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Is everything unsatisfactory?

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

“All things in the world fall under the characteristics of instability, unsatisfactoriness and being without a permanent ego or soul.”

— Ajahn Chah

Although I have a lot of respect for Ajahn Chah, I do wonder about this statement. Is it really so that the whole world is full of unsatisfactoriness? He is a Thai Forest Ajahn, a renunciate in a fairly strict tradition, and you have to take that into account when weighing up what he says.

Personally I am more inclined to divide the world up into pleasant, unpleasant and neither pleasant-nor-unpleasant phenomena. We tend to seek out the pleasant — we fill our mornings with cups of coffee and a little news — and we tolerate the mildly unpleasant — we might go for a run or do an exercise routine, and go to work.

What do you all think? Would you agree to see the world as unsatisfactory, or is it a mixture, or something else?

Comments

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I disagree with you. And in the book whose title I liberally sprinkle all over this forum at the moment, ad nauseam (Being Nobody Going Nowhere), It's amply, perfectly and beautifully explained there. Ajahm Chah is quite correct.
    But that shouldn't be cause for being maudlin.
    On the contrary. It's incredibly liberating.

    Kerome
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    Grasping onto the false nature of things is unsatisfactory.

    ShoshinDavid
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    You are right @how, I’ve been turning around this question for a while subconsciously but lately it is taking over primacy. If I’ve ended up considering it several times in similar contexts I do apologise for cluttering the forum.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that life is not just all unsatisfactoriness, but now I am stuck trying to unify that position with many other Buddhist beliefs. I am finding that my basic emotion is a general contentedness with life, I find it has many good sides and despite some difficult times life has been pretty good to me.

    Perhaps I’m finding i can identify well with the surface of Buddhism, for example the mindfulness that Thich Nhat Hanh has placed at the center of his practice, and the practices of rooting out the klesha’s, but the core of it is foreign to me.

    lobsterFosdickhow
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited June 3

    Hey kerome

    The two most common limitations of inadequacy and complacency for the Buddhist practitioner each have their respective blinding flaws and corresponding teachings to address them with.

    Where the practitioner hobbled by inadequacy primarily requires some soothing that they are actually perfect just as they are, the practitioner who is complacent requires more of a shout out that they are actually snoozing in a burning house and need to get out now!

    If you think that the latter state applies more to you, then your conclusion that life is not just all unsatisfactoriness, will only justify a stagnation of your primary limitation.

    It is not so much about if there is really some satisfaction in life or not but how to transcend the suffering causing clinging to what are essentially transitory experiences.
    It isn't saying that you need to abandon the actual satisfactions that you find in life so much as needing to learn how to abandon the minds craving, aversion or ignoring of them.

    Such a task lies beyond the ken of the mind or body alone. Where you can become meditatively one with both so neither claims dominion over the other, the core of the Buddhist teachings that currently now appear foreign, become simply as the water where in the dragon swims and the mountain where on the tiger roams.

    The study of such things with the mind alone only leaves one with a pretty dream whereas a transcendence of an identity laden mind reveals the experience of what that dream could only point at.

    lobsterBunksShoshin
  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    “All things in the world fall under the characteristics of instability, unsatisfactoriness and being without a permanent ego or soul.”

    — Ajahn Chah

    Although I have a lot of respect for Ajahn Chah, I do wonder about this statement. Is it really so that the whole world is full of unsatisfactoriness? He is a Thai Forest Ajahn, a renunciate in a fairly strict tradition, and you have to take that into account when weighing up what he says.

    Personally I am more inclined to divide the world up into pleasant, unpleasant and neither pleasant-nor-unpleasant phenomena. We tend to seek out the pleasant — we fill our mornings with cups of coffee and a little news — and we tolerate the mildly unpleasant — we might go for a run or do an exercise routine, and go to work.

    What do you all think? Would you agree to see the world as unsatisfactory, or is it a mixture, or something else?

