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How to contemplate dukkha - Dhamma Wheel

How to contemplate dukkha

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Stiphan
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How to contemplate dukkha

Postby Stiphan » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:50 pm

What is the way to contemplate dukkha?

Should one contemplate one's own dukkha, or that of another? Should one contemplate past or present dukkha?

Or all of the above?

Or is there another way to do it?

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Chula
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Re: How to contemplate dukkha

Postby Chula » Sat Dec 19, 2009 3:53 am

I usually contemplate dukkha in terms of anicca, dukkha, anatta perceptions instead of just by itself. Otherwise there's a tendency to personalize it. It's always good to start with the perception of impermanence of the khandhas and try to reflect on how clinging to them begets dukkha...

In terms of the suttas, there is the perception of stress (dukkha saññā) as a practice in the Saññā Sutta (AN 7.46):

"'The perception of stress in what is inconstant, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end': Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said?

"When a monk's awareness often remains steeped in the perception of stress in what is inconstant, a fierce perception of danger & fear is established in him toward idleness, indolence, laziness, heedlessness, lack of commitment, & lack of reflection, as if toward a murderer with an upraised sword. If, when a monk's awareness often remains steeped in the perception of stress in what is inconstant, a fierce perception of danger & fear is not established in him toward idleness, indolence, laziness, heedlessness, lack of commitment, & lack of reflection, as if toward a murderer with an upraised sword, then he should realize, 'I have not developed the perception of stress in what is inconstant; there is no step-by-step distinction in me; I have not arrived at the fruit of [mental] development.' In that way he is alert there. But if, when a monk's awareness often remains steeped in the perception of stress in what is inconstant, a fierce perception of danger & fear is established in him toward idleness, indolence, laziness, heedlessness, lack of commitment, & lack of reflection, as if toward a murderer with an upraised sword, then he should realize, 'I have developed the perception of stress in what is inconstant; there is a step-by-step distinction in me; I have arrived at the fruit of [mental] development.' In that way he is alert there."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

It's good to remember that perception is not-self when you're doing this. It's just a tool.

Hope this helps.

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SDC
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Re: How to contemplate dukkha

Postby SDC » Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:19 am

We suffer (stress) when our expectations, our desires come in conflict with reality. Venerable Madawela Punnaji says it best in that "we look for permanence in an impermanent world." I observe closely when this occurs and watch my emotional reactions.

I contemplate my own and that of others to best understand the process.

I have learned through my own practice that it is best to deal with the in the present moment and not with anything too far in the past. I find it difficult to recreate the exact conditions to be able to re-observe past suffering properly. For me, when I play back the past over and over I tend to lament rather than learn. But when you do that, then you can use that "lamenting about the past" as a current subject of contemplation! So it works out regardless.

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tiltbillings
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Re: How to contemplate dukkha

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:36 am


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SDC
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Re: How to contemplate dukkha

Postby SDC » Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:24 pm

Last edited by SDC on Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Laurens
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Re: How to contemplate dukkha

Postby Laurens » Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:29 pm

I didn't really learn this strategy from anywhere, its just something I started doing naturally.

Whenever I notice mental agitation, I make note that it is suffering. I automaticly try to let go of it.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan

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tiltbillings
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Re: How to contemplate dukkha

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:51 am


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David N. Snyder
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Re: How to contemplate dukkha

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:34 pm

From one of Goenka's Dhamma talks:

(paraphrased)

Student: Mr. Goenka, I have been meditating in this retreat for several days and you tell us to watch our sensations. But I don't have sensations. What should I do to acquire sensations?

Goenka: Do you have pain when you sit?

Student: Oh yes, my knees hurt, the forehead perspires, my legs fall asleep and then become painful . . . .

Goenka: These are all sensations!


Dukkha is all around us. Introspection using any technique will reveal this. Not doing any technique will reveal this. None of us are immune from dukkha, except for the arahants. It is best to focus on the breath, sensations, or other techniques at the suggestion of your teacher.
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SDC
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Re: How to contemplate dukkha

Postby SDC » Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:36 pm


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cooran
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Re: How to contemplate dukkha

Postby cooran » Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:26 pm

Hello Stefan,

This is the way Ajahn Sumedho teaches us to contemplate Dukkha -
The Four Noble Truths of Suffering via the Three aspects and Twelve stages.

The Four Noble Truths
http://www.watphaitasom.com/nobletruth/nobletruth2.htm

I find it excellent and I hope you do too.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Chula
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Re: How to contemplate dukkha

Postby Chula » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:34 pm

Last edited by Chula on Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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SDC
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Re: How to contemplate dukkha

Postby SDC » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:09 am


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xinuflux
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Re: How to contemplate dukkha

Postby xinuflux » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:46 pm

I've found noting the dukkha that forces posture changes very useful. Ajahn Naeb describes it in
Jack Kornfield's book

Metta

Grindle's Grindis
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Re: How to contemplate dukkha

Postby Grindle's Grindis » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:51 pm

Besides looking at it in terms of breaking it up into the khandas, one thing you can do is to experience the suffering fully. Don't fight it or try and get rid of it, but instead open your heart/citta to it completely. Where the khanda investigation is active, this is a passive form, and both can be useful. If you keep listening and feeling, instead of resisting and trying to "solve" suffering, you can really let go in a natural way. The suffering has nothing resisting it, so it starts to release itself. You just keep opening and letting go in a very subtle way. Good luck!


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