Author Topic: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?  (Read 3402 times)

Offline BlackLooter

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Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2018, 08:37:06 pm »
 :r4wheel:

Could the cause of suffering just be getting or experiencing things that we don't want or otherwise not fitting our expectations?
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Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2018, 05:01:58 am »
:r4wheel:
Could the cause of suffering just be getting or experiencing things that we don't want or otherwise not fitting our expectations?

Yes. You could say that it is reacting to experience with craving ( wanting ) and aversion ( not wanting ), rather than with equanimity.
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Offline Shogun

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Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2018, 12:05:04 pm »
:r4wheel:

Could the cause of suffering just be getting or experiencing things that we don't want or otherwise not fitting our expectations?
Id say youre on the right track.  Thats kind of the meaning of, "form is emptiness and emptiness is form."  Much of the meaning of our perceptions is the meaning that we put on it.

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2018, 09:06:23 pm »
There is no such thing as physical suffering. You seem to take one misunderstanding & then apply it to something as straightforward as the 2nd noble truth to create another misunderstanding. Birth , death, aging & illness are self-views. They mean "I was born, I am sick, I am old, I will die, my mother, father, son , daughter have died"". These self-views arise from craving that leads to new becoming. For suffering to arise, two things are required, namely, craving & self-view becoming. The suttas say:
Quote

The tides of conceiving do not sweep over one who stands upon these foundations, and when the tides of conceiving no longer sweep over him he is called a sage at peace.’ So it was said. And with reference to what was this said?

“Bhikkhu, ‘I am’ is a conceiving; ‘I am this’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall not be’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be possessed of form’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be formless’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be percipient’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be non-percipient’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be neither-percipient-nor-non-percipient’ is a conceiving. Conceiving is a disease, conceiving is a tumour, conceiving is a dart. By overcoming all conceivings, bhikkhu, one is called a sage at peace. And the sage at peace is not born, does not age, does not die; he is not shaken and does not yearn. For there is nothing present in him by which he might be born. Not being born, how could he age? Not ageing, how could he die? Not dying, how could he be shaken? Not being shaken, why should he yearn?

“So it was with reference to this that it was said: ‘The tides of conceiving do not sweep over one who stands upon these foundations, and when the tides of conceiving no longer sweep over him he is called a sage at peace.’

https://suttacentral.net/en/mn140

 :namaste:


All suffering is experienced in the mind whatever the cause. VR is correct, in a pedantic sense, when he writes that there is no such thing as physical suffering. However, most of us understand that the term 'physical suffering' implies that the cause of the suffering relates to some type of physical damage to the body, whether broken bone, flesh wound or illness.

This type of suffering, or experience of pain with a physical cause relating to the body, is necessary for survival. It represents a very clear and unambiguous message that something is wrong and needs attending to.

Imagine if you were to sprain your ankle without feeling any pain. How would you know that your ankle was sprained? One can still walk with a sprained ankle, but one tends to walk carefully in a manner which minimizes the pain. Imagine what might happen if you were to continue walking, running or jumping around because you were not aware your ankle was sprained, because you didn't feel any pain. I think you would soon have a broken ankle and wouldn't be able to walk at all.

Nevertheless, whatever the cause of the pain or suffering, advanced Buddhist practices should enable one to reduce it, or avoid it, and in some cases eliminate it, depending on one's state of progress towards full enlightenment.

I imagine that someone who has reached a very advanced stage of control over all thoughts and mental processes, and who fully realizes that the 'self' is an illusion, should be able to visit a dentist for a tooth extraction without the need of a local anesthetic, and even endure a major surgical operation in hospital without the need of any anesthetics.

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2018, 02:17:19 am »
All suffering is experienced in the mind whatever the cause. VR is correct, in a pedantic sense, when he writes that there is no such thing as physical suffering.

Really?  In the Arrow Sutta there is a clear distinction between bodily pain and the mental anguish that accompanies it.
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Offline VincentRJ

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Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
« Reply #35 on: January 25, 2018, 04:42:36 am »
All suffering is experienced in the mind whatever the cause. VR is correct, in a pedantic sense, when he writes that there is no such thing as physical suffering.

Really?  In the Arrow Sutta there is a clear distinction between bodily pain and the mental anguish that accompanies it.

I think most people can understand that distinction. There are many degrees and types of Dukkha, such as pain with a physical cause, and anguish, dissatisfaction, worry, and so on, which might not have a physical cause, but which might have a physical association.

One can create a distinction between all these types of Dukkha, but not always a clear distinction because there's often a degree of overlapping. The physical pain (pain with a physical cause) can be exaggerated as a result of additional anguish and worry, or the physical pain can sometimes be reduced by a process of 'letting go' and directing one's attention elsewhere.

However, whatever the type of pain or anguish, and whatever the degree of pain or anguish, there's one thing that all these experiences of Dukkha have in common, 'They are all felt in the mind'.

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2018, 07:38:44 am »
However, whatever the type of pain or anguish, and whatever the degree of pain or anguish, there's one thing that all these experiences of Dukkha have in common, 'They are all felt in the mind'.


I feel pain at particular locations in the body, and would categorise these as an unpleasant bodily sensations.  So I'm still not sure what you mean by this being felt "in the mind".

Here's the relevant section from the Arrow Sutta that I mentioned:

"Now, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones, when touched with a feeling of pain, does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. So he feels one pain: physical, but not mental. Just as if they were to shoot a man with an arrow and, right afterward, did not shoot him with another one, so that he would feel the pain of only one arrow. In the same way, when touched with a feeling of pain, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. He feels one pain: physical, but not mental."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn36/sn36.006.than.html

This might be looked at differently in different schools of Buddhism of course.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 07:42:23 am by Dairy Lama »
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Offline VincentRJ

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Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2018, 05:15:13 pm »
However, whatever the type of pain or anguish, and whatever the degree of pain or anguish, there's one thing that all these experiences of Dukkha have in common, 'They are all felt in the mind'.


I feel pain at particular locations in the body, and would categorise these as an unpleasant bodily sensations.  So I'm still not sure what you mean by this being felt "in the mind".

Here's the relevant section from the Arrow Sutta that I mentioned:

"Now, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones, when touched with a feeling of pain, does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. So he feels one pain: physical, but not mental. Just as if they were to shoot a man with an arrow and, right afterward, did not shoot him with another one, so that he would feel the pain of only one arrow. In the same way, when touched with a feeling of pain, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. He feels one pain: physical, but not mental."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn36/sn36.006.than.html

This might be looked at differently in different schools of Buddhism of course.

All feelings, of whatever type one can imagine, are experienced in the mind. The term 'physical pain' refers to a pain which has its source in a particular part of the body. It is the mind that identifies which part of the body is the source, such as the toe, the neck, the stomach, the eye, and so on.

Sometimes the mind gets it wrong. For example, there are many stories of people continuing to feel pain in an amputated limb which no longer exists.

The confusion is perhaps due to the sloppy and imprecise use of language. When I say, 'I have a pain in my foot', I really mean, 'I have a pain in my mind, and my mind is informing me of some disruption or damage to my foot, which appears to be the source of the pain.'

Of course, that's a rather cumbersome and pedantic way of speaking, but it more accurately describes the situation. If you still have any doubts, consider the effects of modern anesthetics. Whatever the source and type of pain one is experiencing, if one puts the mind to sleep with an anesthetic, the pain disappears.
If one applies a local anesthetic, say to the foot, the pain disappears and the foot becomes numb because the neural pathways from the foot to the brain have been disrupted or temperarily severed. The foot is still damaged, but the mind is no longer aware of the damage. Isn't this all pretty obvious?

The Arrow Sutta you refer to is making the very valid point that pain with a physical source in the body can be exaggerated by further mental anguish which is not directly related to the 'physical' pain, but is associated with it, indirectly.

For example, if I have a persistent pain in my stomach for a few days, I would visit a doctor to find the cause and a remedy. If I were the type of person given to worrying about all sorts of disastrous outcomes (which I am not), I might start worrying about the possibility of cancer, and the need of chemotherapy which would cause me to lose my hair, and I might even worry about the possibility of dying. I might also also start worrying that my 'inheritance will' is not up to date and needs amending in case I die soon, and so on, and so on.