    I think some people find the world unsatisfactory but that is not an objective statement and is not absolute.

    Upon his awakening do you think Buddha still felt the world is unsatisfactory?

  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited June 4

    @person said:
    There are pleasant things in life but they don't have an essence of happiness to them. The more we have of them we don't get happier. I find the most pleasant moment of a dessert is the first bite, a pint of ice cream is still pretty pleasant but after the second it starts to become unsatisfactory, the third and fourth unpleasant and by the fifth I would classify it as outright suffering. Same with a nice piece of music, it is good once or twice but playing a song 24 hours a day is a form of torture.

    Of course we don't live like that, we get a taste of one small pleasure then jump to another and another, taking a little bite and moving on before it changes. We construct our lives so that we have as constant a stream of pleasant hits as we need. All that seeking leads to building up a muscle of craving, the experience of craving is one of suffering compared to the experience of the absence of craving.

    We can put our efforts into building a world where we can always have a hit of pleasure to keep us topped off or we can let go of our craving and find an inner sort of happiness that is present when our craving subsides.

    There is pleasure when a sore is scratched, But to be without sores is more pleasurable still. Just so, there are pleasures in worldly desires, But to be without desires is more pleasurable still. ~Nagarjuna

    I find myself mostly agreeing with this but then, this is our experience of things. In fact, we could say the things are just fine and it is our experience that is unsatisfactory. Thing is, our experience for good or ill is the only game in town.

    We don't need things to make us happy but that is no reason not to enjoy each others company or even a bowl of ice cream. Just disidentify with the craving when it doesn't serve.

    The fact that people don't last is all the more reason to cherish the time we do have.

    JeffreyRen_in_black
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @person said:

    There are pleasant things in life but they don't have an essence of happiness to them. The more we have of them we don't get happier. I find the most pleasant moment of a dessert is the first bite, a pint of ice cream is still pretty pleasant but after the second it starts to become unsatisfactory, the third and fourth unpleasant and by the fifth I would classify it as outright suffering. Same with a nice piece of music, it is good once or twice but playing a song 24 hours a day is a form of torture.

    Of course we don't live like that, we get a taste of one small pleasure then jump to another and another, taking a little bite and moving on before it changes. We construct our lives so that we have as constant a stream of pleasant hits as we need. All that seeking leads to building up a muscle of craving, the experience of craving is one of suffering compared to the experience of the absence of craving.

    We can put our efforts into building a world where we can always have a hit of pleasure to keep us topped off or we can let go of our craving and find an inner sort of happiness that is present when our craving subsides.

    There is pleasure when a sore is scratched, But to be without sores is more pleasurable still. Just so, there are pleasures in worldly desires, But to be without desires is more pleasurable still. ~Nagarjuna

    Sadhu.....

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Thanks @how, @person, and @david, I’ll try and let things settle and think on it with a clear mind.

    @David said:
    Upon his awakening do you think Buddha still felt the world is unsatisfactory?

    I don’t think he did... I think the unsatisfactoriness was all in his mind, and once he had gotten beyond this he would have seen the world without judgment.

    Bunkslobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    The Buddha (hallowed be his meme) was aware of dukkha but not bedazzled by it ...
    Most of us mentioning no names ... oh ok me ... will always be aware of dukkha.

    I take refuge in the four jewels (inflation) ;)

  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    Thanks @how, @person, and @david, I’ll try and let things settle and think on it with a clear mind.

    @David said:
    Upon his awakening do you think Buddha still felt the world is unsatisfactory?

    I don’t think he did... I think the unsatisfactoriness was all in his mind, and once he had gotten beyond this he would have seen the world without judgment.

    I think so too.

    So nothing is unsatisfactory unless the mind makes it so.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two Impostors just the same..."

