Desire/Suffering Is a Water Faucet That Can't be Turned Off

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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hkvanx
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Desire/Suffering Is a Water Faucet That Can't be Turned Off

Post by hkvanx » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:54 pm

I read from an article this morning that human desires are an evolutionary beneficial trait....it makes us become a biologically successfully species....which is to pass our genes along to the next generation. We are programmed to constantly crave and seek food, sex,etc.

Buddha identified suffering is due to desire....which is ingrain in our very human nature. The analogy that comes in my head is a running faucet of water. We can try to lower the volume of water but it can never be turned off. Suffering due to desires appear to be unavoidable since it's part of our human nature. Physical pain is also unavoidable with old age, illness and death (impermanence).

With that said, meditation and mindfulness help us practice non-attachment to desires and pain but it cannot prevent both from happening in the first place. It can only try minimize them and help you deal with it during your lifetime. A famous Buddhist teacher said something along the lines of...."getting hit by the arrow will hurt everyone...buddhism practice will prevent you from continued pain from the same arrow (attachment to event)".

Is this a correct understanding?

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Queequeg
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Re: Desire/Suffering Is a Water Faucet That Can't be Turned Off

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:02 pm

In another thread, Johnny Dangerous suggested you find a teacher... you need one.

But to answer your questions... No. Not correct.

As I wrote earlier, your thinking exhibits signs that your basic assumptions are materialist. Its basically inescapable if you've grown up in the developed world. Your assumptions being incompatible with Dharma, you misunderstand Dharma.
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

hkvanx
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Re: Desire/Suffering Is a Water Faucet That Can't be Turned Off

Post by hkvanx » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:14 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:02 pm
In another thread, Johnny Dangerous suggested you find a teacher... you need one.

But to answer your questions... No. Not correct.

As I wrote earlier, your thinking exhibits signs that your basic assumptions are materialist. Its basically inescapable if you've grown up in the developed world. Your assumptions being incompatible with Dharma, you misunderstand Dharma.
How do I find a teacher? Can communication be done online or does it have to be in person?

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Desire/Suffering Is a Water Faucet That Can't be Turned Off

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:15 pm

hkvanx wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:54 pm


With that said, meditation and mindfulness help us practice non-attachment to desires and pain but it cannot prevent both from happening in the first place. It can only try minimize them and help you deal with it during your lifetime. A famous Buddhist teacher said something along the lines of...."getting hit by the arrow will hurt everyone...buddhism practice will prevent you from continued pain from the same arrow (attachment to event)".

Is this a correct understanding?
No one can prevent them from happening, our entire construction of a reality is the result of these things, the cessation of them is more than temporal well being. There is no beginning to the process either, Buddha described samsara as beginningless.

Your body for instance, is a result of this process, as well as a possible doorway out of it... it's not simply some mental process you are trying to be rid of to feel normal. This is the sort of thing you might learn about if you got a teacher. It would probably benefit you to flesh out your understanding of basic Buddhism some.
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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Queequeg
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Re: Desire/Suffering Is a Water Faucet That Can't be Turned Off

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:08 pm

hkvanx wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:14 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:02 pm
In another thread, Johnny Dangerous suggested you find a teacher... you need one.

But to answer your questions... No. Not correct.

As I wrote earlier, your thinking exhibits signs that your basic assumptions are materialist. Its basically inescapable if you've grown up in the developed world. Your assumptions being incompatible with Dharma, you misunderstand Dharma.
How do I find a teacher? Can communication be done online or does it have to be in person?
You mentioned in another post that you come from a Buddhist background - have you reached out to anyone from your past?

There are many opportunities - depending on where you live you might do a local internet search for Buddhist centers.There are teachers who work with students online... it might most depend on your own inclinations and preferences.
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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LastLegend
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Re: Desire/Suffering Is a Water Faucet That Can't be Turned Off

Post by LastLegend » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:30 am

Op,

Buddha while he was alive in human body had pain but no suffering! The 5 aggregates including perceptions, sensations/feelings/emotions, form/physical body, action, and consciousness. Study them.
Within that state of clarity, there is a knowing that remains unchanged stationary can be seen when looking at an object.

Punya
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Re: Desire/Suffering Is a Water Faucet That Can't be Turned Off

Post by Punya » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:12 am

hkvanx wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:14 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:02 pm
In another thread, Johnny Dangerous suggested you find a teacher... you need one.

