Suffering

dolphin_color
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Suffering

Post by dolphin_color » Sat May 11, 2019 8:48 pm

This is a basic question, but it's important enough that it seems I should ask for your input. The formulation of the First Noble Truth that I'm familiar with is found in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, where it lists a few causes of dukkha and then adds that "the five clinging-aggregates are stressful". It is on this basis that some say "Life is suffering", in addition to a few other concepts in the Pali. Others challenge this characterization.

I'm interested in the Tibetan approach to this topic. Is there a text that literally says "All of life is suffering"? What connections exist between this idea and emptiness? I'd appreciate any insight you have time to provide.

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Re: Suffering

Post by AJP » Sat May 11, 2019 10:56 pm

dolphin_color wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 8:48 pm
This is a basic question, but it's important enough that it seems I should ask for your input. The formulation of the First Noble Truth that I'm familiar with is found in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, where it lists a few causes of dukkha and then adds that "the five clinging-aggregates are stressful". It is on this basis that some say "Life is suffering", in addition to a few other concepts in the Pali. Others challenge this characterization.

I'm interested in the Tibetan approach to this topic. Is there a text that literally says "All of life is suffering"? What connections exist between this idea and emptiness? I'd appreciate any insight you have time to provide.
First Noble Truth is Dukkha, this is a Truth the historical Buddha realised and then taught. The Four Noble Truths are Buddhism.

Look into Dependent Origination.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Suffering

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Sun May 12, 2019 1:26 am

dolphin_color wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 8:48 pm
...I'm interested in the Tibetan approach to this topic. Is there a text that literally says "All of life is suffering"? What connections exist between this idea and emptiness? I'd appreciate any insight you have time to provide.
That first noble truth, as explained by my lama teacher, is more accurately expressed as,
"all conditioned phenomena are unsatisfactory".
Suffering doesn't mean constant anguish.
It means we are always striving to a state of no-more-striving, or perfect peace of mind.

The Vajrayana (Tibetan) path deals primarily with looking directly at the mind itself,
beginning with the idea that the mind's true nature is already luminous and clear,
and that this perfect state of peace of mind is the mind's original, natural condition,
and that everything we are dealing with, that we can call suffering, occurs simply (or perhaps not so simply)
due to the failure to directly realize that true nature of mind.

Regarding all phenomena as empty,
this means that conditionally arising phenomena lacks any intrinsic (self-existing) reality.
An intellectual understanding of this helps to cut off attachment .
A variety of practices exist which help one to have a direct experience of this lack of intrinsic reality, or emptiness.

So, "all life is suffering" is "relative truth"
but not as "ultimate truth".

A common metaphor given is the reality of a dream when you are sleeping.
Maybe you are experiencing a nightmare. That's the relative truth of the dream.
It really occurred--as far as being an experience, even though it had no intrinsic reality to it.
Then, if someone wakes you up, that nightmare is instantly gone.
Your experience being awake is that it was just a dream.
"Buddh" means "awake".
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Re: Suffering

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun May 12, 2019 4:02 am

dolphin_color wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 8:48 pm

I'm interested in the Tibetan approach to this topic. Is there a text that literally says "All of life is suffering"? What connections exist between this idea and emptiness? I'd appreciate any insight you have time to provide.
The really abridged version is that beings suffer and spin samsara due to grasping after inherently existing things as real, projection of of an outside world, self and other etc...I think that's what you are asking. Not really any different from other Mahayana view, until you get to Tantra and Dzogchen.

There are a number of philosophical schools represented in Tibetan Buddhism though, if you came at it from the Madhymaka perspective it would be slightly different from a Yogacara one, and someone teaching the Dzogchen view would explain suffering as non-recognition etc. Most teachers teach from a variety of perspectives with Madhyamaka being pretty primary, in my experience.

Everyone starts off with the Four Thoughts though, and those pretty much encapsulate the Hinayana view as found in the Pali Canon IMO.

So basically, how this is explained depends on the teacher, and what level things are being taught at. Sarma traditions are broken into Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana. Nyingma school has the nine vehicles, which represent further subdivisions and end with Dzogchen, they have different takes on the significance of dukkha.
"...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."

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Suffering

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun May 12, 2019 4:23 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 1:26 am
dolphin_color wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 8:48 pm
...I'm interested in the Tibetan approach to this topic. Is there a text that literally says "All of life is suffering"? What connections exist between this idea and emptiness? I'd appreciate any insight you have time to provide.
That first noble truth, as explained by my lama teacher, is more accurately expressed as,
"all conditioned phenomena are unsatisfactory".
Suffering doesn't mean constant anguish.
It means we are always striving to a state of no-more-striving, or perfect peace of mind.