    Good old Kipling...

    howDavidKeromeRen_in_black
  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited June 4

    Looking at it from a different perspective, it could even be said that impermanence is why anything works at all. Change being unsatisfying is our problem, it is not inherent to the world we find ourselves in as an inseparable part.

    Seeing interconnectivity at work can be liberating and so very satisfying indeed.

    "All is possible when emptiness is possible. Nothing is possible when emptiness is impossible".

    • The Mulamadhyamakakarika - Nagarjuna

    "We do not say that because things are empty they do not exist. We say that because things exist, they are empty"

    • saying of the Madhyamaka

    I don't see that as unsatisfactory. It's just a matter of perspective.

  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @person said:
    There are pleasant things in life but they don't have an essence of happiness to them. The more we have of them we don't get happier. I find the most pleasant moment of a dessert is the first bite, a pint of ice cream is still pretty pleasant but after the second it starts to become unsatisfactory, the third and fourth unpleasant and by the fifth I would classify it as outright suffering. Same with a nice piece of music, it is good once or twice but playing a song 24 hours a day is a form of torture.

    Of course we don't live like that, we get a taste of one small pleasure then jump to another and another, taking a little bite and moving on before it changes. We construct our lives so that we have as constant a stream of pleasant hits as we need. All that seeking leads to building up a muscle of craving, the experience of craving is one of suffering compared to the experience of the absence of craving.

    We can put our efforts into building a world where we can always have a hit of pleasure to keep us topped off or we can let go of our craving and find an inner sort of happiness that is present when our craving subsides.

    There is pleasure when a sore is scratched, But to be without sores is more pleasurable still. Just so, there are pleasures in worldly desires, But to be without desires is more pleasurable still. ~Nagarjuna

    Sorry to remark on the same post twice but it just got me to thinking and I have to ask the obvious question.

    If you could, would you wipe the first taste of ice cream and the perceptions that arose with the interaction from your experience?

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @David said:
    So nothing is unsatisfactory unless the mind makes it so.

    So perhaps one could be happy by finding the world satisfactory and pleasant? It seems you can train the mind, by leading it through various concepts, to find the world unsatisfactory, and thus reach disenchantment, a step closer to dispassion and cessation.

    I think the greatest objection that I have to that journey is that it feels so unnecessarily depressive. What about the appreciation of art? Look at this painting, does it not bring you joy?

    I don’t think all things that bring us joy are born of desire. Sometimes a simple view of the clouds in the sky can bring us joy, there are many small things that are in fact great joys. If you start taking these things apart you can destroy the sources of joy in your mind, you can condition yourself not to see them.

    But as long as you can keep some innocence and creativity and humour in yourself, then you’re doing ok. This afternoon, I was listening to my aunt telling old family stories about the times she had had with my grandmother, who always made her laugh. They were funny stories, I laughed a lot. But if you analyse those stories you would find a lot of them were about dog turds, or farts, or her penchant for being ridiculous in her innocence. Things which kids find funny, but which in many 80 year olds only elicit a slight smile. So I would say look after your spontaneity, it is a treasure.

    David
  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited June 4

    @Kerome, I agree. But the simpler the better, I'd wager.

    If things didn't change we would never get the opportunity to experience.

    Some think that's a good thing and some think it's a bad thing.

    Personally, I am grateful for the opportunity to study and experience and consciously train to be as aware as I can for the well being of all.

    Even if individual events play out.

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @person said:
    I'm more pointing to a point of practice rather than a set of rules on how we should behave. What I think you and @Kerome are maybe missing is the pleasant spiritual feeling that arises in the absence of craving and are mainly noticing the restrictiveness or asceticism.

    I know that feeling quite well, spiritual peace is a great gift. But what I find is ebbing away is a kind of joy, a feeling of celebration, of love, laughter, dance. It’s creativity, appreciation. It’s the feeling that the world is a great gift, a teaching device from god Osho once called it.

