Wanting and Suffering

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
terrybodi
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Wanting and Suffering

Post by terrybodi »

im hoping this is the right place to post this. so ive been pondering something in my meditation time that im having a hard time wrapping my head around. my basic is that wanting causes suffering. so the less you want things in life the better. well ive been wanting a girlfriend as soon as i was old enough. my problem is, the wanting is causing me pain. so is the solution to get the girlfriend by whatever means necessary or is it to not want the girlfriend in the first place? is there a middle path i can take where this isnt such an issue? the pressure from my family doesnt help either as they believe i need a girl in my life to be happy. any insight you guys have would be great. thank you
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Are you talking about a relationship with someone
or trapping a rabbit?
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
terrybodi
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by terrybodi »

a little of both. although trapping the rabbit would probably be easier to deal with...
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Ayu
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by Ayu »

"Not wanting the girl-friend in first place" is the right answer. Cope with it better, because the girls can sense your pain and urge. That is scary for them.

My son is 20 years old and he suffers from not having a girlfriend as well. But he learned: "Never chase a chick." Because relationships do not work like that.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
anagarika
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by anagarika »

Well this is a tricky one indeed... I hope it won't be interpreted as a heresy when I write that for some people a certain amount of samsaric experience might be a prerequisite to sincere practice. I know exactly what your dilemma is.

When I was younger I had great difficulties sorting this out. I wanted to practice, I knew intelectually that wanting is suffering, but it was not embodied knowledge, it was just a concept. I just felt not wanting girls was too much to ask from myself back then. I had to see for myself whether sensual pleasures really are ultimately unsatisfactory. So I dedicated some five or six years to a not so much a hedonistic rather than a scientific survey of the sense sphere. This was not limited to girls only but to senses in general. My aim was to deconstruct sensory experience and grasp its inner dynamics. The deeper I delved into the pleasant sensations, the more I started noticing their drawbacks and flaws. Ultimately the complexity of the experience grew so much that it became very tiring and also frustrating when things were not going right. I got so disgusted with samsaric pleasures that I had to conclude that Buddha was 100% right in everything he said about sense desire. Now I knew for myself and the first hand experience became the rock-solid basis for my practice. Having directly known the limitations of sensual experience, I naturally started to gravitate towards that which is beyond senses.

I don't preach this as a universal guide since everyone is different, but I reckon intelectual or analytical types may benefit from this approach. Those with strong saddha can probably avoid these unnecessary digressions, but as for myself I don't think I could have succeeded without direct empirical knowledge of the senses...
Bazman
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by Bazman »

The desire to have a girlfriend is natural. Natural selection. Desire to have sex is part of our desire to procreate.
It's a pleasant desire and worth pursuing but if you make it as the be all and end all you are setting yourself up for a fall.
You will cling to her.
You got to just enjoy the moment.
Attachment is the source of all suffering.
I don't know how Buddhist the above is!
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seeker242
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by seeker242 »

terrybodi wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:29 am so is the solution to get the girlfriend by whatever means necessary or is it to not want the girlfriend in the first place? is there a middle path i can take where this isnt such an issue?
The ideal Buddhist solution is to realize that getting one isn't going to bring any real or lasting satisfaction to begin with anyway, so there's really no point in wanting that that much. Especially so when you have the bliss and happiness that comes from a dedicated daily meditation practice as that far surpasses most all other kinds of happiness.

:meditate:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
SilenceMonkey
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by SilenceMonkey »

terrybodi wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:29 am im hoping this is the right place to post this. so ive been pondering something in my meditation time that im having a hard time wrapping my head around. my basic is that wanting causes suffering. so the less you want things in life the better. well ive been wanting a girlfriend as soon as i was old enough. my problem is, the wanting is causing me pain. so is the solution to get the girlfriend by whatever means necessary or is it to not want the girlfriend in the first place? is there a middle path i can take where this isnt such an issue? the pressure from my family doesnt help either as they believe i need a girl in my life to be happy. any insight you guys have would be great. thank you

"By whatever means necessary" sounds a little crazy. You don't want to be the crazy guy, lol.