...So, "all life is suffering" is "relative truth"
but not as "ultimate truth".
:good:

"All conditioned phenomena are unsatisfactory," is much closer (IMO) to the First Noble Truth than, "All life is suffering," which has been so oversimplified that it's misleading, if not just plain wrong. "All life is dukkha," is not so bad as "All life is suffering," but dukkha is not exactly "suffering". It's more unsatisfactoriness, dis-ease.

"Suffering is inherent in all of life" or, "Unsatisfactoriness is inherent in life," are two other alternatives which are more accurate than "All life is suffering," (and not as bleak) but they are not as catchy. :tongue:

:namaste:
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Re: Suffering

Post by AJP » Sun May 12, 2019 2:12 pm

'Du-kkha' literally translates as 'Hard-to Bear' or 'Difficult-to Bear'.

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Re: Suffering

Post by Loving » Sun May 12, 2019 2:59 pm

AJP wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 2:12 pm
'Du-kkha' literally translates as 'Hard-to Bear' or 'Difficult-to Bear'.
I find this extremely interesting. Is a search for enlightenment, then, an aim to make life not so hard to bear? Is it to bear life in spite of its hardness? Is it both? Is it, in a sense, neither? :thinking:

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Re: Suffering

Post by AJP » Sun May 12, 2019 4:51 pm

Loving wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 2:59 pm
AJP wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 2:12 pm
'Du-kkha' literally translates as 'Hard-to Bear' or 'Difficult-to Bear'.
I find this extremely interesting. Is a search for enlightenment, then, an aim to make life not so hard to bear? Is it to bear life in spite of its hardness? Is it both? Is it, in a sense, neither? :thinking:
The problem is Samsara, the main quality of Samsara is Dukkha. Also Karma. There is no reason as such for any of it. So we have Dukkha now because of Negative Karma from the past. The Karma is owned by the individual which causes Attachment via Dependent Origination.

To provide real meaning we seek to attain Buddhahood to benefit all beings.

To resolve this problem of Samsara.

So we have to figure this out to find Peace and Meaning and Compassion.

Also Freedom.

Samsara and Negative Karma bind us to Dukkha.

So we need to purify those Causes of Negative Karma.

The Path of Samsara is just Dependent Origination in the Mind.

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Re: Suffering

Post by Loving » Sun May 12, 2019 5:17 pm

AJP wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 4:51 pm
Loving wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 2:59 pm
AJP wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 2:12 pm
'Du-kkha' literally translates as 'Hard-to Bear' or 'Difficult-to Bear'.
I find this extremely interesting. Is a search for enlightenment, then, an aim to make life not so hard to bear? Is it to bear life in spite of its hardness? Is it both? Is it, in a sense, neither? :thinking:
The problem is Samsara, the main quality of Samsara is Dukkha. Also Karma. There is no reason as such for any of it. So we have Dukkha now because of Negative Karma from the past. The Karma is owned by the individual which causes Attachment via Dependent Origination.

To provide real meaning we seek to attain Buddhahood to benefit all beings.

To resolve this problem of Samsara.

So we have to figure this out to find Peace and Meaning and Compassion.

Also Freedom.

Samsara and Negative Karma bind us to Dukkha.

So we need to purify those Causes of Negative Karma.

The Path of Samsara is just Dependent Origination in the Mind.
Thanks, so would you say it is the state of our minds that experiences life as dukkha, "hard-to-bear"? This is due to karma, so we take responsibility for it. And when we attain Buddhahood, we do not experience life as hard-to-bear, and we also are in the best state to free others from the same difficult experience.

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Re: Suffering

Post by AJP » Sun May 12, 2019 5:34 pm

Loving wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 5:17 pm
AJP wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 4:51 pm
Loving wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 2:59 pm


I find this extremely interesting. Is a search for enlightenment, then, an aim to make life not so hard to bear? Is it to bear life in spite of its hardness? Is it both? Is it, in a sense, neither? :thinking:
The problem is Samsara, the main quality of Samsara is Dukkha. Also Karma. There is no reason as such for any of it. So we have Dukkha now because of Negative Karma from the past. The Karma is owned by the individual which causes Attachment via Dependent Origination.