All these additional worries are self-inflicted. This is what the Arrow Sutta is addressing. The last sentence in your quote, "He feels one pain: physical, but not mental." really means, if we wish to be precise and pedantic, "He feels, or receives, the very important message from a part of his body to his mind (or brain) that something is wrong with that part of the body and needs attending to, but he does not create additional fabrications of worry in his mind, relating to other issues which are pure speculation."

Hope I've succeeded in clarifying this issue for you all, so you can all rest in peace.  :)

Offline Anemephistus

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Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2018, 06:39:30 pm »
However, whatever the type of pain or anguish, and whatever the degree of pain or anguish, there's one thing that all these experiences of Dukkha have in common, 'They are all felt in the mind'.


I feel pain at particular locations in the body, and would categorise these as an unpleasant bodily sensations.  So I'm still not sure what you mean by this being felt "in the mind".

Here's the relevant section from the Arrow Sutta that I mentioned:

"Now, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones, when touched with a feeling of pain, does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. So he feels one pain: physical, but not mental. Just as if they were to shoot a man with an arrow and, right afterward, did not shoot him with another one, so that he would feel the pain of only one arrow. In the same way, when touched with a feeling of pain, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. He feels one pain: physical, but not mental."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn36/sn36.006.than.html

This might be looked at differently in different schools of Buddhism of course.

All feelings, of whatever type one can imagine, are experienced in the mind. The term 'physical pain' refers to a pain which has its source in a particular part of the body. It is the mind that identifies which part of the body is the source, such as the toe, the neck, the stomach, the eye, and so on.

Sometimes the mind gets it wrong. For example, there are many stories of people continuing to feel pain in an amputated limb which no longer exists.

The confusion is perhaps due to the sloppy and imprecise use of language. When I say, 'I have a pain in my foot', I really mean, 'I have a pain in my mind, and my mind is informing me of some disruption or damage to my foot, which appears to be the source of the pain.'

Of course, that's a rather cumbersome and pedantic way of speaking, but it more accurately describes the situation. If you still have any doubts, consider the effects of modern anesthetics. Whatever the source and type of pain one is experiencing, if one puts the mind to sleep with an anesthetic, the pain disappears.
If one applies a local anesthetic, say to the foot, the pain disappears and the foot becomes numb because the neural pathways from the foot to the brain have been disrupted or temperarily severed. The foot is still damaged, but the mind is no longer aware of the damage. Isn't this all pretty obvious?

The Arrow Sutta you refer to is making the very valid point that pain with a physical source in the body can be exaggerated by further mental anguish which is not directly related to the 'physical' pain, but is associated with it, indirectly.

For example, if I have a persistent pain in my stomach for a few days, I would visit a doctor to find the cause and a remedy. If I were the type of person given to worrying about all sorts of disastrous outcomes (which I am not), I might start worrying about the possibility of cancer, and the need of chemotherapy which would cause me to lose my hair, and I might even worry about the possibility of dying. I might also also start worrying that my 'inheritance will' is not up to date and needs amending in case I die soon, and so on, and so on.

All these additional worries are self-inflicted. This is what the Arrow Sutta is addressing. The last sentence in your quote, "He feels one pain: physical, but not mental." really means, if we wish to be precise and pedantic, "He feels, or receives, the very important message from a part of his body to his mind (or brain) that something is wrong with that part of the body and needs attending to, but he does not create additional fabrications of worry in his mind, relating to other issues which are pure speculation."

Hope I've succeeded in clarifying this issue for you all, so you can all rest in peace.  :)

I agree with you, pain is part of a central nervous systems reaction primarily in the brain when physical damage is detected by the operations of the body. I agree that suffering can be increased by stress from physical pain.

I mean no disrespect and I see what you are trying to convey, I feel whatever one can imagine is a bit far and perhaps comes from frustration, I can simply imagine that there is a pain that does not fit the description, however I am honestly curious, do you know of any practice through which one can realize this distinction and put a type of action to it through which they can reduce their physical pain that they are internally perceiving from damage? There is another user who was seeking this type of answer and I can only say that there are high levels of focus which make one distant from the body sensations, almost separate. In a non theoretical way, is there a merit to this distinction beyond non-arising of mental suffering which is separate from the suffering created by the biological process which can be applied that you know of?

