ravkes wrote:True. I guess my question wasn't phrased that well though. I can see many spiritual teachers and Zen Masters who preach about how to ease mental suffering, but when you throw them into a situation where physical pain is in the mix they'd probably suffer like the rest of us. Which makes me think that the Dharma is for people who already have their basic needs met to ease very obvious illusory suffering (petty crap brought upon those who cannot enjoy their luxuries, spiritual searching). Therefore, if people who really need the dharma (the impoverished because they're too busy trying to get food and water to meditate) can't practice it then what's the point?
It's easy for me to say that someone busy trying to get food and water can
practice. I humbly acknowledge I'm nowhere near that situation. But, I believe such a person can practice, even someone on their deathbed can practice. Here's an example from the suttas:http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
[Anathapindika:] "I am not getting better, venerable sir. I am not comfortable. My severe pains are increasing, not lessening. There are signs of their increasing, and not of their lessening. Extreme forces slice through my head, just as if a strong man were slicing my head open with a sharp sword... Extreme pains have arisen in my head, just as if a strong man were tightening a turban on my head with a tough leather strap... Extreme forces carve up my stomach cavity, just as if an expert butcher or his apprentice were to carve up the stomach cavity of an ox with a sharp butcher's knife... There is an extreme burning in my body, just as if two strong men, seizing a weaker man with their arms, were to roast and broil him over a pit of hot embers. I am not getting better, venerable sir. I am not comfortable. My severe pains are increasing, not lessening. There are signs of their increasing, and not of their lessening."
[Ven. Sariputta:] "Then, householder, you should train yourself in this way: 'I won't cling to the eye; my consciousness will not be dependent on the eye.' That's how you should train yourself. 'I won't cling to the ear... nose... tongue... body; my consciousness will not be dependent on the body.' ... 'I won't cling to the intellect; my consciousness will not be dependent on the intellect.' That's how you should train yourself.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230