To provide real meaning we seek to attain Buddhahood to benefit all beings.

To resolve this problem of Samsara.

So we have to figure this out to find Peace and Meaning and Compassion.

Also Freedom.

Samsara and Negative Karma bind us to Dukkha.

So we need to purify those Causes of Negative Karma.

The Path of Samsara is just Dependent Origination in the Mind.
Thanks, so would you say it is the state of our minds that experiences life as dukkha, "hard-to-bear"? This is due to karma, so we take responsibility for it. And when we attain Buddhahood, we do not experience life as hard-to-bear, and we also are in the best state to free others from the same difficult experience.
The Path is the Mind, be a Student of the Mind!!

&

Yes, pretty much!

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Re: Suffering

Post by heart » Sun May 12, 2019 5:35 pm

AJP wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 4:51 pm
Loving wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 2:59 pm
AJP wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 2:12 pm
'Du-kkha' literally translates as 'Hard-to Bear' or 'Difficult-to Bear'.
I find this extremely interesting. Is a search for enlightenment, then, an aim to make life not so hard to bear? Is it to bear life in spite of its hardness? Is it both? Is it, in a sense, neither? :thinking:
The problem is Samsara, the main quality of Samsara is Dukkha. Also Karma. There is no reason as such for any of it. So we have Dukkha now because of Negative Karma from the past. The Karma is owned by the individual which causes Attachment via Dependent Origination.

To provide real meaning we seek to attain Buddhahood to benefit all beings.

To resolve this problem of Samsara.

So we have to figure this out to find Peace and Meaning and Compassion.

Also Freedom.

Samsara and Negative Karma bind us to Dukkha.

So we need to purify those Causes of Negative Karma.

The Path of Samsara is just Dependent Origination in the Mind.
No, that isn't correct. Samsara is Dukkha and it is not because of bad karma. Everywhere in Samsara it is Dukkha, from the highest god realms to the lowest hell. There is no place in Samsara that isn't Dukkha.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Suffering

Post by AJP » Sun May 12, 2019 6:23 pm

heart wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 5:35 pm
AJP wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 4:51 pm
Loving wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 2:59 pm


I find this extremely interesting. Is a search for enlightenment, then, an aim to make life not so hard to bear? Is it to bear life in spite of its hardness? Is it both? Is it, in a sense, neither? :thinking:
The problem is Samsara, the main quality of Samsara is Dukkha. Also Karma. There is no reason as such for any of it. So we have Dukkha now because of Negative Karma from the past. The Karma is owned by the individual which causes Attachment via Dependent Origination.

To provide real meaning we seek to attain Buddhahood to benefit all beings.

To resolve this problem of Samsara.

So we have to figure this out to find Peace and Meaning and Compassion.

Also Freedom.

Samsara and Negative Karma bind us to Dukkha.

So we need to purify those Causes of Negative Karma.

The Path of Samsara is just Dependent Origination in the Mind.
No, that isn't correct. Samsara is Dukkha and it is not because of bad karma. Everywhere in Samsara it is Dukkha, from the highest god realms to the lowest hell. There is no place in Samsara that isn't Dukkha.

/magnus
So Negative Karma doesn't cause Dukkha?

It always does.

That's what I said.

Where is Samsara?

When we finally purify Negative Karma all of it what happens then?

If Samsara is finally emptied, what's left to purify?

In Dependent Origination Dukkha arises from Ignorance. Immediately from Ignorance however, it goes to Karmic Formations onto Dukkha via the Mental Chain in the Mind.

Respectfully

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Re: Suffering

Post by heart » Sun May 12, 2019 7:47 pm

AJP wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 6:23 pm
heart wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 5:35 pm
AJP wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 4:51 pm


The problem is Samsara, the main quality of Samsara is Dukkha. Also Karma. There is no reason as such for any of it. So we have Dukkha now because of Negative Karma from the past. The Karma is owned by the individual which causes Attachment via Dependent Origination.

To provide real meaning we seek to attain Buddhahood to benefit all beings.

To resolve this problem of Samsara.

So we have to figure this out to find Peace and Meaning and Compassion.

Also Freedom.

Samsara and Negative Karma bind us to Dukkha.

So we need to purify those Causes of Negative Karma.

The Path of Samsara is just Dependent Origination in the Mind.
No, that isn't correct. Samsara is Dukkha and it is not because of bad karma. Everywhere in Samsara it is Dukkha, from the highest god realms to the lowest hell. There is no place in Samsara that isn't Dukkha.