Have you tried letting go of the wanting?

If the sensation is too intense, relax... breathe to soothe the pain. There are ways like this to help diminish the attachment until it becomes very subtle, almost imperceptible... or gone.

Having a relationship from this place is much more healthy and nourishing. The other way will just make you and everyone else miserable. If you want to be in a relationship, make it easy on yourself. And the girl too.
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Queequeg
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by Queequeg »

terrybodi wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:29 am im hoping this is the right place to post this. so ive been pondering something in my meditation time that im having a hard time wrapping my head around. my basic is that wanting causes suffering. so the less you want things in life the better. well ive been wanting a girlfriend as soon as i was old enough. my problem is, the wanting is causing me pain. so is the solution to get the girlfriend by whatever means necessary or is it to not want the girlfriend in the first place? is there a middle path i can take where this isnt such an issue? the pressure from my family doesnt help either as they believe i need a girl in my life to be happy. any insight you guys have would be great. thank you
meh. Renunciation isn't about denying your desires (or aversions, as the case may be). Its about seeing through attachments and aversions and realizing their ultimate futility. Renunciation in that case is effortless. When the Buddha left home, it was a consequence of complete disenchantment with all of it.

We're not self flagellating penitents. Loosening of attachments and aversions is a side effect of a more profound insight into reality.

At least that's my take these days.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Könchok Chödrak
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by Könchok Chödrak »

Develop your Spiritual qualities through Buddhism. As you become more and more in tune with who you are, you’ll find how and who you really want and need in your life, and the type of relationship you want. And the person you are looking for will most likely be there for you because that is how Metta works. Without Dharma this is difficult. Best Wishes :twothumbsup: .

Om Mani Padme Hum.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

terrybodi wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:23 am a little of both. although trapping the rabbit would probably be easier to deal with...
When I read:
“...is the solution to get the girlfriend by whatever means necessary or is it to not want the girlfriend in the first place?”

That tells me your whole approach to romance needs some adjusting.

First, you don’t “get” another person. Maybe that’s just a figure of speech, but think about what kind of attitude that’s really about. You will be more likely to find yourself in a meaningful and intimate relationship if you just naturally relate to other people based on who they are and not on what you think you want.

As Princess Jasmin said (in Disney’s Aladdin)
“I am not a prize to be won!”

Second, it’s not an either-or situation of “whatever means necessary vs. not at all”.

Think more about what you can offer another person and less about what you can take from them.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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LastLegend
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by LastLegend »

terrybodi wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:29 am im hoping this is the right place to post this. so ive been pondering something in my meditation time that im having a hard time wrapping my head around. my basic is that wanting causes suffering. so the less you want things in life the better. well ive been wanting a girlfriend as soon as i was old enough. my problem is, the wanting is causing me pain. so is the solution to get the girlfriend by whatever means necessary or is it to not want the girlfriend in the first place? is there a middle path i can take where this isnt such an issue? the pressure from my family doesnt help either as they believe i need a girl in my life to be happy. any insight you guys have would be great. thank you
Practice to obtain samadhi [at awareness; this is not final samadhi] first then if you want fruit of your merits will bloom you can have women or be reborn in heavens.
It’s eye blinking.
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Queequeg
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by Queequeg »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 3:54 am
terrybodi wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:23 am a little of both. although trapping the rabbit would probably be easier to deal with...
When I read:
“...is the solution to get the girlfriend by whatever means necessary or is it to not want the girlfriend in the first place?”

That tells me your whole approach to romance needs some adjusting.

First, you don’t “get” another person. Maybe that’s just a figure of speech, but think about what kind of attitude that’s really about. You will be more likely to find yourself in a meaningful and intimate relationship if you just naturally relate to other people based on who they are and not on what you think you want.

As Princess Jasmin said (in Disney’s Aladdin)
“I am not a prize to be won!”

Second, it’s not an either-or situation of “whatever means necessary vs. not at all”.