    These things can be combined with the peace of Buddhism and mindfulness, I just get the feeling that with too much peace, too much following of the dhamma as taught by others, I lose sight of these simple values and then I need to go back to basics. To not spend so much time analysing, observing.

    It’s about life, and the appreciation of life. We are given this gift, this precious human life in which to be conscious in the universe.

    Davidlobster
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @person said:
    I'm more pointing to a point of practice rather than a set of rules on how we should behave. What I think you and @Kerome are maybe missing is the pleasant spiritual feeling that arises in the absence of craving and are mainly noticing the restrictiveness or asceticism.

    It’s about life, and the appreciation of life. We are given this gift, this precious human life in which to be conscious in the universe.

    The teachings are meant to be taken as a whole and the value of a precious human rebirth is among those teachings. So maybe you either need to include more reflection on the value of human life or your current state over values that aspect of the teachings and the teachings on craving may actually be bringing you more into balance where the experience of that happening is indeed experienced as a reduction.

    I guess my bias is to think there is some sort of error in your application of the teachings rather than an error in the teachings themselves.

    KeromeDavid
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @person said:
    I guess my bias is to think there is some sort of error in your application of the teachings rather than an error in the teachings themselves.

    I have also heard that the Buddha gave people teachings that suited their nature, it is very possible that this teaching of unsatisfactoriness doesn’t suit me. Perhaps the path of disenchantment, dispassion, cessation also doesn’t suit me. There may be some other way to enlightenment which is suitable. Perhaps I will try Zen.

  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited June 5

    @person said:

    I'm more pointing to a point of practice rather than a set of rules on how we should behave. What I think you and @Kerome are maybe missing is the pleasant spiritual feeling that arises in the absence of craving and are mainly noticing the restrictiveness or asceticism. For example, how is your experience right now of the absence of a heroin addiction? You probably aren't even aware generally but if I could suddenly plop one down on you you'd find your current state relatively quite pleasant.

    Actually, that's quite far from the mark. I wouldn't trade holes in my arm for a buzz and know the absence of craving quite well having quit smoking tobacco 3 years ago.

    However, I wouldn't trade my experiences for the lack of experience. Things are not going to work in our favor all the time. Oh well. Things change. That's the only way they can be.

    For me what it does is direct the way I structure and direct my life. I don't expect to find lasting happiness by arranging regular spa days, family picnics and friendly happy hours. I look to spiritual practice for that. Not only will they not fulfill me but the more I rely on them the greater my craving for them grows and the larger the hole I'm trying to fill grows.

    In other words I look to rearrange my mind to find peace and happiness more than attempting to rearrange the world. The world never quite works out the way you want and is always slipping away.

    That's what Im pointing at. The world and the things in it are not unsatisfactory inherently. That is just a byproduct of the craving mind.

    We could train to stop craving but then, that's another form of craving, isn't it? I train to be aware of craving when it arises. That's all. Sometimes I will really dig into and explore the feeling of the craving. They don't last that long and that's how I quit smoking tobacco.

    Other than that, cravings can be tools of awareness and nothing to get bent out of shape about.

    It's good not to cling but to be averse is no better for us.

    Ren_in_black
  • WalkerWalker Veteran Veteran

    I just started re-reading TNH's The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching. In chapter 5 (Is Everything Suffering?), he writes:

    It is true that the Buddha taught the truth of suffering, but he also taught the truth of "dwelling happily in things as they are" (drishta dharma sukha viharin). To succeed in the practice, we must stop trying to prove that everything is suffering. In fact, we must stop trying to prove anything. If we touch the truth of suffering with our mindfulness, we will be able to recognize and identify our specific suffering, its specific causes, and the way to remove those causes and end our suffering.

