Life Sux

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom
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sukhamanveti
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Re: Life Sux

Postby sukhamanveti » Wed May 26, 2010 1:37 pm

altar wrote:The Buddha didn't just teach that birth was suffering. He taught that "the all" was suffering, "the world" was, the five khandas subjected to clinging. It's clear, I think, that "life is not without suffering," except for one well gone, who's just left with physical pain as the occasions arise.
Not all life is the same, so some might have more suckiness than others. But does it all suck at the bottom of it? Wherever there is clinging, there is suffing. So if there is clinging to life, there is suffing.
I think it's said that no existence, no state of being, is truly desireable. Even a happy life might be undesireable. Certainly preferable to an unhappy life (all other things being equal).
By the way, retro, a picture of a monk smiling, while maybe a nice photo, isn't really a serious kind of argument. We could contemplate that those very teeth may one day be in a garbage bin somewhere, who knows, to say nothing of the skin and internal organs.


Hi, altar. My problem with rendering the first noble truth as "Life sux" is that it implies that nothing can be done about it, that one may as well throw up one's hands in despair. If life itself were suffering, dissatisfaction, and the like, then I think that one might logically conclude there would be no escape. In fact, many nonBuddhists seem to assume that this is precisely what the Buddha taught. But the Buddha and the arahants were frequently described as happy, joyful people, entirely freed from dukkha, as Walpola Rahula points out in his book What the Buddha Taught. There is a way out.
Last edited by sukhamanveti on Wed May 26, 2010 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sīlaṃ balaṃ appaṭimaṃ.
Sīlaṃ āvudhamuttamaṃ.
Sīlamābharaṇaṃ seṭṭhaṃ.
Sīlaṃ kavacamabbhutaṃ.


Virtue is a matchless power.
Virtue is the greatest weapon.
Virtue is the best adornment.
Virtue is a wonderful armor.

Theragatha 614


Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ,
kusalassa upasampadā,
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ,
etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.


Refraining from all wrong-doing,
Undertaking the good,
Purifying the mind,
This is the teaching of the buddhas.

Dhammapada v. 183/14.5

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Re: Life Sux

Postby dragonwarrior » Wed May 26, 2010 3:15 pm

You make it sux
You make it meaningful
:anjali:

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Re: Life Sux

Postby withoutcolour » Thu May 27, 2010 3:43 am

This made me think of a very famous rhyme I heard when I was a teenager.
And it made me change it to this:

Life sucks, then you die
%$#@ the world, let's all... meditate.

:)
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ
sabbe sattā sukhita hontu

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Re: Life Sux

Postby effort » Thu May 27, 2010 4:33 am

cooran wrote:Hello Tree, all,

The Buddha never taught that "Life is suffering".

He taught that "There is suffering".

with metta
Chris


so whats the difference? as he said everything is impermanence and impermanent is dukka so life is also dukka.

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Re: Life Sux

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Thu May 27, 2010 4:59 am

I dont think my life sux.
Recently at work I hurt my back.But I am not in pain.
There is pain-it is not constant and it is not mine.
The first noble truth only points the way to the third and forth noble truths,
Thanks to Lord Buddha for pointing that out. :anjali:
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
And meaning

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Re: Life Sux

Postby Goofaholix » Thu May 27, 2010 5:07 am

effort wrote:so whats the difference? as he said everything is impermanence and impermanent is dukka so life is also dukka.


He didn't say impermanence is dukkha, there is nothing sucky about impermanence it's just the way thinkgs are. However not accepting and acknowledging the fact of impermanence is one of the causes of dukkha, this is why I say it's not life that sux but our attitude towards life.

And of course what's really unsucky about all this is that there is a way to change our attitude and the Buddha explained it.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah

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Re: Life Sux

Postby Zom » Fri May 28, 2010 10:03 am

He didn't say impermanence is dukkha, there is nothing sucky about impermanence it's just the way thinkgs are


Actually he did say.

