Emotions = suffering?

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SunWuKong
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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by SunWuKong » Fri May 03, 2019 5:32 am

To me the sutta is saying that the World will Fail you, that Life is Suffering. I'm not disputing that.

Here are 3 well-recognized Buddhist teachers saying that there are helpful as well as harmful emotions:

https://buddhismnow.com/2011/02/12/libe ... n-sumedho/

https://www.buddhanet.net/imol/retreat/retreat05.htm

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/250b/1 ... 228fd5.pdf

:reading:

If you need more examples I'll be back later. This has become tedious.
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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by Wayfarer » Fri May 03, 2019 6:08 am

From the second reference:
An emotion is an agitated mind state or disturbance caused by strong feelings about somebody or something. There need be no preference as to whether they are positive or negative as they are related to as just mind states: as ordinary or higher states of mind, that is, just mental events to be noted without seeing them as significant in any way.

Without judging or evaluating them, emotions are monitored throughout the day by labeling or mentally noting them. This helps to develop a more non-reactive awareness toward the emotion, without the tendency to identify with them or play back into the associated story. This practice helps one to relate to emotions more dispassionately while at the same time revealing the transitory nature of mental events.
https://www.buddhanet.net/imol/retreat/retreat05.htm
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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri May 03, 2019 6:47 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 5:32 am
To me the sutta is saying that the World will Fail you, that Life is Suffering. I'm not disputing that.

Here are 3 well-recognized Buddhist teachers saying that there are helpful as well as harmful emotions:

https://buddhismnow.com/2011/02/12/libe ... n-sumedho/

https://www.buddhanet.net/imol/retreat/retreat05.htm

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/250b/1 ... 228fd5.pdf

:reading:

If you need more examples I'll be back later. This has become tedious.

Those articles don't say anything like that by my reading, they are three articles on the Buddhist view of emotions. No one said there are no helpful emotions in a conventional sense, and I definitely don't think that. You're going to need to be a bit more precise and stop moving the target.

The articles literally talk about some of the exact things I mentioned - that emotions dependent on causes and conditions tend to be painful.
This has become tedious.
The feelings mutual. Again, probably best if we set some more precise goals for the discussion than getting so wide.

Another nice quote from the third link, I bolded the parts that seem to touch on what we are talking about:
The Buddhist View
Buddhism does not distinguish between emotions and other
mental processes.
Instead, it is concerned with understanding
which types of mental activity are truly conducive to one’s own
and others’ well-being, and which ones are harmful, especially
in the long run.
In Buddhism, a clear distinction is made between affective
states that are directly aroused by the experience of pleasurable
stimuli (sensory, as well as aesthetic and intellectual) and
sukha, which arises from the attentional, emotional, and cognitive
balance of the mind.
(For a similar distinction, see
Sheldon, Ryan, Deci, & Kasser, 2004.) The experience of pleasure
is contingent upon specific times, places, and circumstances,
and can easily change into a neutral or unpleasant
feeling. When one disengages from the pleasant stimulus, the
resultant pleasure vanishes, whether or not it is connected to
any afflictive state.

The initial challenge of Buddhist meditative practice is not
merely to suppress, let alone repress, destructive mental states,
but instead to identify how they arise, how they are experienced,
and how they influence oneself and others over the long run.
In addition, one learns to transform and finally free oneself from
all afflictive states. This requires cultivating and refining one’s
ability to introspectively monitor one’s own mental activities,
enabling one to distinguish disruptive from nondisruptive
thoughts and emotions. In Buddhism, rigorous, sustained
training in mindfulness and introspection is conjoined with the
cultivation of attentional stability and vividness.
In contrast to Aristotelian ethics, Buddhism rejects the notion
that all emotions are healthy as long as they are not excessive or
inappropriate to the time and place. Rather, Buddhism maintains
that some mental states are afflictive regardless of their
degree or the context in which they arise.
Here we focus on three
mental processes that are considered to be fundamental toxins
of the mind.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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Jerafreyr
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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by Jerafreyr » Fri May 03, 2019 9:39 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 5:32 am
To me the sutta is saying that the World will Fail you, that Life is Suffering. I'm not disputing that.

Here are 3 well-recognized Buddhist teachers saying that there are helpful as well as harmful emotions:

https://buddhismnow.com/2011/02/12/libe ... n-sumedho/

https://www.buddhanet.net/imol/retreat/retreat05.htm

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/250b/1 ... 228fd5.pdf

:reading:

If you need more examples I'll be back later. This has become tedious.
That first article is about liberating ourselves from emotions; or more accurately our attachment towards the 8 worldly concerns. It does not encourage us to become emotional nor does it say emotions are helpful. Let go of your wrong view it does not assist you.

