Life Sux

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Life Sux

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 29, 2010 5:47 am

Hi Bodom,
bodom wrote: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?

I thought so. That's why I am having trouble figuring out what exactly the objection is to Bhikkhu Bodhi's statement, which I understand to mean that what we take as a "me" is just selfless phenomena (that can be classified under the headings of the five aggregates) coming and going.

SN22:82
"Venerable sir, is that clinging the same as the five aggregates subject to clinging, or is the clinging something apart from the five aggregates subject to clinging?"

"Monk, that clinging is neither the same as the five aggregates subject to clinging, nor is the clinging something apart from the five aggregates subject to clinging. But rather, the desire and lust for them, that is the clinging there."

[Bhikku Bodhi comments that the aggregates are not reducible to clinging, but there is no clinging that does not have the aggregates as support and object.]

Mike
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Re: Life Sux

Postby acinteyyo » Sat May 29, 2010 11:11 am

mikenz66 wrote: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.

Hi Mike,
what appears to be "us" is just the five aggregates, that's fine. It makes clear that "us" isn't based upon the wrong belief in a self. But when someone just says "we are the five aggregates" it's not clear. There "we" could be meant in terms of self, which would imply that "our self" ("we") is the five aggregates. But the five aggregates aren't the self, they're not-self. Now clearer what I was trying to point out?
mikenz66 wrote:Or are you suggesting that there is some part of "we" that is outside of the aggregates?

No.
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)

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Re: Life Sux

Postby bodom » Sat May 29, 2010 12:39 pm

Hi Acinteyyo,

I think you are taking Bodhi's words too literally. Bodhi did not "just" say say we are the aggregates. It is clear he did not. What he is saying is that whatever or whoever we believe we are, the sense of I, me and mine, arises solely because of the indentification with the aggregates. From where else would a sense of self arise? "We" are the aggregates. "I" am the aggregates. "You" are the aggregates.

He goes on to say "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."

I think Bodhi is very clear and I dont believe anyone after reading this particular section will leave feeling that Bodhi is advocating that "we" are the aggregates. At least I didn't.

: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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Re: Life Sux

Postby acinteyyo » Sat May 29, 2010 2:27 pm

bodom wrote:Hi Acinteyyo,

I think you are taking Bodhi's words too literally. Bodhi did not "just" say say we are the aggregates. It is clear he did not. What he is saying is that whatever or whoever we believe we are, the sense of I, me and mine, arises solely because of the indentification with the aggregates. From where else would a sense of self arise? "We" are the aggregates. "I" am the aggregates. "You" are the aggregates.

He goes on to say "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."

I think Bodhi is very clear and I dont believe anyone after reading this particular section will leave feeling that Bodhi is advocating that "we" are the aggregates. At least I didn't.

:anjali:

maybe, language in itself often is unclear. I don't have any problems with what Bhikkhu Bodhi says. Actually I totally agree. Sometimes I just prefer a different phrasing, however I don't insist on a particular phrasing at all so I'm fine with that.
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)

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Re: Life Sux

Postby thecharmedbaja » Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:17 pm

Remember where the first Noble Truth leads - there is always a way out. I also noticed that you said life 'sux' - is that because some individuals believe the only way out is death; you can only become enlightened at death? Think of Gautama Buddha: he was able to teach for forty years after his enlightenment.

It depends how you make your life - i.e. whether or not you stick to the teachings, which can help you get out of unsatisfatoriness.

I have come across many non Buddhists who hold this view - life is rubbish and Buddhism is pessimistic - simply because they do not take into account the last two Noble Truths...

:namaste:,

Jasmine
'He is able who thinks he is able.' - The Buddha
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Re: Life Sux

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:05 pm

Life is all good and bad and in between- (still good?) ..and then you die (still good?)...and get reborn again (still good?) ..and again (still good) ..and again and again (still good) ..a hundred million times doing the same stuff all over again (still good?)

That is why it is unsatisfactory

To have a need to stop this cycle you accept an important part of Right view (the 'forerunner' of the path factors) - Rebirth.

Without right view there will always be questions. For anyone who doesnt accept that Life Sux, the practice will be without the heartwood. Suttas say that it is suffering which leads to the search and faith in Buddha-dhamma. This is not to say that everyone must start there, but they certainly must go past that point at some point.

The Buddha said that evevry moment that arises is Dukhha. Now that is not an opinion but a statement which arises from understanding deeply the true nature of phenomena. Everyone who sees it, agrees with it. Those who havent seen it through insight practice wont agree with it. It doesnt make those who have seen it sad, it makes them wise. It is also the first step in finding a way out of it.

