Author Topic: on suppression and hedonism  (Read 751 times)

Offline Arkena

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on suppression and hedonism
« on: September 26, 2018, 03:23:29 am »
So This is more on my personal tendencies, what kind of teachings work best for my personality type and where i might find (if anywhere) teachings more suited to me:

So there are a lot of Buddhist teachings on how when desires get out of control you grasp at them which causes suffering...this is something you can confirm but its only half the story and very much focuses on one side of the equation. Such teachings lead me to suppress my desires which is not the intended outcome of these teachings and leads to suffering...again this is very easy to prove on a personal experiential level.

What i have found is that there is a middle ground between suppression and hedonism.

Suppression of your desires causes suffering...this is very easy to test for yourself. Expressing your desires liberates you, fills you with joy and i believe are essential to a healthy body and spirit.
So for me the middle ground between suppression and hedonism is this healthy place where you let the desires just be and fulfil them or not.

Surely this is reality...truth...dhamma?

The thing that this leads me onto is that a lot of Buddhist teachings only seem to focus on grasping and dont give an equal attention to suppression...i need this kind of approach of covering both sides so i can see what they are pointing towards...this seems to suit my personality and individual needs: so what school or branch within a school has more tendency to cover both sides of the equation like i need so i can see the "middle path"???

So in summary:

1) your comments on suppression and hedonism (grasping) both causing suffering?
2) where would i find within buddhism (school and branch or teacher) this approach of covering both sides of things so i can understand the way that leads to peace? (due to my personality type and personal needs)

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: on suppression and hedonism
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2018, 04:00:04 am »
Suppression occurs from the unreflective idea of "I should not". Where as Buddhist practise engages wisdom that analyzes & knows the harm of those desires. If the objects of desires are seen as "harmful", "dangerous", "unbeneficial" or "unfulfilling", how can desire arise towards those objects? For example, do we desire poison or desire to be friends with robbers & murderers?

MN 19 explains the wisdom method: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.019.than.html

"Suppression" only causes suffering when the view exists the object of suppression can bring happiness. If this is the case, the Buddhist path will be difficult.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 04:07:30 am by VisuddhiRaptor »

Offline Arkena

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Re: on suppression and hedonism
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2018, 11:06:05 am »
So suppression in me recently has occurred through not being able to differentiate between desires that are "harmful" and those that are "harmless".

As i mentioned before i think this is because the Buddhist writings i have read have focused on suppressing harmful desires and i have overcompensated and suppressed "harmless" and beneficial desires as well.

Harmless desires that lead to well being and peace like: stimming (i am autistic), going for a walk, socialising, wanting a healthy balanced meal etc ie: healthy desires that  keep us well and healthy mentally, physically and emotionally.

A healthy desire vs an unhealthy desire would be....i used to get stressed and would drink alcohol to cope (harmful desire) ...while now i will talk to friends, go for a walk or play with my cat (harmless desires that lead to peace and to the reduction of stress).

" "Suppression" only causes suffering when the view exists the object of suppression can bring happiness. If this is the case, the Buddhist path will be difficult".
Or when you suppress healthy desires that lead to you not reaping the peace and joy they bring when your mind/body/emotions have produced the desire for something as it is in their interest...like going for a walk when stressed, hugging a family member in a display of emotion or when you eat a healthy meal in response to hunger.

I fully understand that your statement was talking about hesitating to suppress things that are "harmful" eg: getting drunk, taking drugs, unskilful reactions to stress, anger, feelings of violence etc

Thank you for the link to that sutra "two sorts of thinking", it seems a very balanced reporting on both kinds of thoughts...why do a lot of the Buddhist documents i read seem to not talk about beneficial and healthy, "harmless" desires and seem to only focus on the "harmful" desires that need to be suppressed?

Where would i find a more balanced perspective on things like in the sutra you linked above? ie: which main branches, schools within, teachers etc?

I appreciate you taking the time to reply to me  ;D




Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: on suppression and hedonism
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2018, 05:12:00 pm »
Where would i find a more balanced perspective on things like in the sutra you linked above? ie: which main branches, schools within, teachers etc?

Often suttas focus on what is harmful but there are many suttas that focus on both the harmful and beneficial, such as:

Maha-mangala Sutta: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.2.04.piya.html

Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.176.than.html

I appreciate you taking the time to reply to me

I appreciate your kind and gracious words.  :pray:

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: on suppression and hedonism
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2018, 03:09:07 am »
There are two ways of looking at this aspect of practice. One is along the suppression line that says, "If you want to change, then change how you react in situations. Eventually you will no longer want to react in those ways." The other is, "If you want to change, go through these meditation practices and other stuff. Your mind will change and you will no longer want to react in those ways." The key is to get the balance right for you, and, I guess, find a branch of Buddhism that reflects what you want.
“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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