    KeromeRen_in_blackDavid
  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @Walker said:
    I just started re-reading TNH's The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching. In chapter 5 (Is Everything Suffering?), he writes:

    It is true that the Buddha taught the truth of suffering, but he also taught the truth of "dwelling happily in things as they are" (drishta dharma sukha viharin). To succeed in the practice, we must stop trying to prove that everything is suffering. In fact, we must stop trying to prove anything. If we touch the truth of suffering with our mindfulness, we will be able to recognize and identify our specific suffering, its specific causes, and the way to remove those causes and end our suffering.

    Exactly!

  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @person said:
    I guess my bias is to think there is some sort of error in your application of the teachings rather than an error in the teachings themselves.

    I have also heard that the Buddha gave people teachings that suited their nature, it is very possible that this teaching of unsatisfactoriness doesn’t suit me. Perhaps the path of disenchantment, dispassion, cessation also doesn’t suit me. There may be some other way to enlightenment which is suitable. Perhaps I will try Zen.

    You know what just made me smirk?

    In every single story I've ever read about Siddhartha and his long road to awakening, he had the same sort of discourse in his head not too long before the Buddha woke up.

    WalkerlobsterKerome
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Tee Hee!

    In every single story I've ever read about Siddhartha and his long road to awakening, he had the same sort of discourse in his head not too long before the Buddha woke up.

    [short musical interlude]

    Que Sera Sera

    ... and now back to ducks, dukkha and sukha and other weaving ...

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukha

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited June 5

    Q: why does the Buddha talk so much about life being misery?
    A: because it is. (laughter)

    — Asked at an Osho discourse

    We can joke about it, but misery is an important characteristic of life. It is a mixture. And Thich Nhat Hanh is right also, stopping trying to prove that everything is misery seems appropriate. A very timely contribution @walker.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    @David said:
    We could train to stop craving but then, that's another form of craving, isn't it?

    I'd say its the raft needed to get to the other shore, don't abandon it before you get across.


    The goal of Buddhism is ultimately liberation and enlightenment, that's where the teachings are pointing. Getting there takes quite a lot of dedication and effort. Its not a goal most people have for their Buddhism and don't need to have. But if your goal is different than the goal implied in the teachings some aspects of the teachings aren't going to line up with your goals. It also isn't a matter of all or nothing, its perfectly fine to have something else in mind and still practice Buddhism. The goals and practices of Buddhism don't have to line up perfectly with want any of us want out of them for us to get benefit from them.

    JasonRen_in_blackKerome
  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited June 5

    @person said:

    @David said:
    We could train to stop craving but then, that's another form of craving, isn't it?

    I'd say its the raft needed to get to the other shore, don't abandon it before you get across.


    The goal of Buddhism is ultimately liberation and enlightenment, that's where the teachings are pointing. Getting there takes quite a lot of dedication and effort. Its not a goal most people have for their Buddhism and don't need to have. But if your goal is different than the goal implied in the teachings some aspects of the teachings aren't going to line up with your goals. It also isn't a matter of all or nothing, its perfectly fine to have something else in mind and still practice Buddhism. The goals and practices of Buddhism don't have to line up perfectly with want any of us want out of them for us to get benefit from them.

    The goal I see is an ever growing awareness and the cessation of suffering. Not liberation from anything or just right view or enlightenment. Knowing the truth is one thing but living it quite another.

    None of this changes the fact that dissatisfaction is subjective and conditional on our craving things to be how we want them to be.

  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited June 5

    @Kerome said:
    Q: why does the Buddha talk so much about life being misery?
    A: because it is. (laughter)

    — Asked at an Osho discourse

    We can joke about it, but misery is an important characteristic of life. It is a mixture. And Thich Nhat Hanh is right also, stopping trying to prove that everything is misery seems appropriate. A very timely contribution @walker.

    Exactly. We need to accept both the good and the bad unless we want to needlessly add to our suffering.

    The way things are is fine. The dissatisfaction is all manufactured.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    edited June 6

    @David said:
    The goal I see is an ever growing awareness and the cessation of suffering. Not liberation from anything or just right view or enlightenment.

