Author Topic: Are we creating the right causes to stop our suffering?  (Read 7582 times)

WoselTenzin

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Are we creating the right causes to stop our suffering?
« on: July 17, 2011, 06:09:43 PM »
The main cause of our suffering is our mistaken perception that all things are permanent and unchangeable.  We create our own suffering when we react based on this mistaken perception.

From Buddha's teaching, we know that everything arises from causes and conditions and nothing exist permanently from its own side.  This does not mean that things do not exist.  It simply means that it does not exist the way see it as something solid and unchangeable.

If we realise that everything is changeable, then our mind would not suffer.  We may still experience the results of our past negative karma but the realisation of changeability or emptiness will protect our minds from suffering.  We will be free from samsara forever and attain permanent lasting happiness.

Since permanent cessation of suffering and lasting happiness is what all of us seek, based on how we view things on a daily basis, are we creating the right causes for happiness?  Or are we still stuck in our view that things are fixed and unchangeable?

 

Big Uncle

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Re: Are we creating the right causes to stop our suffering?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 04:54:23 AM »
I think the biggest wrong view that we all have is mistaken perception of our mortality. We keep acting in ways that distract us from thinking about our mortality. When we bring it up, people say we are morbid and we seldom have anything to do with death and impermanence. Even funerals become a taboo to us or we are too caught up with the lost of someone that we don't put a thought to our own mortality. In Buddhism, thinking, contemplating and meditating about our death is a very powerful and transformative form of practice.

It is easy, has little to no requirements but it brings us lasting results if we stick to it. It can also be done by anyone at all. If we do it right, we don't become sad and depressed, it makes us cherish others more and live a more meaningful life for others. I reiterate, death meditation is not really about death although death is the subject but it is really about life and how we live it. The inevitability of the subject matter - death brings us face to face with it and thus when we realize it, we change as we all want to go/ die meaningfully.

WoselTenzin

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Re: Are we creating the right causes to stop our suffering?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2011, 06:27:53 AM »
I think the biggest wrong view that we all have is mistaken perception of our mortality. We keep acting in ways that distract us from thinking about our mortality. When we bring it up, people say we are morbid and we seldom have anything to do with death and impermanence. Even funerals become a taboo to us or we are too caught up with the lost of someone that we don't put a thought to our own mortality. In Buddhism, thinking, contemplating and meditating about our death is a very powerful and transformative form of practice.

It is easy, has little to no requirements but it brings us lasting results if we stick to it. It can also be done by anyone at all. If we do it right, we don't become sad and depressed, it makes us cherish others more and live a more meaningful life for others. I reiterate, death meditation is not really about death although death is the subject but it is really about life and how we live it. The inevitability of the subject matter - death brings us face to face with it and thus when we realize it, we change as we all want to go/ die meaningfully.


It is true that most of us go through life thinking that we will not die soon.  That is why we still spend our time engaging in actions that has no benefit for our future lives.  Even whether it has benefit for this life or not is questionable. Although we may know intellectually that death is certain and the time of death is uncertain, we do not realise it and this is all reflected in our daily actions.

Thank you for the reminder Big Uncle.  It made me think more of this matter and the inevitability of it.   It makes me want make it a point to meditate on my own mortality so that I do not go through life deceiving myself and wasting my precious life on things that do no matter when I die which is an eventuality I can't avoid.

dsiluvu

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Re: Are we creating the right causes to stop our suffering?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2011, 07:15:43 PM »
Before I was a Buddhist, I was a Chatholic faith. We were never taught about the next life though we did acknowledge that life is precious. But never like the Buddhist style, where by you actually meditate on this precious human life and about immortality. It was more focused on how if one takes refuge in Jesus... one will be guaranteed a safe place in heaven. Wow... isn't that amazing, even a murderer could be heaven if you take refuge in Jesus! How simple and easy. So in a way death was something you can say I looked forward too. Why not since you will be going to a better place...away from all the sufferings here on earth!

Notthing about the next life or the existance of it until I read Dharma books that opened up my mind and also answered a lot of my question other religion could not. The part that strikes me most, that you can say even creates some kind of fear is not really abouth death but the causes we create now that will give results to our next life, next being. Cause and effect and Karma. This really was something new and something that made more sense as to why we suffer no matter how much you pray.

Then Buddhis stresses so much about how precious our human body is. How we often take it for granted most of the time and sometimes even abused it. Now when I know about cause and effect, I guess that is when I started to be a bit more consciencious about my actions and reactions. Definitely I am still learning to be mindful of it but meditating about how short this life is and that the karma we created good and bad will all come to us at the point of death and this determines our next rebirth. Would we be a spirit, a ghost, in the hells, become animals, be in the gods realm or would we get back this precious human body? Sure is something we can use to remind ourselves each time we act.

It is fortunate that we have the opportunity to know and hear Dharma who highlights this point to us so strongly. Imagine those who never know and will not know?

ratanasutra

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Re: Are we creating the right causes to stop our suffering?
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2012, 03:41:55 PM »
If we want to stop our suffering, we have to stop it where it begins, with its causes.
To stop the causes requires a knowledge, understand and realization of what they are and how they work so that we can do and deal with it in our daily.

The way to stop and not create the suffering is the four noble truths and the eightfold path which are :

1.   Life means suffering. Nobody gets what they want out of life, what happen in life are suffering such as birth, illness, aging and death.
2.   The cause of suffering is ignorance and clinging. By wanting and carving to it, it is the problem.
3.   There is a way to end suffering. By learning not to want it, not to carve into it.
4.   This is the way to end suffering: The Eightfold Path.
        1. Right Understanding Learning the nature of reality and the truth about life.
        2. Right Aspiration Making the commitment to living in such a way that our suffering can end.
        3. Right Effort Just Do It. No Excuses.
        4. Right Speech Speaking the truth in a helpful and compassionate way.
        5. Right Conduct Living a life consistent with our values.
        6. Right Livelihood Earning a living in a way that doesn’t hurt others.
        7. Right Mindfulness Recognizing the value of the moment; living where we are.
        8. Right Concentration Expanding our consciousness through meditation.

hope rainbow

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Re: Are we creating the right causes to stop our suffering?
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2012, 04:41:36 PM »
the right cause for our happiness???

There is no right cause for happiness that is to found elsewhere than within.
Happiness does not come from outside, it does not come from acquiring, nor from people.
Happiness arises within.

Ex: exactly the same situation experienced by 2 people may bring about happiness in one and sadness in the other, the causes for either sadness or happiness were within the experiencer.

biggyboy

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Re: Are we creating the right causes to stop our suffering?
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 04:43:56 PM »
True and I wouldn't dare to refute about the 4 Noble Truth and 8 Fold Path.  Pardon me here and I'm looking at practicality of life for now.  Honestly, how many would see all things that one are chasing after incessantly in this secular and mundane world (viewing from the spiritual point) are suffering? In my opinion 98% would see it otherwise due to the conditions, cultures and the way one is being brought up. To meditate on death and to view all things are impermanent and changeable will be hard to many.  As they would rather not even want to think or talk about it. Or many would also think that they won't be dying early.  So how can we, the practitioner to help these 98% to understand and say that whatever we are doing now is creating the cause for more suffering?

bambi

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Re: Are we creating the right causes to stop our suffering?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2012, 07:07:02 AM »
Happiness and sufferings are in our state of mind. We perceive that having material things will make us happy. We go round and round life looking for more money. Buying car, house, food, children, etc. makes us perceive that we will be happy but it becomes worse then because we start wanting more resulting in attachment. That doesn't mean we give up everything here and now but understand that we created the problems ourselves by wanting more. How many people you know who are rich are actually happy? Sad to say not many of them. Like what Big Uncle said, everything is impermanent! Happiness always come from within.

In order to attain this mind-state, according to Buddhist teaching, we must literally begin at the
beginning.  In other words, we must have a starting point.  This starting point is what Buddhist
teaching calls samvega.  Samvega has four basic elements.