Mental suffering falls away when a person becomes an arahanth (sopadisesa nibbana- nibbana with residue remaining)
Everything that is unsatisfactory falls away when the aggregates dissolve at death (anupadisesa nibbana- nibbana with no residue/'pari'- nibbana- full nibbana). The fact there is this distinction should be a clue that endless rounds of samsara without suffering is not an option in the buddhist path (which is what most buddhists actually want due to clinging)).

Without entirely letting go of samsara as unsatisfactory (not having aversion towards it, but simply dropping away from it as it is empty of anything worthwhile clinging to in a neutral mind state) there is no escape from the field of perception ('the world') into nibbana.

I'm not being a stick in the mud here.

There is great happiness in being able to access states of letting go of the world.
It is a drastic measure - but you will see that it is the only permanent option. This dhamma is for the wise ..and I might add, the strong.

Don't even try to explain it to others. It's tough enough doing it for buddhist practitioners.


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With Metta

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Re: Life Sux

Postby Guy » Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:24 am

Well said RYB!
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: Life Sux

Postby phil » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:50 pm

Hi all

I find that over the last ten years the impulse to see life as beautiful or glorious or to celebrate life is waning, so maybe it could be said that while the Buddha didn't say "life sux", his teaching guides us past believing "life totally rocks man." I feel very grateful for a human birth in the time of the Buddha, and strive to fulfill it, but it seems less and less easy (thankfully) to feel intoxicated about life. There is often suspicion of pleasures, a kind of sitting back from them and thinking "yes, but..." So something very fundamental happens there, I think....

..and if we think in terms of the five daily recollections that we are encouraged to make, that we are not beyond ageing, illness and death, and that we will be separated from all we love, it certainly seems true that the Buddha did not celebrate life, though that might not go down with some modern Buddhists, especially in the West. And of course the recollections could lead to a "seize the day" kind of celebrating the moment of being alive etc, which I don't think the BUddha ever did.

Metta,

Phil

p.s I write children's stories that celebrate life, so I wear two hats. I wonder if that counts as lying...no. Celebrating life is a healthy stage to go through, emotionally....
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Life Sux

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:48 am

phil wrote:... I write children's stories that celebrate life, so I wear two hats. I wonder if that counts as lying...no. Celebrating life is a healthy stage to go through, emotionally....

I'd go further than that: celebrating life is *always* healthy - celebrating, and then letting go. And, in general, children do just that.
The older we get, the more likely we are to cling to past joys and the more likely we are to bring suffering on ourselves by doing so. Think about the happiest older people you know: do they spend most of their time in the present (as children do), the future or the past? Then think about the most miserable older people you know, and ask the same question.

:namaste:
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Re: Life Sux

Postby phil » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:57 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
phil wrote:... I write children's stories that celebrate life, so I wear two hats. I wonder if that counts as lying...no. Celebrating life is a healthy stage to go through, emotionally....

I'd go further than that: celebrating life is *always* healthy - celebrating, and then letting go. And, in general, children do just that.
The older we get, the more likely we are to cling to past joys and the more likely we are to bring suffering on ourselves by doing so. Think about the happiest older people you know: do they spend most of their time in the present (as children do), the future or the past? Then think about the most miserable older people you know, and ask the same question.

:namaste:
Kim


Well said, Kim. Celebrating and letting go. And an excellent question(s) at the end.

But I wonder about kids. Do they really live in the moment? Aren't they just as driven by hungers/dissatisfactions as adults are? Aren't we born with those hungers/dissatasfactions? Or do we have to relearn them with each rebirth? I guess that's not too far off topic.

Metta,

Phiil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Life Sux

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:53 am

phil wrote:...I wonder about kids. Do they really live in the moment? Aren't they just as driven by hungers/dissatisfactions as adults are? Aren't we born with those hungers/dissatasfactions? Or do we have to relearn them with each rebirth? I guess that's not too far off topic.

Metta,

Phiil

I spend a lot of time with kids between 8 and 13 and have spent a fair bit of time with younger and older children in the past. (You, as someone who writes for children, should be doing the same, I reckon. :tongue: )
And in general they really do live more in the moment than adults. When they are happy, they don't negate it by thinking of past or future problems, and when they are unhappy they are REALLY unhappy - right NOW! - until they flip out of it and forget it in a matter of seconds. It's even clearer with younger children - spend time with a toddler and you will know what I mean.
Whether that way of operating is 'better' is a complicated question. I tend to think the long-term view evolved as a useful survival tool but has brought negative consequences along with it. In Buddhist terms, I don't think you can have 'clinging' and its consequent suffering without memory and foresight ... maybe (just off the top of my head, here) the path helps us to discard the negatives without having to lose the positives.

:namaste:
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Re: Life Sux

Postby Alex123 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:29 am

cooran wrote:Hello Tree, all,

The Buddha never taught that "Life is suffering".

