New Member with a question about the 2nd of the four noble truths

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MountainMan
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New Member with a question about the 2nd of the four noble truths

Post by MountainMan » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:16 am

So I've been studying Buddhism for a couple of months now and I've come to the point where I am questioning my thoughts on the 2nd noble truths, or truth.
It states that, "Desire causes suffering." I can understand some desire causing some suffering but how about suffering from pain? If you desire not to suffer from pain are you causing suffering? And how about the desire to stay warm on a cold night? Does desire for heat cause suffering from the cold? (confused)

I know that my house is cold in the morning so when I wake up I am desiring warmth. I fire up the woodstove and stand in front of it and am glad for the heat it throws. I dont feel suffering even though I desire warmth. I actually feel happy.
Confusing for me because I understand the 2nd noble truth to state, "All Desire Causes Suffering." Am I wrong? :namaste:

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Queequeg
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Re: New Member with a question about the 2nd of the four noble truths

Post by Queequeg » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:48 am

The kind of suffering you're talking about is the suffering of birth, old age, sickness and death. It's the discomfort of this body.

In Pali Buddhism, the discomforts of this body are the inevitable experience of being alive. We take birth because of the perpetuation of karma. Bringing karma to an end, no more birth in one of these creaky uncomfortable bodies.

Karma has it's root in clinging.
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, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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seeker242
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Re: New Member with a question about the 2nd of the four noble truths

Post by seeker242 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:04 am

MountainMan wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:16 am
I can understand some desire causing some suffering but how about suffering from pain?
The desire to not feel the inevitable pain in life certainly causes additional unnecessary suffering. Who do you think suffers more?

Person A with broken legs who says "Oh well my legs are broken and it's painful! Oh well, might as well just accept it and wheel around in this wheelchair for a while. Ouch, ouch ouch!" and that's the end of it. OR Person B with a broken legs who says "I can't believe this happened! It's so painful, I wish it would stop. I wish this never happened, %%%$ #%%^#^! Son of a B#$%%#!, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc., and this brooding goes on and on and on until the pain goes away.

Person A has pain but no suffering. Person B has pain and suffering because person B desires non-pain when pain is just inevitable. That's a foolish thing to desire because it's contrary to actual reality, it's impossible. A broken leg is going to cause pain regardless of what you want or don't want. If you can stop desiring non-pain, when pain is already there and inevitable, then you won't suffer because of it.
I know that my house is cold in the morning so when I wake up I am desiring warmth. I fire up the woodstove and stand in front of it and am glad for the heat it throws. I dont feel suffering even though I desire warmth. I actually feel happy.
What if someone came along and stole all your firewood and you were unable to heat up the stove, would you still be happy even though you are shivering?
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!

Jeff H
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Re: New Member with a question about the 2nd of the four noble truths

Post by Jeff H » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:32 am

It’s more like attachment to our desires is the cause of all suffering. And we’re not talking about suffering as it’s usually understood, but rather the inability to be satisfied and our overall sense of vulnerability, fear, and discontent.

The suffering of the first noble truth refers mainly to the third of three types of suffering. Manifest Suffering is the usual pain and discomfort everyone agrees is suffering. Changing Suffering is what we call “pleasure”. Such pleasure is no more than a temporary respite from Manifest Suffering. It can never last and it inevitably turns into its opposite.

Constantly chasing pleasure and rejecting discomfort creates a vicious cycle of suffering that binds us to a cycle of rebirth. That cycle itself is the third type: Pervasive Suffering, which is the very nature of all sentient beings experiencing samsara. And it is that cycle of attachment and aversion that Buddha says is the result of desire (our afflictive emotions) which we can cease (third noble truth) by following the path (fourth noble truth).
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Vasana
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Re: New Member with a question about the 2nd of the four noble truths

Post by Vasana » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:10 am

MountainMan wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:16 am
So I've been studying Buddhism for a couple of months now and I've come to the point where I am questioning my thoughts on the 2nd noble truths, or truth.
It states that, "Desire causes suffering." I can understand some desire causing some suffering but how about suffering from pain? If you desire not to suffer from pain are you causing suffering? And how about the desire to stay warm on a cold night? Does desire for heat cause suffering from the cold? (confused)

I know that my house is cold in the morning so when I wake up I am desiring warmth. I fire up the woodstove and stand in front of it and am glad for the heat it throws. I dont feel suffering even though I desire warmth. I actually feel happy.
Confusing for me because I understand the 2nd noble truth to state, "All Desire Causes Suffering." Am I wrong? :namaste:
The Buddha was very pragmatic and made clear the distinction between physical and mental suffering. He also made clear that simply maintaining your physical health is not inherently a wrong view in and of its self but rather over-indulgence and misapprehension of its nature is that which is mistaken. Some physical suffering is unavoidable but what we can learn to do is not to superimpose mental suffering on top of the physical.

Taken to another extreme thiss doesn't then mean that we abandon the practical considerations of the body and give up food or medicine, which would obviously lead to more pain.
  • "Monks, an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person feels feelings of pleasure, feelings of pain, feelings of neither-pleasure-nor-pain. A well-instructed disciple of the noble ones also feels feelings of pleasure, feelings of pain, feelings of neither-pleasure-nor-pain. So what difference, what distinction, what distinguishing factor is there between the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones and the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person?

    [...]"Now, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones, when touched with a feeling of pain, does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. So he feels one pain: physical, but not mental. Just as if they were to shoot a man with an arrow and, right afterward, did not shoot him with another one, so that he would feel the pain of only one arrow. In the same way, when touched with a feeling of pain, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. He feels one pain: physical, but not mental.

    "
Read the rest here : https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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