Suffering is happiness ?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
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Jesse
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Suffering is happiness ?

Post by Jesse » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:52 pm

Hello all,

I have recently began reading "The heart of the Buddhas teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh".

I've always been interested in Buddhism, but I don't think I've ever seen it presented in such an understandable way until I began reading this book.
The amazing thing is that even though I know much of what I'm reading, the way it's presented and in context, the words seem to have a much more profound meaning than I would have imagined.
When we have a toothache, we know that not having a toothache is happiness, but later when we don't have a toothache, we don't treasure our non-toothache
Learning to practice mindfulness helps us to learn to appreciate the well-being that is already there. With mindfulness, we treasure our happiness
The author stresses, not running from suffering but embracing input from the world that nourishes happiness in yourself, while avoiding input that nourishes suffering.
While reading this and other insights in this book I think I have begun to understand what he means by "happiness exists within suffering.. that they are not separate things."

When we run from our suffering rather than embrace it, we create more suffering for ourselves because we are dismissing our ability to transform our suffering into happiness.

I guess the realization these words led me to, was that many of my problems and perceived sources of suffering were an illusion, my real problem has always been running from my suffering, it's kind of hard to explain how deep this realization has hit me, but then again I imagine many people are here because they had a similar sort of realization.

Sorry for the rant. I feel very good today.. and if anyone is considering learning about Buddhism.. I truly recommend this book. :P
“Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one's desires, but by the removal of desire” – Epictetus

SpinyNorman
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:19 pm

Re: Suffering is happiness ?

Post by SpinyNorman » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:42 am

ghost01 wrote:While reading this and other insights in this book I think I have begun to understand what he means by "happiness exists within suffering.. that they are not separate things."
Yes, I also like TNH's optimistic approach to these things.

Spiny

krodha
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:30 pm

Re: Suffering is happiness ?

Post by krodha » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:01 pm

That was a profound thing to realize for me too

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