He taught that "There is suffering".

with metta
Chris


And what includes dukkha (at least on a physical level) is being alive and existing in the first place.

Dukkha is inseperable from existence.
"dust to dust...."
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Re: Life Sux

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:11 am

Alex123 wrote:
cooran wrote:Hello Tree, all,

The Buddha never taught that "Life is suffering".

He taught that "There is suffering".

with metta
Chris


And what includes dukkha (at least on a physical level) is being alive and existing in the first place.

Dukkha is inseperable from existence.
True, but not without qualifications.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Life Sux

Postby Alex123 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:27 pm

tiltbillings wrote:True, but not without qualifications.



As you know there are at least 2 categories of dukkha. Mental suffering due to kilesas and the fact of having physical body itself. It is true that an Arahant doesn't have ANY kind of mental suffering as an Arahant has no kilesas. However an Arahant, even the Buddha, can experience bodily pain (which is dukkha).

Buddha experienced plenty of illnesses even though He had none mental kilesas.
"dust to dust...."
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Re: Life Sux

Postby aot » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:10 pm

i would say life sucks but it would probably come out funny because i don't have my new false teeth.
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Re: Life Sux

Postby Su Dongpo » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:33 pm

The conclusion to this thought goes some like this:

Things are bad (Life Sux),
And they're going to get worse --
Before they end.

That's me, not a quotation, but I think the sentiment is closer to that of Sartre than Buddha.

metta,
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Re: Life Sux

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:35 pm

Aw hell.

I have distilled all my life's experience to a very simple, moronic attitude:

The world is indeed an awful, awful place. This cannot be denied.

But life is very, very good.

Thank you Buddha. :tongue:

J
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Re: Life Sux

Postby Alex123 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:29 pm

“‘The eye, friends, is suffering: it is for the full understanding of this that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One. Forms are suffering: it is for the full understanding of the m that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One. Eye-consciousness is suffering … Eye-contact is suffering … Whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is suffering: it is for the full understanding of this that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One.

[Alex: same is said regarding other bases]

The mind is suffering … Whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition … that too is suffering: it is for the full understanding of this that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One. This, friends, is the suffering for the full understanding of which the holy life is lived under the Blessed One.’

SN36.152 (7) For What Purpose the Holy Life? BB Trans


According to the suttas, even 6 sense faculties and their objects are dukkha. It is not just clinging that makes something dukkha. Clinging certainly adds dukkha but even bare organs & their objects are dukkha. If something was permanent and inherently sukkha, then clinging to it would not be bad.




"Monks, you would do well to possess that possession, the possession of which would be constant, permanent, eternal, not subject to change, that would stay just like that for an eternity. But do you see that possession, the possession of which would be constant, permanent, eternal, not subject to change, that would stay just like that for an eternity?"

"No, lord."

"Very good, monks. I, too, do not envision a possession, the possession of which would be constant, permanent, eternal, not subject to change, that would stay just like that for an eternity.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Fault with clinging is because the object of clinging is not constant, permanent or happy. But even more important is that clinging causes rebirth which means that 6 sense bases (dukkha!) arise again & again.

And what, friends, is the noble truth of the origination of stress? The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensuality, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



The Blessed One said, "From an inconceivable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. What do you think, monks? Which is greater, the blood you have shed from having your heads cut off while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time, or the water in the four great oceans?"

"As we understand the Dhamma taught to us by the Blessed One, this is the greater: the blood we have shed from having our heads cut off while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time, not the water in the four great oceans."

"Excellent, monks. Excellent. It is excellent that you thus understand the Dhamma taught by me.

"This is the greater: the blood you have shed from having your heads cut off while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time, not the water in the four great oceans.

"The blood you have shed when, being cows, you had your cow-heads cut off: Long has this been greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"The blood you have shed when, being water buffaloes, you had your water buffalo-heads cut off... when, being rams, you had your ram-heads cut off... when, being goats, you had your goat-heads cut off... when, being deer, you had your deer-heads cut off... when, being chickens, you had your chicken-heads cut off... when, being pigs, you had your pig-heads cut off: Long has this been greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"The blood you have shed when, arrested as thieves plundering villages, you had your heads cut off... when, arrested as highway thieves, you had your heads cut off... when, arrested as adulterers, you had your heads cut off: Long has this been greater than the water in the four great oceans.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"dust to dust...."
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Re: Life Sux

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:24 am

That's more than enough misery for now, thanks everyone.
Life is good.
:smile: :smile: :jumping: :smile: :smile:
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Re: Life Sux

Postby Su Dongpo » Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:31 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:That's more than enough misery for now, thanks everyone.
Life is good.
:smile: :smile: :jumping: :smile: :smile:
Kim



Noooo!!!!

We want more misery! Give us more more more!
:rolleye:
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