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The happiness of a non-toothache

personperson Don't believe everything you think'Merica! Veteran
edited April 1 in Buddhism Basics

Thich Naht Hahn said:
The foundation of happiness is mindfulness. The basic condition for being happy
is our consciousness of being happy. If we are not aware that we are happy, we are
not really happy. When we have a toothache, we know that not having a toothache
is a wonderful thing. But when we do not have a toothache, we are still not happy.
A non-toothache is very pleasant. There are so many things that are enjoyable,
but when we don’t practice mindfulness, we don’t appreciate them. When we practice
mindfulness, we come to cherish these things and we learn how to protect them.
By taking good care of the present moment, we take good care of the future.
Working for peace in the future is to work for peace in the present moment.

I'm not only happy when I get good things.
I'm happy when in a state of non-sweettooth craving.
I'm happy when consumed by non-dwelling on past hurts.
I'm happy with my non-broken leg.

Do you ever notice the happiness that is there when painful experience is absent?

ShoshinadamcrossleyKeromeDavid

Comments

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    It has always marveled me that women, having survived the agony of childbirth, should then consent to have still MORE children.

    Bunks
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @genkaku said:
    It has always marveled me that women, having survived the agony of childbirth, should then consent to have still MORE children.

    I was once told that the equivalent for a man would be to run a marathon.....I have done that and, while painful, I watched my ex give birth twice and I am sure as I can be that has to be worse!!

  • @genkaku For me, the struggle of childbirth was forgotten almost immediately afterwards. If I remembered it well I certainly don't think I'd be so pleased at the thought of another one! The mind and body are amazing.

    adamcrossley
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @genkaku said:
    It has always marveled me that women, having survived the agony of childbirth, should then consent to have still MORE children.

    Perhaps there is happiness to be found in the enjoyment of non-childbirth...

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    Do you ever notice the happiness when the painful experience IS pleasant. That is a much-greater challenge.

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    @Bunks said:

    @genkaku said:
    It has always marveled me that women, having survived the agony of childbirth, should then consent to have still MORE children.

    I was once told that the equivalent for a man would be to run a marathon.....I have done that and, while painful, I watched my ex give birth twice and I am sure as I can be that has to be worse!!

    Childbirth is moderated with mindfulness. The greatest threat to most normal labors is our fear and resistance to the process. Fear and resistance always increases the pain and our perception of pain, regardless of whether it is childbirth or injury.
    The Natural Childbirth techniques are a form of mindfulness ... and if you already have some familiarity with mindfulness, it works even better.

    No medication, no pain ... yes, childbirth was not pleasant and the sensations were not pleasant either ... but yield to them ... "give" into the birthing (which is what "giving birth" is all about), and you connect with an inner core of strength and power that carries you like a cork on the wave and it is nowhere close to agony.
    This is, of course, assuming that the labor is not unduly long (lactic acid will build up) nor the presentation abnormal (such as a breech or posterior presentation).

    Bunks
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @person said:

    I'm not only happy when I get good things.
    I'm happy when in a state of non-sweettooth craving.
    I'm happy when consumed by non-dwelling on past hurts.
    I'm happy with my non-broken leg.

    Do you ever notice the happiness that is there when painful experience is absent?

    Not really (but I guess it would all depend on what is meant by happiness ) ....It would seem that not having pain is one's natural state and so not having pain is nothing special ...to speak of :)
    However if one hurts oneself and the pain dissipates quickly (here one moment gone the next...conventionally speaking) there's a sense of 'relief' followed by the natural state of being until the next painful event....

    It is said that pain (be it mental and or physical) is just a means of letting the body/mind know that something is wrong....a spanner in the works...aggregate malfunction....

    I guess the aim of Dharma practice is to develop equanimity.... a contentment with what is....be it in the conventional sense pleasant or unpleasant :) Sant is what's important .... the key :)

    lobster
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    edited April 3

    @Shoshin said:

    @person said:

    I'm not only happy when I get good things.
    I'm happy when in a state of non-sweettooth craving.
    I'm happy when consumed by non-dwelling on past hurts.
    I'm happy with my non-broken leg.

    Do you ever notice the happiness that is there when painful experience is absent?

    Not really (but I guess it would all depend on what is meant by happiness ) ....It would seem that not having pain is one's natural state and so not having pain is nothing special ...to speak of :)
    However if one hurts oneself and the pain dissipates quickly (here one moment gone the next...conventionally speaking) there's a sense of 'relief' followed by the natural state of being until the next painful event....