But to answer your questions... No. Not correct.

As I wrote earlier, your thinking exhibits signs that your basic assumptions are materialist. Its basically inescapable if you've grown up in the developed world. Your assumptions being incompatible with Dharma, you misunderstand Dharma.
How do I find a teacher? Can communication be done online or does it have to be in person?
The Buddhanet directory is one way to find a teacher http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd

It's always wise to do some online checking of the centre if you can. There are some controversial groups out there. You can also ask here if a group is reputable. Often one of the members will know.

You can connect with many teachers through online programs, but sooner or later you'll want to meet them. A local centre with a local reputable teacher is ideal, but not always possible.
We abide nowhere. We possess nothing.
~Chatral Rinpoche

SteRo
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Re: Desire/Suffering Is a Water Faucet That Can't be Turned Off

Post by SteRo » Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:18 am

hkvanx wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:54 pm
...meditation and mindfulness ...
Is this a correct understanding?
your understanding is not supported by teachers and that is dangerous.


A correct understanding of the Buddha's teachings has several levels:
1. Correct understanding of the doctrine
2. Correct understanding of the meaning
3. Correct understanding of the truth


Even the correct understanding of the doctrine takes some time of effort and needs study and teacher(s) and a concomitant practice of thinking about/meditation on what one has studied and taught.
This correct understanding is actually a milestone of progress, an achievement on the path. And the path is an eightfold one and thus it is more than only 'meditation and mindfulness'. The eightfold path taught by the Buddha is a holistic approach.

Take your time and listen to and consult teachers and authentic written teachings. Beware of jumping to conclusions which deprive you of all the benefits the Buddha's teachings have to offer.

:namaste:

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Astus
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Re: Desire/Suffering Is a Water Faucet That Can't be Turned Off

Post by Astus » Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:10 am

hkvanx wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:54 pm
We are programmed to constantly crave and seek food, sex,etc.
Buddha identified suffering is due to desire....which is ingrain in our very human nature.
Humans, under normal conditions, have the freedom to choose whether to act or not, whether to pursue an impulse or not, therefore it is not valid to say that they are forced by anything to submit to craving.
Buddhism is based on the understanding that both the Buddha and many of his disciples have successfully attained liberation from suffering, and the same attainment is available today as well to whoever is willing.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Aemilius
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Re: Desire/Suffering Is a Water Faucet That Can't be Turned Off

Post by Aemilius » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:53 am

Astus wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:10 am
hkvanx wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:54 pm
We are programmed to constantly crave and seek food, sex,etc.
Buddha identified suffering is due to desire....which is ingrain in our very human nature.
Humans, under normal conditions, have the freedom to choose whether to act or not, whether to pursue an impulse or not, therefore it is not valid to say that they are forced by anything to submit to craving.
This is true and yet it is also not true. Human existence has been compared to a train running at full speed. You can't change its direction abruptly, and still its direction can be changed, slowly and gradually. Existence is habits, these can be changed with effort and awareness; also your habits change when your circumstances change, like getting a new job, moving to a foreign country, a new relationship, becoming old, your body gets sick, a war or a catastrophe or a natural disaster occurs, etc.. Your habits will change anyway, with time.

What happens in our mind when we submit to craving? The alternative of not-craving doesn't seem lucrative, perhaps? And why not? A fairly neutral example of "craving for chocolate"; it is not neutral if you have a habit of eating chocolate, but we'll stick with that. How does it feel when you don't eat chocolate? What do you experience in your mind at the time (of not eating chocolate)? These things are often fairly complicated, it can take a long time to find an answer to what is lying behind this kind of compulsion, or behind any other compulsive need or behavior.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

haha
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Re: Desire/Suffering Is a Water Faucet That Can't be Turned Off

Post by haha » Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:36 am

There are many ways to understand the truth within Buddhism. Learning from past mistake and avoiding it in future is one way. What is called suffering is due to ignorance.

Non-attachment could be a way. However, one can avoid suffering by abandoning causes. One can avoid suffering by accumulating the merits. One can avoid suffering by transforming it (i.e. garbage can be recycled). One can avoid suffering by understanding very ground it arises.

Some branches of Mahayana teach liberation not only of mind but also of physical body.

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