Author Topic: A Question About Suffering  (Read 336 times)

Offline whalesong

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A Question About Suffering
« on: February 10, 2017, 03:51:19 pm »
Hello everyone.  I have a question about the concept of suffering.  I understand that everyone goes through suffering and that most people will grow old.  I also understand that everyone has tragedies.  But what if something horrific happens to you, like someone murder's your parents.  How should you take something like that?  I would be quite angry at that person.

Is it foolish to be "Buddhist" about some things, some things that are psychological in nature, such as anger about someone who has greatly wronged you?  Will Buddhism help that or should a person seek psychiatric help?

Buddhism has really helped me with my own tragedies but I don't know if it is really the answer to my problems.  I do Buddhism and yet I still have anger and still have problems, like it is locked away in my unconscious and Buddhism won't cure that.  Buddhism helps in the moment but it doesn't really cure the problem, in my opinion.  It has been a great and wonderful coping skill but I don't feel like it has cured me of my deepest problems, merely given me an excellent way to cope with what is going on with me.

Do you find that this is true?  That Buddhism doesn't cure a person of their ills but merely helps them?

I actually find it is kind of silly to be "wise" about my suffering...maybe I should just accept it as a part of my life...like I'm a diamond and it is a facet of my life. 

I've been studying Buddhism lightly for awhile, mostly online, and meditating for awhile, but I am new to more in-depth study and understanding about it.

Or, will it cure me of my suffering (and my suffering isn't the example above but it is severe).

Thank you.

Whale Song

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: A Question About Suffering
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2017, 10:15:09 pm »
Hi Whalesong,
It is you who cure yourself of suffering, not Buddhism. Buddhist teachings are merely a guide to help you in the process. If you find the guide useful, go for it.

Those of us who have visited undeveloped countries, and have witnessed the very serious suffering of underprivileged people with untreated ailments and deformities, who are begging for food on the streets in order to survive, should realize that such sights probably would have been common during the times of the Buddha.

That Gautama almost starved himself to death by fasting for a prolonged period, hoping to achieve enlightenment and a solution to the suffering he'd witnessed outside of his protected environment, is an indication of how serious and dedicated he was, but is also an indication of the extremity and severity of the suffering he probably witnessed outside of the palace walls.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: A Question About Suffering
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2017, 04:25:11 am »
Yes, the message of Buddhism is that you reduce your suffering by changing how you see the world. The actions will still be there, but your relationship with them changes. The path will let you see, and experience, things in a different way.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Dianet

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Re: A Question About Suffering
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2017, 06:26:53 am »
Hello,

I guess you  could say that my take on this question is that you "get out" of the practice of Buddhism what you put into it.

Certainly if there are large challenges, tragedies and injustices in our lives, taking an enlightened approach to them will not be easy or immediate-- but doing the work of really looking at our role and responses is the way forward and through.

I find one of the greatest gifts of practice is a sense of perspective, seeing the bigger picture, a lessening of focus on self and sense of victimhood.

Namaste,

Diane 

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: A Question About Suffering
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2017, 01:15:39 am »
Hi, Whalesong.

Buddha's teachings show us what suffering is, its origins, explains that there is a way to deal with it in all of its various aspects, and details the process of doing that.  Unless we follow that process through study and practice we will continue to suffer.  Buddhism is not theoretical, but practical.  It has to be studied, understood, and practiced.

As for our personal experiences, my suggestion is to observe those that have what you want, and ask for suggestions and assistance with the understanding that we are human and have a relatively equal distribution of all human types, except that Buddhists in the western world have a tendency to be a little more introspective than your garden variety of humans.

Hang around, continue to ask questions, study and learn, but most importantly...."practice"!   :hug:

_/\_ Ron.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: A Question About Suffering
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2017, 03:01:15 am »
Yes. Practice is key, mainly because there is a vast difference between knowing something intellectually, looking at an idea and saying 'Yes, that seems right', and the sort of emotional dimension you get when you practice. You get to know it with your whole being, rather than just your brain.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

 


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