be suffering more now than if I had never started practicing. I might have abandoned my dream of a peaceful world and turned my back on the suffering of others to compromise with a system that exploits those on the bottom and rewards those at the top with more money than they can ever spend.
I have seen proof, for myself, that karma is real and if I don't take on the sufferings of others in this life I will suffer even more in the next.
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Re: Elimination of Suffering

Postby KonchokZoepa » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:27 pm

how do you take on the suffering of others?
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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