Dedicating Your Suffering

If you're new to the forum or new to Buddhism, this is the best place for your questions. Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
Post Reply
cjdevries
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:06 pm

Dedicating Your Suffering

Post by cjdevries » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:12 pm

Can one dedicate their suffering to alleviate the suffering of another? Can one ask a deity like Tara for help in doing this? For example, let's say your suffering quite a bit and you hope the suffering can go to good use. Can you ask that your suffering may alleviate the suffering of those in your household?

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 10426
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Dedicating Your Suffering

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:35 pm

cjdevries wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:12 pm
Can one dedicate their suffering to alleviate the suffering of another? Can one ask a deity like Tara for help in doing this? For example, let's say your suffering quite a bit and you hope the suffering can go to good use. Can you ask that your suffering may alleviate the suffering of those in your household?
I've only seen it mentioned as a form of Lojong..where such a practice is pretty prevalent. As far as it actually working like that, it seems to fly in the face of the law of cause and effect, other than I suppose someone with siddhis, even then...seems mostly a mind training.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

SteRo
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:29 pm

Re: Dedicating Your Suffering

Post by SteRo » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:43 pm

cjdevries wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:12 pm
Can one dedicate their suffering to alleviate the suffering of another?
No but you can take on the suffering of others to alleviate their suffering. That is lojong.
cjdevries wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:12 pm
Can one ask a deity like Tara for help in doing this?
Don't know if there is such a practice of Tara.
cjdevries wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:12 pm
For example, let's say your suffering quite a bit and you hope the suffering can go to good use. Can you ask that your suffering may alleviate the suffering of those in your household?
Again: the suffering of others can only be alleviated if you take it. Your own suffering can't help anybody.

cjdevries
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:06 pm

Re: Dedicating Your Suffering

Post by cjdevries » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:11 pm

What about phrases I've heard such as "may this suffering exhaust the sufferings of all those with a body." I've read a similar quote from a Buddhist master, specifically relating to dedicating the suffering of your death to others.

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 10426
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Dedicating Your Suffering

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:17 pm

cjdevries wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:11 pm
What about phrases I've heard such as "may this suffering exhaust the sufferings of all those with a body." I've read a similar quote from a Buddhist master, specifically relating to dedicating the suffering of your death to others.
I think of that as classic Lojong type stuff. As one example, I was taught by my Sakya teacher that one way of dealing with distraction in meditation as a result of physical pain is to say to oneself "my their bad Karma ripen in me" or "may all beings be free of what I am experiencing". It's a mind training to develop and mature Bodhicitta. As far as whether or not it's actually possible, the answer is murky as far as I know, but people at our schlubby level definitely cannot remove another beings bad Karma, regardless of whether or not a Mahasiddha etc. could
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 3366
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Dedicating Your Suffering

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:01 am

Tong Len (sending and receiving)
In my own experience with arthritis and various other physical pains, if you visualize with effort that you are taking on the suffering of all other sentient beings, and sending them the wish that they be free from suffering, this will very often suspend any feeling of physical pain in oneself. Of course, with really severe pain, it is not effective. Perhaps with more practice it could be. Also, this lasts only while you are mentally engaged in the activity. If you get distracted, the pain will return.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

User avatar
well wisher
Posts: 403
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:57 am
Location: Canada

Re: Dedicating Your Suffering

Post by well wisher » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:44 pm

Many schools Buddhisms places an emphasis on the 4 noble truth: resulting in the total elimination of all sufferings.
Suffering is not to be cherished at all, but rather all sufferings/dukkhas will be overcome inevitably and eventually eliminated, that is the truth of impermanence. Suffering state is only a temporary transitional point.

So I would say: there is no point, nor any merit to be had, in dwelling excessively-long in suffering state or Samsara.
Therefore there is no point to dedicating any suffering either, as It is only a temporary obstacle to overcome, to fully learn the proper lessons, and then move on. But wishing others would share the same pains and sufferings as yourself, just to learn some lessons, is just plain malicious - those pains would occur anyways if one is one the wrong/harmful path.
Any reasonable methods is fine, including using medicines/meditations/exercises within reasonable limits (to avoid unwanted side effects), as long as one recognize that is bounded within in Samsaric world. And also recognize the temporal limits of effectiveness in this Samsaric Saha/Earth world filled with too much sufferings

Wishing all sentient be well, and quickly obtain nirvana out of all Samsaric states & reincarnations, and never ever suffer again - Well Wisher.

Post Reply

Return to “Discovering Mahayana Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests