Author Topic: But... but... samasara has kittens!!!  (Read 511 times)

Offline raindrop

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But... but... samasara has kittens!!!
« on: January 29, 2017, 01:06:33 pm »
I am relatively new to learning about Buddhism, and still having some trouble with basic concepts, especially when it comes to the four noble truths, and what the objectives of practice are supposed to be.

I can understand the first noble truth, that there is suffering/unsatisfactoriness/dukkha. My mind goes here *too much* - sometimes I get severely depressed/anxious and cannot stop thinking about the fact that someday everybody I love will die. Fortunately I'm not in a depressive episode at the moment, but that is what got me interested in Buddhism in the first place, because it seems like Buddhists might have a better way to deal with these sort of thoughts instead of just trying to push them away.

But then I come across the teachings on how there are different types of suffering, and even pleasant experiences are suffering because they won't last forever, and how the goal of practice is liberation from samsara, and my mind says "but... but... samasara has kittens, and kittens are wonderful!"

And I realize kittens can be part of the suffering of change as well, and will in a few decades be elderly incontinent arthritic cats that have to be put to sleep when they get too old and sick... but even if kittens are impermanent, to me that doesn't change the fact that laying on the floor letting a litter of kittens climb all over me and fall asleep on me is one of the most wonderful ways I can possibly spend an afternoon.

Does seeking liberation from samsara include seeking liberation/detachment from napping under piles of kittens, hugging my mother, eating freshly-baked cookies, and all of the other pleasant (although impermanent) things there are here? Sometimes I think that not being able to enjoy those things in the first place might be worse than the pain of eventually losing them...

Offline GoWithTheFlow

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Re: But... but... samasara has kittens!!!
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2017, 10:42:43 pm »
Someone will be able to explain better than I but the goal is not detachment from those things but to enjoy them in real, healthy way, by not craving for them and acknowledging that they they will one day end.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: But... but... samasara has kittens!!!
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2017, 02:57:49 am »

But then I come across the teachings on how there are different types of suffering, and even pleasant experiences are suffering because they won't last forever, and how the goal of practice is liberation from samsara, and my mind says "but... but... samasara has kittens, and kittens are wonderful!"

And I realize kittens can be part of the suffering of change as well, and will in a few decades be elderly incontinent arthritic cats that have to be put to sleep when they get too old and sick... but even if kittens are impermanent, to me that doesn't change the fact that laying on the floor letting a litter of kittens climb all over me and fall asleep on me is one of the most wonderful ways I can possibly spend an afternoon.

Does seeking liberation from samsara include seeking liberation/detachment from napping under piles of kittens, hugging my mother, eating freshly-baked cookies, and all of the other pleasant (although impermanent) things there are here? Sometimes I think that not being able to enjoy those things in the first place might be worse than the pain of eventually losing them...

No, it means unwholesome attachments to things. The kind that stop you enjoying life because you are too attached to the idea of death. Liberation means that you can enjoy kittens more, but this time in the full understanding of what you are ,what the kittens are, and the nature of life and death. There's a lot of Buddhist stuff which is freely available, but was never designed for the lay reader, without someone there to explain different terms, so you have to be careful when interpreting what it really means.
“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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