/magnus
So Negative Karma doesn't cause Dukkha?

It always does.

That's what I said.

Where is Samsara?

When we finally purify Negative Karma all of it what happens then?

If Samsara is finally emptied, what's left to purify?

In Dependent Origination Dukkha arises from Ignorance. Immediately from Ignorance however, it goes to Karmic Formations onto Dukkha via the Mental Chain in the Mind.

Respectfully
Samsara has suffering everywhere, but of course the suffering of the god realms are not the same as the suffering of the hells. Nevertheless there is no part of Samsara that don't have suffering. Negative karma cause more suffering, that is true, however good karma don't destroy suffering it just diminish it. Enlightenment is beyond Samsara.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Suffering

Post by AJP » Sun May 12, 2019 8:07 pm

heart wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 7:47 pm
AJP wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 6:23 pm
heart wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 5:35 pm


No, that isn't correct. Samsara is Dukkha and it is not because of bad karma. Everywhere in Samsara it is Dukkha, from the highest god realms to the lowest hell. There is no place in Samsara that isn't Dukkha.

/magnus
So Negative Karma doesn't cause Dukkha?

It always does.

That's what I said.

Where is Samsara?

When we finally purify Negative Karma all of it what happens then?

If Samsara is finally emptied, what's left to purify?

In Dependent Origination Dukkha arises from Ignorance. Immediately from Ignorance however, it goes to Karmic Formations onto Dukkha via the Mental Chain in the Mind.

Respectfully
Samsara has suffering everywhere, but of course the suffering of the god realms are not the same as the suffering of the hells. Nevertheless there is no part of Samsara that don't have suffering. Negative karma cause more suffering, that is true, however good karma don't destroy suffering it just diminish it. Enlightenment is beyond Samsara.

/magnus
I agree Samsara is a Prison we are bound to which we need to find the exit door.

I wish you all the best with life/practice and so on.

Thank-you for the debate!!!

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Re: Suffering

Post by heart » Sun May 12, 2019 8:45 pm

AJP wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 8:07 pm

I agree Samsara is a Prison we are bound to which we need to find the exit door.

I wish you all the best with life/practice and so on.

Thank-you for the debate!!!
It is important to understand you can't fix Samsara, it is unfixable. Quoting Dzongsar Khyentse here.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Suffering

Post by AJP » Sun May 12, 2019 9:28 pm

heart wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 8:45 pm
AJP wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 8:07 pm

I agree Samsara is a Prison we are bound to which we need to find the exit door.

I wish you all the best with life/practice and so on.

Thank-you for the debate!!!
It is important to understand you can't fix Samsara, it is unfixable. Quoting Dzongsar Khyentse here.

/magnus
I didn't think that.

Although of course, I have many delusions. We can't change Reality to suit our delusions.

The Path is the Path and so is the Practice and should be profoundly respected and adhered to.

But there's so much Suffering everywhere I would like to see less.

I really value this quote:
Samsara is mind turned outwardly, lost in its projections.
Nirvana is mind turned inwardly, recognizing its nature.
– Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Suffering

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon May 13, 2019 8:04 am

AJP wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 2:12 pm
'Du-kkha' literally translates as 'Hard-to Bear' or 'Difficult-to Bear'.
Well, actually ...
Wikipedia wrote:Dukkha (Pali; Sanskrit duḥkha) is a term found in ancient Indian literature, meaning anything that is "uneasy, uncomfortable, unpleasant, difficult, causing pain or sadness".[7][8] It is also a concept in Indian religions about the nature of life that innately includes the "unpleasant", "suffering," "pain," "sorrow", "distress", "grief" or "misery."[7][8] The term Dukkha does not have a one word English translation, and embodies diverse aspects of unpleasant human experiences.[2][8] It is opposed to the word sukha, meaning "happiness," "comfort" or "ease."[9]
and later ...
Buddhism
Contemporary translators of Buddhist texts use a variety of English words to convey the aspects of dukkha. Early Western translators of Buddhist texts (before the 1970s) typically translated the Pali term dukkha as "suffering." Later translators have emphasized that "suffering" is too limited a translation for the term dukkha, and have preferred to either leave the term untranslated or to clarify that translation with terms such as anxiety, distress, frustration, unease, unsatisfactoriness, etc.[13][14][15] Many contemporary teachers, scholars, and translators have used the term "unsatisfactoriness" to emphasize the subtlest aspects of dukkha.[16][17][18][19][20]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dukkha#Et ... nd_meaning

There are plenty of references in the article to follow up if you like.