    To me this sounds like you're just using short definitions of enlightenment and liberation rather than the actual words.

    Knowing the truth is one thing but living it quite another.

    Agreed, that is the whole point. I'm not under any illusion that intellectual knowledge is the same as experiential knowledge. I do think, at least for me I should say, that having a clear intellectual understanding is an important basis for gaining an experiential understanding. Like a map showing you the directions.

    None of this changes the fact that dissatisfaction is subjective and conditional on our craving things to be how we want them to be.

    When we engage in pleasant things our craving for them builds. The greater the craving the greater the suffering, so it is subjective, if it isn't an issue for you though by all means do as you feel. I think its about training the mind to reduce its attachments and cravings. Technically I think it is possible to engage in a pleasant activity and not increase our desire for it, I guess I can't do it so its helpful for me to restrain my pursuit of pleasure.

    The dissatisfaction is all manufactured.

    I don't think its about building aversion, its about letting go.

    Ren_in_black
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @person said:
    The goals and practices of Buddhism don't have to line up perfectly with what any of us want out of them for us to get benefit from them.

    Yes, this is true. But finding the right teacher and the right tradition becomes more important, and also more difficult, the less orthodox you become. It’s also a question of having to be aware about the direction of the teaching, you can no longer just blindly accept. You need to continually keep in mind the Buddha’s statement about testing the teachings.

    @person said:
    I do think, at least for me I should say, that having a clear intellectual understanding is an important basis for gaining an experiential understanding. Like a map showing you the directions.

    This is another difficulty with leaving the trodden path — it’s difficult to find clear descriptions of where you are going. But you have to realise that as soon as you start encountering strong internal objections to the path, that to a large extent you are taking charge of your own spiritual direction. It’s no longer as easy as just buying a few books and following them, you have taken a stand, defined what is acceptable and what not.

    I do think it is a problem with the sutra’s of the Buddha, that he often gave a teaching specifically to a person or group, and it happens frequently that not much is known about the circumstances. So the teaching is tailored to this person or that, and it’s hard to tell whether this teaching might apply to you.

    Technically I think it is possible to engage in a pleasant activity and not increase our desire for it, I guess I can't do it so its helpful for me to restrain my pursuit of pleasure.

    In some areas I don’t have problems with desire for pleasant activities, in others like alcohol I have a tendency to feel a yearning which I would class as not a good sign.

    person
  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited June 6

    @person said:

    @David said:
    The goal I see is an ever growing awareness and the cessation of suffering. Not liberation from anything or just right view or enlightenment.

    To me this sounds like you're just using short definitions of enlightenment and liberation rather than the actual words.

    That means nothing. Please avoid this kind of speech as it is false. "Sounds like you're just". You're better than that.

    Knowing the truth is one thing but living it quite another.

    Agreed, that is the whole point. I'm not under any illusion that intellectual knowledge is the same as experiential knowledge. I do think, at least for me I should say, that having a clear intellectual understanding is an important basis for gaining an experiential understanding. Like a map showing you the directions.

    Sure. So how does using a subjective term like "dissatisfaction" translate to an inherent quality?

    The dissatisfaction is all in your head. You don't need a road map to your head, just a cushion.

    None of this changes the fact that dissatisfaction is subjective and conditional on our craving things to be how we want them to be.

    When we engage in pleasant things our craving for them builds. The greater the craving the greater the suffering, so it is subjective, if it isn't an issue for you though by all means do as you feel. I think its about training the mind to reduce its attachments and cravings. Technically I think it is possible to engage in a pleasant activity and not increase our desire for it, I guess I can't do it so its helpful for me to restrain my pursuit of pleasure.

    I guess that's one way to go. However, that still doesn't mean everything is unsatisfying except to the unsatisfied.

    The dissatisfaction is all manufactured.

    I don't think its about building aversion, its about letting go.

    Letting go of what exactly?

    Craving is dependent on a grasping mind, not the object of desire.

