edwhys211 wrote:We have to learn lessons through numerous lives before reaching nirvana, and life is suffering, according to Buddha. Does that mean life is a bad thing that we must deal with and complete in hopes to escape it, or what? I understand there is much suffering in life, but there is also a lot of good.
we need to be very careful when making statements about what the Buddha said or actually intended. 'Life is suffering' sounds like it springs from an immature grasp of the Dhamma, imho. As I understand it, the Buddha taught that:
There is this phenomenon of dukkha (ie it is experienced by us, it exists for us at this time)
The root cause of dukkha is craving ('thirst', desire) for sense-pleasures
, for becoming
and for not-becoming
If this craving is extinguished, there is complete freedom from dukkha - Nibbana
There is a Path to the ending of this craving, the Noble Eightfold Path.
Now, that's not
the same as saying 'Life is suffering' in the often gloomy way that alot of people new to Buddhism seem to perceive it. (Don't worry, it's a common misapprehension, which I have also made myself).
A life lived in accordance with the Dhamma is good. A life lived in ignorance is not so good. I would rather put it that