"There are these three forms of stressfulness, my friend: the stressfulness of pain, the stressfulness of fabrication, the stressfulness of change. These are the three forms of stressfulness." (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html)




"What do you think, Anuradha: Is form constant or inconstant?"
"Inconstant, lord."
"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"
"Stressful, lord." (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html)



If we equate life with mind-body, then life is stressful:

"Now what, friends, is the noble truth of stress? Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; not getting what is wanted is stressful.In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful. (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html)



However, though it is always stressful, it is not stressful on 100%:

"If consciousness were exclusively stressful — followed by stress, infused with stress and not infused with pleasure — beings would not be infatuated with consciousness. But because consciousness is also pleasurable — followed by pleasure, infused with pleasure and not infused with stress — beings are infatuated with consciousness. Through infatuation, they are captivated. Through captivation, they are defiled. This is the cause, this the requisite condition, for the defilement of beings. And this is how beings are defiled with cause, with requisite condition."
(http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html)

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Re: Life Sux

Postby Stephen K » Fri May 28, 2010 12:41 pm

Bhikkhu Bodhi:

"This is the noble truth of suffering. Birth is suffering; aging is suffering; sickness is suffering; death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are suffering; association with the unpleasant is suffering; separation from the pleasant is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates of clinging are suffering.

The last statement makes a comprehensive claim that calls for some attention. The five aggregates of clinging (pañcupadanakkandha) are a classificatory scheme for understanding the nature of our being. What we are, the Buddha teaches, is a set of five aggregates — material form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness — all connected with clinging. We are the five and the five are us. Whatever we identify with, whatever we hold to as our self, falls within the set of five aggregates. Together these five aggregates generate the whole array of thoughts, emotions, ideas, and dispositions in which we dwell, "our world." Thus the Buddha's declaration that the five aggregates are dukkha in effect brings all experience, our entire existence, into the range of dukkha.
"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... toend.html
Last edited by Stephen K on Fri May 28, 2010 2:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
With metta,
Upāsaka Sumana

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Re: Life Sux

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 28, 2010 12:58 pm

Greetings,

I'm not too enamoured with Bhikkhu Bodhi's equation of pañcupadanakkandha with pancakhanda...

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Life Sux

Postby acinteyyo » Fri May 28, 2010 2:08 pm

Stefan wrote:What we are, the Buddha teaches, is a set of five aggregates — material form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness — all connected with clinging. We are the five and the five are us. Whatever we identify with, whatever we hold to as our self, falls within the set of five aggregates. Together these five aggregates generate the whole array of thoughts, emotions, ideas, and dispositions in which we dwell, "our world." Thus the Buddha's declaration that the five aggregates are dukkha in effect brings all experience, our entire existence, into the range of dukkha.

I have to disagree in one point. We are not the five aggregates! This is very important! What we believe to be our self actually is one or more or all of the five aggregates of grasping but none of it is a self. The person or personality is the pañcupadanakkandha but personality (being in essence somebody) is an illusion. It depends on upādāna, more precisely the clinging to the belief in a self (attavada) which gives rise to personality-view (sakkāya-ditthi). The Budda didn't say that we are the five aggregates of grasping but rather what we believe to be our self actually is one or more or all of the five aggregates of grasping.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:

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Re: Life Sux

Postby sukhamanveti » Fri May 28, 2010 4:49 pm

Stefan wrote:Bhikkhu Bodhi:

"This is the noble truth of suffering. Birth is suffering; aging is suffering; sickness is suffering; death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are suffering; association with the unpleasant is suffering; separation from the pleasant is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates of clinging are suffering.