1. The first element is that we see the ultimate futility of a life that centers only around the
satisfying of sensual desires.

2. The second element is that we see how complacent we are when it comes to finding true
happiness and to not be satisfied with indulging that complacency.

3. The third element is the development of a feeling of urgency.  We must feel an urgent need
to break out of this futility.

4. The fourth element is to accept that Samsaric existence, going round and round in the cycle
of birth, death and rebirth, is ultimately self-defeating.

Obviously this include our understanding and practicing of the Noble 8 Fold Path.

Materialists think that people are powerful because of their amazing external constructions, but all that actually comes from the human mind. Without the skill of the human mind there’s no external supermarket, therefore, instead of placing extreme value on the normal supermarket we should try to discover our own internal supermarket. That’s much more useful and leads to a balanced, even mind.

As I mentioned before, it sounds as if Buddhism is telling you to renounce all your possessions because extreme attachment is bad for you emotionally, but renunciation doesn’t mean physically giving up. You go to the toilet every day but that doesn’t mean you’re tied to it; you’re not too attached to your toilet, are you? We should have the same attitude to all the material things we use—give them a reasonable value according to their usefulness for human existence, not an extreme one.

If a boy runs crazily over dangerous ground to get an apple, trips, falls and breaks his leg, we think he’s foolish, exaggerating the value of the apple and putting his wellbeing at risk for the sake of achieving his goal. But we’re the same. We project extreme attachment onto objects of desire, exaggerating their beauty, which blinds us to our true potential. This is dangerous; it’s the same as the boy risking his life for an apple. Looking at objects with emotional attachment and chasing that hallucinated vision definitely destroys our own nature.

ratanasutra

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Re: Are we creating the right causes to stop our suffering?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2012, 08:42:33 AM »
the right cause for our happiness???

There is no right cause for happiness that is to found elsewhere than within.
Happiness does not come from outside, it does not come from acquiring, nor from people.
Happiness arises within.

Ex: exactly the same situation experienced by 2 people may bring about happiness in one and sadness in the other, the causes for either sadness or happiness were within the experiencer.

But most of us are looking for the happiness from outside where we are stuck, carving for things that we thought will bring us happiness. And even it make us happy but it doesn't stay forever, not even over night. But we doesn't realize it, hence we end up with carving/desire for more things and try to fulfil our happy from outside.

When i was young, the elder always told me that suffering and happiness are from our mind. We all know that but it doesn't help us to stop looking for the 'temporary of happiness' day after day. I guess because our attachment to the 8 worldly concerns is so strong combine with the ignorant mind, lead us to have more delusion mind, not see the truth of life and do something about it.

Well.. i do hope that sometime the suffering might turn out to real happiness as some one said, if you never feel sad before, you won't know how is the happy.


 
 


vajrastorm

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Re: Are we creating the right causes to stop our suffering?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2012, 08:53:41 AM »
Ratanasutra is correct in saying that the way to stop suffering lies in Lord Buddha's Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path.

The cause of suffering(the Second Noble Truth) are two-fold: negative delusions and negative Karma. Our negative delusions are the three poisons of Attachment(Craving/Clinging),Ignorance,and Hatred(Aversion). 

The Way out of Suffering is traditionally the 8-fold Path. But for Mahayana Buddhism, the Path is a long one that transcends this 8-fold Path(which includes the Three Higher Trainings of Ethics, Concentration and Wisdom ) to the level of the 5 Bodhisattva Paths of Accumulation, Preparation, Seeing, Meditation and No More Learning (from Geshe Tashi Tsering's 'The Four Noble Truths').

 

Ensapa

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Re: Are we creating the right causes to stop our suffering?
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2012, 10:10:14 AM »
My question is, why should we fear suffering to the point that we are obsessed with getting rid of it until nothing else matters? Why cant we see suffering just as another means to accelerating our Dharma practice? Sure, it can be painful when it happens but do we really want to dedicate our lives to only that and not on other goals such as saving others from suffering? If we do not suffer but everyone else suffers, what is the point? If the root of all suffering comes from self grasping, and by avoiding suffering or in the course of avoiding suffering we actually hang on to the self. Isnt the fear of pain and suffering itself to the point that we block out others itself an act of self grasping, and us obsessing for its end itself an act of self grasping? With that said, it does not mean that we inflict suffering on others because it does not matter to us, but it matters to them, but more like do we get so obsessed with getting rid of suffering that the rest of the Buddha's teachings, we do not need? Or would we fall in to that trap sooner or later?

