Is Life Really Suffering?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Yana
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Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby Yana » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:44 pm

Hi everyone,

I heard this was the first noble truth.Life is Suffering.

But.. I don't understand..I know Life can really suck sometimes but I don't suffer ALL THE TIME.

Sometimes i'm happy because i got a new present.

Sometimes I'm sad because someone hurt me.

And sometimes i just feel peace and bliss or just feeling content after reading something about the Dhamma or meditating.

How can all these three things be Dukkha?

Is All Life suffering or is it just parts of it?

Thanks :smile:
Life is preparing for Death

befriend
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby befriend » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:30 am

eyes, ears, nose, touch etcc.... are pleasuable and enjoyable. life contains suffering. im not sure as to why the first noble truth is life is suffering. maybe it has something to do with samsara being suffering compared to nibbana. just guessing.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

darvki
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby darvki » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:32 am

Life is suffering only when the conditions for suffering are present.

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mikenz66
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:40 am


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cooran
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby cooran » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:41 am

Hello Yana, all,

As Mike alludes to in his post,it is not that everything is suffering - it is that nothing lasts. Every exciting and happy experience ends. Anicca - Impermanence.

This chapter might assist - in Walpola Rahula's book 'What the Buddha Taught' is ch.2 The First Noble Truth: Dukkha

http://www.dhammaweb.net/books/Dr_Walpo ... Taught.pdf

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Aloka
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby Aloka » Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:59 am


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ground
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby ground » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:26 am


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Aloka
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby Aloka » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:46 am


Sarva
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby Sarva » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:05 am

Hi Yana
I found it useful to understand that dukkha (suffering/disastifaction) doesn't need to be limited to my experience but we can make other suffer through our actions. So I am interested in Dharma to try to reduce my impact on others in life too. For example, downloading music instead of paying for it may result in employees suffering redundancy in local music shops. Or I may start watching TV at 3am but my neighbours are old and waking them means they don't sleep again, they suffer through my actions. So we are also trying to reduce suffering for others through our practice of mindfullness.

Of course we don't need to be buddhists, we can enjoy life's pleasures and dharma will be there when we are ready. But the times we are down can accumulate to a point when we want to stop the 'down' times. :)

Metta
“Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86

pegembara
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby pegembara » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:40 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Jason
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby Jason » Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:51 pm

"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" ().

(Buddhist-related blog)
(non-Buddhist related blog)

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Cittasanto
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:31 pm

it would be more accurate to say, There is Dukkha.
Dukkha has a a wide veriety of meanings, not just suffering, which is a course aspect.
The definition in the canon is more like an slightly buckled wheel, it is still usable, but not working correctly....

certainly there is pleasure, but it is the impermanent nature of these pleasures which make them unsatisfactory (Dukkha) and sure there are increadibly painful situations which are obviously stressful (Dukkha), this should show just how wide Dukkha is.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Alex123
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby Alex123 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:06 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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tiltbillings
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:15 pm


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Alex123
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby Alex123 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:31 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

befriend
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby befriend » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:33 pm

buddha said there is pleasure and enjoyment in the world, he did not say there is no pleasure or enjoyment in the world. people dont want to recognize there is suffering, my sense of it is that buddha said life is suffering is to show people, there IS suffering, stop trying to make the world a world where there is no suffering, it cant be done. if you acknowledge suffering, then can you transcend it. if you are a sentimentalist, and say no no everything is fine theres no problem just to fake harmony then your not helping.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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Viscid
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby Viscid » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:50 pm

If we were completely satisfied with our current state, if there was no dukkha right now, why would we act? It'd be absurd to change something with which we are completely satisfied.. I see dukkha as that which constantly drives us forward in our lives.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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reflection
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby reflection » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:08 pm

Eventually even extreme happiness or bliss is not something you own or are. So we have to let even those things go. So, yes, even those are dukkha.

But to say life is suffering sounds way to hard for me. But that's mainly because of my feeling with the word suffering. If we would say, life is is unsatisfying, I would agree.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:19 pm

If life is "dukkha," what does that actually mean?

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Alex123
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Re: Is Life Really Suffering?

Postby Alex123 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:50 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."


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