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2018, 08:34:05 pm »
However, whatever the type of pain or anguish, and whatever the degree of pain or anguish, there's one thing that all these experiences of Dukkha have in common, 'They are all felt in the mind'.


I feel pain at particular locations in the body, and would categorise these as an unpleasant bodily sensations.  So I'm still not sure what you mean by this being felt "in the mind".

Here's the relevant section from the Arrow Sutta that I mentioned:

"Now, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones, when touched with a feeling of pain, does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. So he feels one pain: physical, but not mental. Just as if they were to shoot a man with an arrow and, right afterward, did not shoot him with another one, so that he would feel the pain of only one arrow. In the same way, when touched with a feeling of pain, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. He feels one pain: physical, but not mental."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn36/sn36.006.than.html

This might be looked at differently in different schools of Buddhism of course.

All feelings, of whatever type one can imagine, are experienced in the mind. The term 'physical pain' refers to a pain which has its source in a particular part of the body. It is the mind that identifies which part of the body is the source, such as the toe, the neck, the stomach, the eye, and so on.

Sometimes the mind gets it wrong. For example, there are many stories of people continuing to feel pain in an amputated limb which no longer exists.

The confusion is perhaps due to the sloppy and imprecise use of language. When I say, 'I have a pain in my foot', I really mean, 'I have a pain in my mind, and my mind is informing me of some disruption or damage to my foot, which appears to be the source of the pain.'

Of course, that's a rather cumbersome and pedantic way of speaking, but it more accurately describes the situation. If you still have any doubts, consider the effects of modern anesthetics. Whatever the source and type of pain one is experiencing, if one puts the mind to sleep with an anesthetic, the pain disappears.
If one applies a local anesthetic, say to the foot, the pain disappears and the foot becomes numb because the neural pathways from the foot to the brain have been disrupted or temperarily severed. The foot is still damaged, but the mind is no longer aware of the damage. Isn't this all pretty obvious?

The Arrow Sutta you refer to is making the very valid point that pain with a physical source in the body can be exaggerated by further mental anguish which is not directly related to the 'physical' pain, but is associated with it, indirectly.

For example, if I have a persistent pain in my stomach for a few days, I would visit a doctor to find the cause and a remedy. If I were the type of person given to worrying about all sorts of disastrous outcomes (which I am not), I might start worrying about the possibility of cancer, and the need of chemotherapy which would cause me to lose my hair, and I might even worry about the possibility of dying. I might also also start worrying that my 'inheritance will' is not up to date and needs amending in case I die soon, and so on, and so on.

All these additional worries are self-inflicted. This is what the Arrow Sutta is addressing. The last sentence in your quote, "He feels one pain: physical, but not mental." really means, if we wish to be precise and pedantic, "He feels, or receives, the very important message from a part of his body to his mind (or brain) that something is wrong with that part of the body and needs attending to, but he does not create additional fabrications of worry in his mind, relating to other issues which are pure speculation."

Hope I've succeeded in clarifying this issue for you all, so you can all rest in peace.  :)

I agree with you, pain is part of a central nervous systems reaction primarily in the brain when physical damage is detected by the operations of the body. I agree that suffering can be increased by stress from physical pain.

I mean no disrespect and I see what you are trying to convey, I feel whatever one can imagine is a bit far and perhaps comes from frustration, I can simply imagine that there is a pain that does not fit the description, however I am honestly curious, do you know of any practice through which one can realize this distinction and put a type of action to it through which they can reduce their physical pain that they are internally perceiving from damage? There is another user who was seeking this type of answer and I can only say that there are high levels of focus which make one distant from the body sensations, almost separate. In a non theoretical way, is there a merit to this distinction beyond non-arising of mental suffering which is separate from the suffering created by the biological process which can be applied that you know of?

I'm not a teacher of any specific practice. My interest in Buddhism was renewed a few years ago when I came acrosss the Kalama Sutta. Previously I'd had a general interest in comparative religion, including Buddhism.

My view was that all religions are seriously flawed because followers adhere, without question, to many rituals and practices which, in the light of modern knowledge, are simply wrong, or at least questionable.

