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I do not like calling myself a "Buddhist" these days. I have taken in some practices and attitudes, however, and am somewhat consistent trying to apply them.
My personal experience with those is that one's direction should be dealing with truth as directly as we can. Dealing with truth directly entails dropping any "perspective". When perspectives appear, truth is clouded.
Something is either true or not. For example, the sky is blue not from a Buddhist, Christian or Democratic perspective- it is just blue. Perspective, whether personal or group, is a hindrance in absolute terms (even if in worldly life it is a powerful way to strengthen and further oneself or one's group)
That from a Buddhist perspective
I think you could say that right view = right perspective = Buddhist perspective.
In other words, stepping away from oneself and seeking an unclouded view? That seems to me to be the essence of spirituality. Any perspectives sought really and truly apply to that seeker alone, and cannot be grafted onto others very successfully, seems to me.
And how one would define spirituality, I think, basically conforms to the same mold world wide: Being nonjudgmental and kind, reflective and loving, seeking magnanimity whenever possible, and seeking to understand oneself and others. "My family is my religion, and my family consists of the whole world."
from my Page-a-Day Zen Calendar for 2018, for today, January 8:
I meditate because evolution gave me a big brain, but it didn't come with an instruction manual.
I meditate because life is too short and sitting slows it down.
I meditate because life is too long and I need an occasional break.
I meditate because it's such a relief to spend time ignoring myself.
I meditate because I'm building myself a bigger and better perspective, and occasionally I need to add a new window.
Ah, but you cannot remove suffering, you can only limit or avoid it. Plus any suffering "removed" is generally temporary. The thing is, happiness ought not to be thought of in terms of a negation of a negative (absence of suff'ring), but rather in terms of the positive (like flowing towards joy). A joyful, enriched life is bent towards happiness; one merely escaping suff'ring by a hair or a scare is not the good life.
But more to the point, is what is the general purpose of human life, if not to bring joy to others? We are social beings who enjoy each other, and if we are wise we should so conduct ourselves as to seek the good of others over our own. For joy. We overlook the sorrows for the joy. Our suffering is there to teach us humility and build up the faculty of compassion that comes from the circumspection done while we suffer.
And to the Original Post, Why should anyone who is not grounded in Love bother to care about bringing joy and not suffering into the lives of those he or she loves?
All the Buddha ever proclaimed to teach was suffering and its end to reach.....first things first, we need to know what suffering is....and while being with family is great and we adore them, it also brings with it a fair amount of suffering. Let’s be honest here.
I think this comment completely misses the mark. Human life has a purpose. We are not meant to be hermits, unless by not being so we would do harm to others or our spiritual mission. No, the purpose of human life is to be happy, and true happiness consists in bringing joy to others while creating as little suffering as possible.
I believe that the Lord Buddha's teachings on dukkah were intended to focus his followers on the need for Letting Go of strong mental/emotional grips on things. Eventually we have to let everything we love go, anyway. And, in that spirit, @shadowleaver, I think the Buddha in his magnanimous love and compassion expresses such a refined joy that those whose sight is limited may not discern the love that shines in its center. Pure love only wants to set free and not to possess. That is the ultimate goal.
But the steps along the way to that goal while we are parents or caregivers or whatever (and have yet to steer those we care about along right paths) ought to be concerned chiefly with one care: Bringing Joy to Others.
NOT Suffering. The Lord Buddha was not a depressed person. Suffering is mostly in the Mind, and we should be masters of it.