This is what I have been thinking for a while. To me, suffering has 2 purposes: 1) to remind me that my negative actions and mistakes have consequences and it has results and 2) to remind me that I am still in samsara. Suffering delays my Dharma practice and it shakes my mind and prevents it from focusing on the Dharma which is the reason why I detest it. After all, in previous rebirths, I have experienced much suffering of being maimed, killed, betrayed, etc, so why do i need to be afraid of it now to the point that I am willing to give up my determination to benefit others for the sake of getting rid of suffering? I only experience suffering due to my self grasping and ignorance, so why would i want to entertain the idea that by increasing my own happiness and/or stopping my suffering i can get rid of suffering? But of course, having dharma works and practice delayed is the only downside to it for me and suffering is just suffering at the end.

I hope this does offer a alternate view of what suffering is. After all, we are all on the mahayana path and we should move on from the small scope.

Carpenter

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Re: Are we creating the right causes to stop our suffering?
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2012, 01:21:38 AM »
I agree with What Big Uncle said:
Quote
the biggest wrong view that we all have is mistaken perception of our mortality. We keep acting in ways that distract us from thinking about our mortality.

Today people have been living like they will be living for hundreds of years in this life, whenever we mentioned about impermanence and death, they refuse to listen and just ignore. But when death comes, they suffer in great fear, the fear of leaving their ‘belonging’, fear of going to the unknown place, and when come to the time of death, only they will realize that death is not the end, because they will be departing to another place after death. That is really suffers because we do not have time to repair anymore and great regret is the only thing we can have in mind.

My mum told me once, when my father passed away, he was in coma for about a month, and at the moment before his last breath, he seems to be struggling, my mum can see very clearly his face change as if he is leaving something he treasure very much. From what my mum told me, I felt that a great fear arises because he knows he is going to somewhere which he doesn’t know, and that is very scary, because the moment you open your eyes again, you might realized that you are an animal, spirits or in hell, scary not?

As the Buddhism degenerate further, people has slowly lost the merits to create the right cause to stop suffering, and slowly, the number of lower realms beings will become much greater than the upper realms. And this suffering will also become much greater and greater until the next Buddha – Maitreya to appear in this samsara world.

Jessie Fong

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Re: Are we creating the right causes to stop our suffering?
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2012, 01:51:04 AM »
Wikipedia explained : Suffering may be qualified as physical or mental. It may come in all degrees of intensity, from mild to intolerable. Factors of duration and frequency of occurrence usually compound that of intensity. Attitudes toward suffering may vary widely, in the sufferer or other people, according to how much it is regarded as avoidable or unavoidable, useful or useless, deserved or undeserved.
Suffering occurs in the lives of sentient beings in numerous manners, and often dramatically. As a result, many fields of human activity are concerned, from their own points of view, with some aspects of suffering. These aspects may include the nature of suffering, its processes, its origin and causes, its meaning and significance, its related personal, social, and cultural behaviors, its remedies, management, and uses.

Whatever causes us to feel uncomfortable then becomes a form of suffering, for we become so complacent in our own comfort zones that anything that triggers off something not acceptable becomes a sort of suffering.

Like ratanasutra rightly said : crave for things that we thought will bring us happiness -- the key word here is "thought".  Happiness is about the right frame of mind.

"Try to realise it's all within yourself
No one else can make you change."

[Within you without you, George Harrison, 1967]

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Are we creating the right causes to stop our suffering?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2015, 05:26:41 PM »
Buddha taught that nothing is independent and all things are dependant arisings.  As such all phenomena are impermanent and changeable.  Because of our mistaken perception that all things are permanent and never change is the real cause of our sufferings.