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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by Simon E. » Fri May 03, 2019 10:11 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 9:58 pm
£$&^@ wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 7:17 pm
Buddhism isn't about believing anything. It's about seeing things as they are beyond the pairs of opposites, including peace and anxiety, and hate and love.
Then robots win!
The "robotic" response is to continue dualistic stances. That will guarantee that we remain on the Wheel.
Those that are free of Samsara are those who no longer define themselves in terms of pairs of opposites.
“Why don’t you close down your PC for a while and find out who needs your help?”

HH Tai Situ.

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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by Simon E. » Fri May 03, 2019 12:52 pm

That first article is about liberating ourselves from emotions; or more accurately our attachment towards the 8 worldly concerns. It does not encourage us to become emotional nor does it say emotions are helpful. Let go of your wrong view it does not assist you.
:good:
Last edited by Miroku on Fri May 03, 2019 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited to make clear that £$&^@ didn't like his own post.
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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by SunWuKong » Fri May 03, 2019 5:16 pm

"The initial challenge of Buddhist meditative practice is not
merely to suppress, let alone repress, destructive mental states,
but instead to identify how they arise, how they are experienced,
and how they influence oneself and others over the long run."

Actually suppression and avoidance of ALL emotion IS taught in some schools that claim to represent about 40% of all Buddhists, AND this is why I'm arguing the point, and why I am trying to parse out good teaching from bad. I regret having gotten into this conversation because it's apparent to me now - that people who are exposed to good Dharma teaching are not well versed in the misunderstandings and wrong views so prevalent in the general Buddhist populations of the world. That is a view that I'm aware of because I also read general academic texts as well as teaching materials.

Enough said, I'm finished.

:group:
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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by Simon E. » Fri May 03, 2019 5:44 pm

No Vajrayana teacher I have heard, or have knowledge of, encourages suppression or avoidance of emotion.
All of them state unequivocally that even positive emotions will eventually prove to incline to Dukkha.

Why? Because Dukkha as a sign of being does not stand alone.
It always comes with Anicca.
However, the third sign of being, Anatta, points to the exit.
Last edited by Simon E. on Fri May 03, 2019 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri May 03, 2019 5:56 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 5:16 pm
"The initial challenge of Buddhist meditative practice is not
merely to suppress, let alone repress, destructive mental states,
but instead to identify how they arise, how they are experienced,
and how they influence oneself and others over the long run."

Actually suppression and avoidance of ALL emotion IS taught in some schools that claim to represent about 40% of all Buddhists, AND this is why I'm arguing the point, and why I am trying to parse out good teaching from bad. I regret having gotten into this conversation because it's apparent to me now - that people who are exposed to good Dharma teaching are not well versed in the misunderstandings and wrong views so prevalent in the general Buddhist populations of the world. That is a view that I'm aware of because I also read general academic texts as well as teaching materials.

Enough said, I'm finished.

:group:
Sources please, the schools that advocate suppression of emotions specifically. If you're going to make bold claims like that you should probably qualify them.

And once again, we need to stop moving the target, no one here advocated suppressing emotions, and I'm not sure how you are trying to relate that to the larger question of emotions in Buddhist psychology. If the discussion is frustrating, maybe it's because you are continuing to create your own narrative about the discussion topic...
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri May 03, 2019 6:14 pm

£$&^@ wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 5:44 pm
No Vajrayana teacher I have heard, or have knowledge of, encourages suppression or avoidance of emotion.
All of them state unequivocally that even positive emotions will eventually prove to incline to Dukkha.

Why? Because Dukkha as a sign of being does not stand alone.
It always comes with Anicca.
However, the third sign of being, Anatta, points to the exit.
This is kind of pan-Buddhist psychology, isn't it? I mean is there a school that would disagree with this?
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

Simon E.
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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by Simon E. » Fri May 03, 2019 7:10 pm

I am sure it is. Right across the spectrum Johnny. I wasn't implying that the Vajrayana has an exclusive on this.. :smile: It's just the school I know best.
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HH Tai Situ.

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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri May 03, 2019 7:42 pm

£$&^@ wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 7:10 pm
I am sure it is. Right across the spectrum Johnny. I wasn't implying that the Vajrayana has an exclusive on this.. :smile: It's just the school I know best.
For sure. Definitely, I would say that Vajrayana is pretty "emotion positive" in that they are ultimately transformed into the Five Wisdoms...but, samsaric emotion is still what it is.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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明安 Myoan
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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by 明安 Myoan » Fri May 03, 2019 10:14 pm

Just some thoughts on the first post.

If you're happy, you can think, "may all beings have happiness like this; I will help them to have all the causes of happiness." Then you don't rely on maintaining your happiness to benefit others, because you give the goodness away in your mind instead.