Think more about what you can offer another person and less about what you can take from them.
LOL. This.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
anagarika
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by anagarika »


Practice to obtain samadhi [at awareness; this is not final samadhi] first then if you want fruit of your merits will bloom you can have women or be reborn in heavens.
This is a very bad advice, especially on a Buddhist forum. Buddha himself stated that even "being re-born as a Brahma is too low of a goal"... Brahma gods are beyond sensual desire, so the goal of being re-born as a sensual deva is no goal at all compared to that...

There is a story about Buddha and his cousin who was reluctant to practice the dharma and was keen on sensual pleasures, especially women. He was engaged to the most beautiful girl in the city. One day, the Buddha took him to one of the deva realms, the sensuous heavens, and showed him the nymphs that lived there. His cousin was enchanted by their beauty and he himself admitted that his fiance appeared as a hiddeous monkey next to these nymphs. Buddha told him that if he gains merit and takes up spiritual practice, he will be reborn in these heavens. His cousin joind the monastic community, but as soon as other bhikkus learned about his intention of practicing for the sake of being reborn in sensual heavens, they started to mock him and make fun of him. After some time, the cousin developed his practice to a higher degree and saw for himself that sensuality is nothing compared to higher states and final liberation and renounced it altogether.
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LastLegend
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by LastLegend »

anagarika wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:48 am

Practice to obtain samadhi [at awareness; this is not final samadhi] first then if you want fruit of your merits will bloom you can have women or be reborn in heavens.
This is a very bad advice, especially on a Buddhist forum. Buddha himself stated that even "being re-born as a Brahma is too low of a goal"... Brahma gods are beyond sensual desire, so the goal of being re-born as a sensual deva is no goal at all compared to that...

There is a story about Buddha and his cousin who was reluctant to practice the dharma and was keen on sensual pleasures, especially women. He was engaged to the most beautiful girl in the city. One day, the Buddha took him to one of the deva realms, the sensuous heavens, and showed him the nymphs that lived there. His cousin was enchanted by their beauty and he himself admitted that his fiance appeared as a hiddeous monkey next to these nymphs. Buddha told him that if he gains merit and takes up spiritual practice, he will be reborn in these heavens. His cousin joind the monastic community, but as soon as other bhikkus learned about his intention of practicing for the sake of being reborn in sensual heavens, they started to mock him and make fun of him. After some time, the cousin developed his practice to a higher degree and saw for himself that sensuality is nothing compared to higher states and final liberation and renounced it altogether.
He can make a choice.
It’s eye blinking.
anagarika
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by anagarika »

LastLegend wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:31 am
anagarika wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:48 am

Practice to obtain samadhi [at awareness; this is not final samadhi] first then if you want fruit of your merits will bloom you can have women or be reborn in heavens.
This is a very bad advice, especially on a Buddhist forum. Buddha himself stated that even "being re-born as a Brahma is too low of a goal"... Brahma gods are beyond sensual desire, so the goal of being re-born as a sensual deva is no goal at all compared to that...

There is a story about Buddha and his cousin who was reluctant to practice the dharma and was keen on sensual pleasures, especially women. He was engaged to the most beautiful girl in the city. One day, the Buddha took him to one of the deva realms, the sensuous heavens, and showed him the nymphs that lived there. His cousin was enchanted by their beauty and he himself admitted that his fiance appeared as a hiddeous monkey next to these nymphs. Buddha told him that if he gains merit and takes up spiritual practice, he will be reborn in these heavens. His cousin joind the monastic community, but as soon as other bhikkus learned about his intention of practicing for the sake of being reborn in sensual heavens, they started to mock him and make fun of him. After some time, the cousin developed his practice to a higher degree and saw for himself that sensuality is nothing compared to higher states and final liberation and renounced it altogether.
He can make a choice.
Of course, the Buddha gave advice not only to monastics, but also to laypeople with lower aspirations (basically for a happy re-birth, not necessarily for final liberation). But the very essence of the Buddha´s teaching is the gradual transcendence of the senses, not their gratifaction (however refined). There is a story about a virtuous monk who dies during meditation and is re-born in one of the sensual heavens. He is extremely disappointed as he was keen on practicing the dharma which is very difficult in these worlds. Getting entangled and eventually lost in sensual pleasures is a very real possibility and I would say that a serious practitioner should always bear the great picture in mind.
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LastLegend
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by LastLegend »

anagarika wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:43 am
LastLegend wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:31 am
anagarika wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:48 am

This is a very bad advice, especially on a Buddhist forum. Buddha himself stated that even "being re-born as a Brahma is too low of a goal"... Brahma gods are beyond sensual desire, so the goal of being re-born as a sensual deva is no goal at all compared to that...