The last statement makes a comprehensive claim that calls for some attention. The five aggregates of clinging (pañcupadanakkandha) are a classificatory scheme for understanding the nature of our being. What we are, the Buddha teaches, is a set of five aggregates — material form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness — all connected with clinging. We are the five and the five are us. Whatever we identify with, whatever we hold to as our self, falls within the set of five aggregates. Together these five aggregates generate the whole array of thoughts, emotions, ideas, and dispositions in which we dwell, "our world." Thus the Buddha's declaration that the five aggregates are dukkha in effect brings all experience, our entire existence, into the range of dukkha.
"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... toend.html


I think that Bhikkhu Bodhi should have qualified his statement. Ordinary existence is tainted by dukkha. The same discourse declares a "path leading to the cessation of dukkha"! Bhikkhu Bodhi knows that buddhas and arahants are free from dukkha. They have attained the goal. They have extinguished attachment, aversion, and delusion, and, therefore, the very tanha or craving that this discourse tells us is the origin of suffering. (Upadana or clinging, including clinging to the aggregates, is conditioned by tanha or craving, according to the scriptures. It is to be overcome as well. It is optional.) "Happy indeed are the arahants! No craving can be found in them." (SN 22.76) In other words the arahants have overcome the origin of dukkha, have ended dukkha, and have attained happiness in the truest sense. Dukkha is optional, according to the scriptures.

I think that Buddhists sometimes don't realize what we are communicating to nonBuddhists about the teachings. Many nonBuddhists perceive Buddhism as negative and "pessimistic," pervaded by hopelessness. This misperception goes all the way back to the 19th century, but it persists to this day, partly because of how Buddhists present (or misrepresent) the teachings. Recently, comedian and TV show host Bill Maher (here in the U.S.A.) said, "Buddhism is for actors. And it really is outdated in some ways - the 'Life sucks, and then you die' philosophy was useful when Buddha came up with it around 500 B.C., because back then life pretty much sucked, and then you died..." Maher, like many, sees Buddhism as a form of despair. Who would want to practice hopelessness and misery? But, clearly, that isn't what Buddhism is about. Buddhism is supremely optimistic. It teaches that suffering can be overcome!

One of the terms applied to the Buddha in the scriptures is "ever-smiling" (mihita-pubbangama). His disciples are called "joyful and elated" (hattha-pahattha), "jubilant and exultant" (udaggudagga), "free from anxiety" (appossukka), etc. (See WR's What the Buddha Taught.) I wish that more people knew what a joyful, optimistic path Buddhism is.
Last edited by sukhamanveti on Fri May 28, 2010 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sīlaṃ balaṃ appaṭimaṃ.
Sīlaṃ āvudhamuttamaṃ.
Sīlamābharaṇaṃ seṭṭhaṃ.
Sīlaṃ kavacamabbhutaṃ.


Virtue is a matchless power.
Virtue is the greatest weapon.
Virtue is the best adornment.
Virtue is a wonderful armor.

Theragatha 614


Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ,
kusalassa upasampadā,
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ,
etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.


Refraining from all wrong-doing,
Undertaking the good,
Purifying the mind,
This is the teaching of the buddhas.

Dhammapada v. 183/14.5

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Re: Life Sux

Postby Goofaholix » Fri May 28, 2010 8:45 pm

Zom wrote:Actually he did say.


If conditions are changing and there is noone there to be stressed by them are they stress?

If stress were inherent in the conditions then there would be no way of becoming free from stress other than to stop the conditions from changing. Rather the stress is in our reaction and this is something we can change.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah

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Re: Life Sux

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 28, 2010 9:59 pm

Hi acinteyyo,
acinteyyo wrote:I have to disagree in one point. We are not the five aggregates! This is very important! What we believe to be our self actually is one or more or all of the five aggregates of grasping but none of it is a self. The person or personality is the pañcupadanakkandha but personality (being in essence somebody) is an illusion. It depends on upādāna, more precisely the clinging to the belief in a self (attavada) which gives rise to personality-view (sakkāya-ditthi). The Budda didn't say that we are the five aggregates of grasping but rather what we believe to be our self actually is one or more or all of the five aggregates of grasping.

I don't understand your objection. What appears to be "us" is just the five aggregates. That's how I take Bhikkhu Bodhi's statements.

Or are you suggesting that there is some part of "we" that is outside of the aggregates?

Mike

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Re: Life Sux

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 28, 2010 10:39 pm

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:I'm not too enamoured with Bhikkhu Bodhi's equation of pañcupadanakkandha with pancakhanda...