If you break your arm, you can think, "bodies break apart and beings suffer like this. I will become a buddha to free beings from this misery." Then you don't rely on your health to benefit others, and instead you have "given your body away to sentient beings" so that inevitable illness and eventual death don't interrupt your determination to save all beings.

If you feel deep sadness, you can think, "samsara is always passing away, and so many beings are sad like this. I feel so sad on behalf of beings. When I'm a buddha, I will bring them joy." Then you don't rely on your optimism to benefit others, but turn even heavy emotional suffering into medicine.

Whether or not anything, including emotions, leads to suffering depends on our motivation, because that determines our thoughts, words, and deeds, which become our karma. And past karma is what makes this life today. Teachings on equanimity, mudita, and so on can be turned into the "near" and "far" poisons with the wrong intent, like someone who likes how meditating on compassion feels, but remains angry or stingy in daily life.

So if you want to become a bodhisattva, a helpful person, a kind person, a buddha, you need the continual motivation to do that, to turn every part of your life into a way to benefit others. Shantideva says even one moment of bodhicitta motivation surpasses a universe full of jewels in terms of value to suffering beings. So that reminds me of where to look when I have suffering, or when I don't know how to help others. It's always this motivation, the first step in everything you'll do.

Emotions = suffering I think means relying on emotions in order to want to benefit others, much like you can't wait until you're rich to try to be generous. I mention the above because even confusion and suffering can be transformed into the path to awakening, thanks to bodhicitta.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

The Fundamental Vow [of Amitabha Buddha] is just for such people as woodcutters and grassgatherers, vegetable pickers, drawers of water and the like, illiterate folk who merely recite the Buddha's name wholeheartedly, confident that as a result of saying "Namu Amida Butsu" they will be born into the western land. -- Master Hōnen

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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by Wayfarer » Sat May 04, 2019 12:24 am

:namaste:

Wonderful post, Monlam. I'm going to print this off and put it in my notes.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat May 04, 2019 3:00 am

Seconded. Great post dude.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

Simon E.
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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by Simon E. » Sat May 04, 2019 9:43 am

Thirded. :namaste:
“Why don’t you close down your PC for a while and find out who needs your help?”

HH Tai Situ.

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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by TrimePema » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:25 am

Hello friends,

Just my words:

With regards to the four immeasurables it is important to say the following: SENTIENT BEINGS ARE SUFFERING. PERIOD.
So, when a sentient being is happy, they are in a state of happiness although they are suffering. They are in fact still suffering and even their happiness will cause them to suffer because the type of happiness that the first immeasurable refers to is not enlightenment itself, it is a stopgap for sentient beings.
May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering - okay if this happened they would no longer be sentient beings.
May all sentient beings be inseparable from the sorrowless bliss that knows no suffering - ......
May all sentient beings abide in the great equanimity void of greed and hatred. - this is the last stage of enlightenment.

The four immeasurables basically say (to me): May all sentient beings complete the path to Buddhahood and become fully enlightened Buddhas, who are no longer sentient beings.

OP - with regards to increasing your experience of relative bodhichitta - you can do the contemplations.
Chokyi Nyima RInpoche has some very very good contemplations you can access as well.

As for "emotions are suffering". I think OP is correct in assuming DKR meant this in terms of duality.
It depends whether or not the emotions are selfliberated into wisdom, as glossed over above.

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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by mariel.hespanhol » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:11 pm

Thank you a lot Wayfarer :anjali:
Wayfarer wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 4:22 am
For what it’s worth, there’s a Lion’s Roar article by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on The Four Seals which explains we he says that ‘all emotions are painful’. After the section explaining that, there are two Q&A’s:
Question: Is compassion an emotion?

Answer: People like us have dualistic compassion, whereas the Buddha’s compassion does not involve subject and object. From a buddha’s point of view, compassion could never involve subject and object. This is what is called mahakaruna—great compassion.

Question: I’m having difficulty accepting that all emotions are pain.

Answer: OK, if you want a more philosophical expression, you can drop the word “emotion” and simply say, “All that is dualistic is pain.” But I like using the word “emotion” because it provokes us.
As I suggested, I think DJKR is being a little mischievous or playful here to provoke a reaction - but that he still makes a valid point

The article can be found here
Que todos os seres possam se beneficiar _/\_

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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by Daizan » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:28 pm

Emotions = suffering is just a really bad way of saying that grasping and aversion result in suffering. Analogously, it's like saying that all colors are white. That may be true in a sense, but it doesn't explain anything and may only prove to be misleading. Blue is not white, and happiness is not suffering. It's probably just an effective way of showing solidarity with the tribe to agree that all emotions are suffering.

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Re: Emotions = suffering?

Post by LastLegend » Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:10 pm

Could be if we are lost and not clear or awake.
Very very clear superbly miraculously clear lol.

Interesting was told that the observer will get to a point it doesn’t know itself, yet there is the only remaining thing that knows.

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