There is a story about Buddha and his cousin who was reluctant to practice the dharma and was keen on sensual pleasures, especially women. He was engaged to the most beautiful girl in the city. One day, the Buddha took him to one of the deva realms, the sensuous heavens, and showed him the nymphs that lived there. His cousin was enchanted by their beauty and he himself admitted that his fiance appeared as a hiddeous monkey next to these nymphs. Buddha told him that if he gains merit and takes up spiritual practice, he will be reborn in these heavens. His cousin joind the monastic community, but as soon as other bhikkus learned about his intention of practicing for the sake of being reborn in sensual heavens, they started to mock him and make fun of him. After some time, the cousin developed his practice to a higher degree and saw for himself that sensuality is nothing compared to higher states and final liberation and renounced it altogether.
He can make a choice.
Of course, the Buddha gave advice not only to monastics, but also to laypeople with lower aspirations (basically for a happy re-birth, not necessarily for final liberation). But the very essence of the Buddha´s teaching is the gradual transcendence of the senses, not their gratifaction (however refined). There is a story about a virtuous monk who dies during meditation and is re-born in one of the sensual heavens. He is extremely disappointed as he was keen on practicing the dharma which is very difficult in these worlds. Getting entangled and eventually lost in sensual pleasures is a very real possibility and I would say that a serious practitioner should always bear the great picture in mind.
Does OP want to pursue enlightenment?
It’s eye blinking.
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Queequeg
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by Queequeg »

LastLegend wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:44 am
anagarika wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:43 am
LastLegend wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:31 am

He can make a choice.
Of course, the Buddha gave advice not only to monastics, but also to laypeople with lower aspirations (basically for a happy re-birth, not necessarily for final liberation). But the very essence of the Buddha´s teaching is the gradual transcendence of the senses, not their gratifaction (however refined). There is a story about a virtuous monk who dies during meditation and is re-born in one of the sensual heavens. He is extremely disappointed as he was keen on practicing the dharma which is very difficult in these worlds. Getting entangled and eventually lost in sensual pleasures is a very real possibility and I would say that a serious practitioner should always bear the great picture in mind.
Does OP want to pursue enlightenment?
He's asking in a Buddhist forum, so we can presume he's soliciting a Buddhist perspective on his dilemma. If all he wants is tips on being a rapture engineer, there are better places.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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LastLegend
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by LastLegend »

Queequeg wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:51 pm
LastLegend wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:44 am
anagarika wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:43 am

Of course, the Buddha gave advice not only to monastics, but also to laypeople with lower aspirations (basically for a happy re-birth, not necessarily for final liberation). But the very essence of the Buddha´s teaching is the gradual transcendence of the senses, not their gratifaction (however refined). There is a story about a virtuous monk who dies during meditation and is re-born in one of the sensual heavens. He is extremely disappointed as he was keen on practicing the dharma which is very difficult in these worlds. Getting entangled and eventually lost in sensual pleasures is a very real possibility and I would say that a serious practitioner should always bear the great picture in mind.
Does OP want to pursue enlightenment?
He's asking in a Buddhist forum, so we can presume he's soliciting a Buddhist perspective on his dilemma. If all he wants is tips on being a rapture engineer, there are better places.
What are you talking about?
It’s eye blinking.
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Queequeg
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Re: Wanting and Suffering

Post by Queequeg »

LastLegend wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:57 pm
Queequeg wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:51 pm
LastLegend wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:44 am
Does OP want to pursue enlightenment?
He's asking in a Buddhist forum, so we can presume he's soliciting a Buddhist perspective on his dilemma. If all he wants is tips on being a rapture engineer, there are better places.
What are you talking about?
What are you talking about?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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