I'm trying to understand the nature of your rather cryptic comment. Do you mean that the aggregates are not always subject to clinging or are there some different aggregates when there is or is not clinging? The way I saw it was that there are these aggregates that we classify experience with. When there is clinging they are "aggregates of clinging". Just as when my car has a flat battery it is a "car subject to immobility".

A related issue, which is perhaps going off topic, but I think has some relevance to the overall discussion, is the nature of the aggregates (as categories, rather than "objects").
From Ven Nyanatiloka's Dictionary:
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... tm#khandha
Some writers on Buddhism who have not understood that the five khandha are just classificatory groupings, have conceived them as compact entities 'heaps', 'bundles', while actually, as stated above, the groups never exist as such, i.e. they never occur in a simultaneous totality of all their constituents. Also those single constituents of a group which are present in any given body-and-mind process, are of an evanescent nature, and so also their varying combinations. Feeling, perception and mental constructions are only different aspects and functions of a single unit of consciousness. They are to consciousness what redness, softness, sweetness, etc. are to an apple and have as little separate existence as those qualities.

I'm reminded of this because in a talk by Bhikkhu Bodhi that I recently listened to he pointed out that some similes used to describe the aggregates (e.g. as parts of a cart) can give the impression that they could be taken apart and still exist by themselves (wheels, axle, etc). The apple simile is better, in that it is clearer that the hardness, colour, taste, can not be separated from the apple. [On an everyday, macroscopic, level for the chemists out there...]

Mike

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Re: Life Sux

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 28, 2010 10:56 pm

Hi Goofaholix,
Goofaholix wrote:
Zom wrote:Actually he did say.


If conditions are changing and there is noone there to be stressed by them are they stress?

If stress were inherent in the conditions then there would be no way of becoming free from stress other than to stop the conditions from changing. Rather the stress is in our reaction and this is something we can change.

It seems to me that this is a question of definition. I.e. whether you define "stress" to be the dukkha http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Buddhist.Dictionary/dic3_d.htm#dukkha eliminated by an Arahant or all possible froms of dukkha. According to the Suttas the dukkha of painful feeling, etc, remains. But, as you say, the reaction to that dukkha is gone.

Mike

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Re: Life Sux

Postby Annapurna » Fri May 28, 2010 10:59 pm

Tree wrote:
So does Life Suck?


Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't.

Neither state is :quote: permanent. :quote:
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Re: Life Sux

Postby retrofuturist » Sat May 29, 2010 2:42 am

Greetings Mike,

retrofuturist wrote:I'm not too enamoured with Bhikkhu Bodhi's equation of pañcupadanakkandha with pancakhanda...

mikenz66 wrote:I'm trying to understand the nature of your rather cryptic comment. Do you mean that the aggregates are not always subject to clinging or are there some different aggregates when there is or is not clinging? The way I saw it was that there are these aggregates that we classify experience with. When there is clinging they are "aggregates of clinging". Just as when my car has a flat battery it is a "car subject to immobility".

What I meant is that there are no pañcupadanakkandha for an arahant, only pancakhanda.

Thus pañcupadanakkandha and pancakhanda are not synonymous terms.

I also agree with what acinteyyo said above.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: Life Sux

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 29, 2010 4:21 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:What I meant is that there are no pañcupadanakkandha for an arahant, only pancakhanda.

Yes I agree. Since an Arahant is not clinging, there are no aggregates subject to clinging. But does that change the nature of the aggregates? Of course, certain subsets of aggregates won't arise - formations involving hatred for example. But presumably what arises can still be classified under form, feeling, perception, formations, consciousness.

Mike

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Re: Life Sux

Postby retrofuturist » Sat May 29, 2010 4:33 am

Greetings Mike,

Only that they no longer form the basis of "being"...

SN 23.2: Satta Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: Life Sux

Postby bodom » Sat May 29, 2010 4:39 am

The portion of Bodhi's article in question is describing how an ordinary unelightened being relates to the five aggregates not an Arahant. Or am I missing something?

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah


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