    It is said that pain (be it mental and or physical) is just a means of letting the body/mind know that something is wrong....a spanner in the works...aggregate malfunction....

    I guess the aim of Dharma practice is to develop equanimity.... a contentment with what is....be it in the conventional sense pleasant or unpleasant :) Sant is what's important .... the key :)

    Maybe thinking about the absense of physical pain would be more a sense of gratitude then.

    Does mental pain work the same way? Would not having mental pain be considered one's natural state? If we let go of all our habits and patterns could that happiness be considered Nirvana?

    My experience of practice has been that I'll occasionally become aware of and sort of step out of some mental pattern and having done that over and over it looses it's grip on me and my default state becomes happier. I never even noticed the painful aspect, I had become desensitized to it, of that mental habit until I gave it up.

    lobsterShoshinSnakeskin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Maybe thinking about the absense of physical pain would be more a sense of gratitude then.

    It would be more effective and simpler to be grateful. B) 'Thinking about the absence' ... why not be aware of the presence ... ? o:)

    What you say here is closer to my experience too, as it involves becoming aware of a pattern and letting go of it:

    @person said:
    My experience of practice has been that I'll occasionally become aware of and sort of step out of some mental pattern and having done that over and over it looses it's grip on me and my default state becomes happier. I never even noticed the painful aspect, I had become desensitized to it, of that mental habit until I gave it up.

    person
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran

    Do you ever notice the happiness that is there when painful or pleasurable experience is absent?

    When there is nothing disturbing the peace.

    I have heard that on one occasion Ven. Sariputta was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Feeding Sanctuary. There he said to the monks, "This Unbinding is pleasant, friends. This Unbinding is pleasant."

    When this was said, Ven. Udayin said to Ven. Sariputta, "But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where there is nothing felt?"

    "Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt.

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an09/an09.034.than.html

    "This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Nibbana."

    lobsterpersonShoshinSnakeskin
  • ToshTosh Veteran

    @FoibleFull said:
    Do you ever notice the happiness when the painful experience IS pleasant. That is a much-greater challenge.

    Sounds kinky!

    lobsterfedericaFoibleFullShoshin
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    Not suggesting the secret is to make pain be pleasurable. But rather than our need to avoid pain and seek pleasure are BOTH trapping us in our suffering. The way out is not within the paradigm, but outside of the paradigm. Discovered through developing Mindfulness.

    Snakeskin
  • TsultrimTsultrim Hawaii New

    Pain hurts ( a bit trite i know), and unfortunately no stance we take toward it logically or conceptually changes that fact. Pain not only hurts but it can persist, as in cancer or neurological pain, and its persistence eventually overwhelms us physically and mentally. There is a problem called tic doulereau, facial neurological pain that is called the suicide disease for obvious reasons, and of course suicide secondary to depression is a scourge especially among the young. Pain hurts and it can be a real problem for us.

    At least some of our pain arises from our mental reaction to it. With psychological pain , say having guilt over anger, we may begin to take mental positions, like i shouldn't be angry or they deserve my anger etc and those shifting positions amplify the pain. Of course the fear generated by physical pain ( will it ever go away, am i seriously ill etc) creates a cycle of pain as well: worry about pain, causing more pain, causing more worry and on and on.

    There is an experience without an experiencer that can help us with pain called emptiness.It's an inherent aspect of mind. With psychological pain it helps us see that thoughts and emotions are empty like the mind they arise in and with physical pain it alerts us to the empty aware nature of the mind that experiences the pain. Emptiness is restful, pleasurable, and does not require effort among a number of other pain easing qualities.Very great teachers whose minds never leave mind's empty aware nature can manage pain that way, but they are rare. For most of us pain hurts.

    I am reminded of the Buddhist saying that without samsara there would be no nirvana. My feeling is why can't humans be born in nirvana and the hell with samasara, elucidating one of the reasons why romantics suffer. To end on an upbeat, one thing pain does is develop our compassion for others. Pain alerts us to how many suffer in our world (almost everyone) and our heart goes out to them as we feel our own pain.

    lobsterpersonJeffreySnakeskin
  • TsultrimTsultrim Hawaii New

    This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Nibbana."

    Lovely.

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