  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    It can also even be said that the ending of an enjoyable experience is precisely what makes it satisfying.

    That is also a subjective observation but no less true.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    edited June 6

    @David said:

    @person said:

    @David said:
    The goal I see is an ever growing awareness and the cessation of suffering. Not liberation from anything or just right view or enlightenment.

    To me this sounds like you're just using short definitions of enlightenment and liberation rather than the actual words.

    That means nothing. Please avoid this kind of speech as it is false. "Sounds like you're just". You're better than that.

    I don't think what I said was false speech. Liberation = cessation of suffering. Enlightenment = the completion of an ever growing awareness.

    Knowing the truth is one thing but living it quite another.

    Agreed, that is the whole point. I'm not under any illusion that intellectual knowledge is the same as experiential knowledge. I do think, at least for me I should say, that having a clear intellectual understanding is an important basis for gaining an experiential understanding. Like a map showing you the directions.

    Sure. So how does using a subjective term like "dissatisfaction" translate to an inherent quality?
    The dissatisfaction is all in your head. You don't need a road map to your head, just a cushion.

    This is the whole question of suffering. One of the three marks of existence of Buddhism along side anatta and anicca is dukkha. That one of the qualities of the world is its unsatisfactoriness. Enlightened beings are able to engage in the world without craving so you are right, ultimately the source of suffering is in us not in the world. I just compare my overall state of mind if I've been in retreat and my state of mind when I'm in the world, even if engaged in pleasant experiences, and in retreat it is considerably less. Well more the results of each produce different results in terms of internal states rather than the in the moment experiences, retreats are often difficult and painful in the moment, while parties and cookies are pleasant in the moment.

    I shouldn't compare my experience with others though, everyone is different.

    None of this changes the fact that dissatisfaction is subjective and conditional on our craving things to be how we want them to be.

    When we engage in pleasant things our craving for them builds. The greater the craving the greater the suffering, so it is subjective, if it isn't an issue for you though by all means do as you feel. I think its about training the mind to reduce its attachments and cravings. Technically I think it is possible to engage in a pleasant activity and not increase our desire for it, I guess I can't do it so its helpful for me to restrain my pursuit of pleasure.

    I guess that's one way to go. However, that still doesn't mean everything is unsatisfying except to the unsatisfied.

    The dissatisfaction is all manufactured.

    I don't think its about building aversion, its about letting go.

    Letting go of what exactly?

    Craving is dependent on a grasping mind, not the object of desire.

    What do you do to let go of your grasping and craving while engaged with the world?

    It can also even be said that the ending of an enjoyable experience is precisely what makes it satisfying.

    That is also a subjective observation but no less true.

    You do you, this doesn't sound like the Buddhist path to me though.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    edited June 6

    I don't know if the teaching on the three levels of suffering is helpful here or not. Often people think of suffering only in terms of the first level.

    1.The suffering of suffering. This is the one we’re all familiar with: the pain of birth, old age, sickness, and death, as the Buddha described it.
    2.The suffering of change. When you do get what you want, you can’t hold onto it. Even if things are going great now, it’s just a matter of time. The richest, most successful person in the world will eventually lose it all (see 1).
    3.All-pervasive suffering. This is the type of suffering we are most likely not to recognize, yet the most instructive when we do. It’s the general background of anxiety and insecurity that colors even our happiest moments. Deep down, we fear that life doesn’t offer us solid ground and that our very existence is questionable. From a Buddhist point of view, these doubts are well-founded, and exploring them offers us glimpses of wisdom.

    https://www.lionsroar.com/buddhism-by-the-numbers-the-three-kinds-of-suffering/

    Since I'm bringing up the subject, I think its interesting that there is a bit of a debate on the interpretation of the three levels that sounds reasonable to me.

    https://www.wildmind.org/blogs/on-practice/three-forms-of-suffering

    Ren_in_blackコチシカ
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