The Buddhist religion seems to be unique in the sense that it advises skeptics to use their nous and not accept something mereley because it appears in the scriptures, or is touted by some authority or teacher.

Any religious teaching which attempts to exclude the understanding and benefits of modern research and technology, is not for me.

My position is, I understand that what we think we know is a very tiny fraction of what exists. We have Dark Matter and Dark Energy which comprise 95% of everything. It's Dark because it's currently unknowable.

The meditation practices in Buddhism are geared towards a control over one's own thoughts and emotions. That's the goal, and that's the attraction for me.

Theoretically, if a person has complete control over his own mind, he can simulate the pleasure of a sexual orgasm, without having sex, and he can simulate the pleasure of the ego-boosting satisfaction of being a billionaire, if he wanted to.

For me, Buddhism is all about control over oneself, which includes control over all desires, aversions, pain, anguish and all types of dissatisfaction.

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
« Reply #40 on: January 26, 2018, 02:35:58 am »
I mean no disrespect and I see what you are trying to convey, I feel whatever one can imagine is a bit far and perhaps comes from frustration, I can simply imagine that there is a pain that does not fit the description, however I am honestly curious, do you know of any practice through which one can realize this distinction and put a type of action to it through which they can reduce their physical pain that they are internally perceiving from damage? There is another user who was seeking this type of answer and I can only say that there are high levels of focus which make one distant from the body sensations, almost separate. In a non theoretical way, is there a merit to this distinction beyond non-arising of mental suffering which is separate from the suffering created by the biological process which can be applied that you know of?

I have found that mindfulness practice is helpful, seeing it less as "my pain" and more as "just a painful sensation".  But I also think that bodily pain ( like aging and death ) is an inevitable aspect of human experience, and that trying to deny this reality is counterproductive.  The more fully we can accept the inevitability, the less we will suffer.  That is really the point of the Arrow Sutta.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 03:59:51 am by Dairy Lama »
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Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
« Reply #41 on: January 26, 2018, 02:44:48 am »
All these additional worries are self-inflicted. This is what the Arrow Sutta is addressing. The last sentence in your quote, "He feels one pain: physical, but not mental." really means, if we wish to be precise and pedantic, "He feels, or receives, the very important message from a part of his body to his mind (or brain) that something is wrong with that part of the body and needs attending to, but he does not create additional fabrications of worry in his mind, relating to other issues which are pure speculation."

I think the point here is that the first arrow ( bodily pain ) is inevitable, but the second arrow ( mental anguish ) is not.  The mechanics are less important.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 04:26:27 am by Dairy Lama »
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Offline VincentRJ

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Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
« Reply #42 on: January 26, 2018, 05:18:14 am »
All these additional worries are self-inflicted. This is what the Arrow Sutta is addressing. The last sentence in your quote, "He feels one pain: physical, but not mental." really means, if we wish to be precise and pedantic, "He feels, or receives, the very important message from a part of his body to his mind (or brain) that something is wrong with that part of the body and needs attending to, but he does not create additional fabrications of worry in his mind, relating to other issues which are pure speculation."

I think the point here is that the first arrow ( bodily pain ) is inevitable, but the second arrow ( mental anguish ) is not.  The mechanics are less important.

If one is hit by an arrow, without protection, then pain is probably inevitable, but also something that is generally essential for our survival. Imagine the trouble that children would experience without the deterence of pain. They could stick their hands in fires and cut off their fingers just for fun.

Whilst the experience of some degree of bodily pain will be inevitable during every person's life, it can often be avoided by making wise decisions and being mindful in order to avoid accidents.

Offline Anemephistus

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Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
« Reply #43 on: January 26, 2018, 01:26:12 pm »
I agree with both of you about physical pain, and I think if I condense the idea I will still be correct in saying, how the body is acting correctly when it send the message of injury to the brain.  I was just curious because of another inquiry. Thank you both for your thoughts!

Offline BlackLooter

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Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
« Reply #44 on: January 26, 2018, 06:22:34 pm »
Whats wrong with acting through your emotions with regard to pain and suffering.. you have these for a reason..

If you dont block these then you can embrace them.. and therefore maintain the flow of the moment..
Freedom reigns over everything!

 


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