:reading:
Kim

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Re: Suffering

Post by Loving » Mon May 13, 2019 2:10 pm

Hi Kim. The most interesting and relevant part of the Wikipedia article to me is between the two parts you quoted:
The word is commonly explained as a derivation from Aryan terminology for an axle hole, referring to an axle hole which is not in the center and leads to a bumpy, uncomfortable ride. According to Winthrop Sargeant,
The ancient Aryans who brought the Sanskrit language to India were a nomadic, horse- and cattle-breeding people who travelled in horse- or ox-drawn vehicles. Su and dus are prefixes indicating good or bad. The word kha, in later Sanskrit meaning "sky," "ether," or "space," was originally the word for "hole," particularly an axle hole of one of the Aryan's vehicles. Thus sukha … meant, originally, "having a good axle hole," while duhkha meant "having a poor axle hole," leading to discomfort.[10]
Joseph Goldstein, American vipassana teacher and writer, explains the etymology as follows:
The word dukkha is made up of the prefix du and the root kha. Du means “bad” or “difficult.” Kha means “empty.” “Empty,” here, refers to several things—some specific, others more general. One of the specific meanings refers to the empty axle hole of a wheel. If the axle fits badly into the center hole, we get a very bumpy ride. This is a good analogy for our ride through saṃsāra.[11]
However, according to Monier Monier-Williams, the actual roots of the Pali term dukkha appear to be Sanskrit दुस्- (dus-, "bad") + स्था (stha, "to stand").[12] Regular phonological changes in the development of Sanskrit into the various Prakrits led to a shift from dus-sthā to duḥkha to dukkha.
AJP would appear to be referring to something like Monier-Williams' account of the Sanskrit, given here as "bad to stand". So many ways to conceptualise the same reality!

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Re: Suffering

Post by AJP » Mon May 13, 2019 3:47 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:04 am
AJP wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 2:12 pm
'Du-kkha' literally translates as 'Hard-to Bear' or 'Difficult-to Bear'.
Well, actually ...
Wikipedia wrote:Dukkha (Pali; Sanskrit duḥkha) is a term found in ancient Indian literature, meaning anything that is "uneasy, uncomfortable, unpleasant, difficult, causing pain or sadness".[7][8] It is also a concept in Indian religions about the nature of life that innately includes the "unpleasant", "suffering," "pain," "sorrow", "distress", "grief" or "misery."[7][8] The term Dukkha does not have a one word English translation, and embodies diverse aspects of unpleasant human experiences.[2][8] It is opposed to the word sukha, meaning "happiness," "comfort" or "ease."[9]
and later ...
Buddhism
Contemporary translators of Buddhist texts use a variety of English words to convey the aspects of dukkha. Early Western translators of Buddhist texts (before the 1970s) typically translated the Pali term dukkha as "suffering." Later translators have emphasized that "suffering" is too limited a translation for the term dukkha, and have preferred to either leave the term untranslated or to clarify that translation with terms such as anxiety, distress, frustration, unease, unsatisfactoriness, etc.[13][14][15] Many contemporary teachers, scholars, and translators have used the term "unsatisfactoriness" to emphasize the subtlest aspects of dukkha.[16][17][18][19][20]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dukkha#Et ... nd_meaning

There are plenty of references in the article to follow up if you like.

:reading:
Kim
I was referring to a Pali Dictionary I read when I was a Buddhist Monk.

But of course anybody can use whatever they like, can they not???

I actually prefer the word Dukkha itself than any translation as we used the term a lot in the Monastery to sum things up. Spiritually I learnt a lot!!!

To add I'm actually experiencing it right now arguing through no choice of my own with people I don't know on the internet over the meaning of the word Dukkha.

Dukkha!!!!

Anyway, the Buddha used this term as Heart rightly pointed out as a Samsaric Experience.

It's up to us what we do with this Experience.

That's my last post.

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Re: Suffering

Post by SunWuKong » Mon May 13, 2019 4:02 pm

A wheel out of round is referred to as "dukkha" - that's the original meaning. So think in terms of "life is unmanagable" or "rough ride" or "why does this always happen to me?" or all the other negative reactions to life's uncertainties that arise out of the ego's "needs" not being compatible with how life actually is. That's dukkha - dukkha is in the delusional mind, it is delusion itself.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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