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A Mosaic of Traditions - One Virtual Sangha => Buddha Basics - Beginner Zone => Topic started by: Rahul on December 18, 2017, 12:11:20 am

Title: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Rahul on December 18, 2017, 12:11:20 am
Quote
"And this, monks is the noble truth of the origination of dukkha: the craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming."

— SN 56.11

How does craving cause physical suffering? For the mental suffering, I can understand that if there's nothing to crave for, there won't be dissatisfaction, stress, anxiety, fear, the fire of desires... But suffering isn't just mental. What's the connection between physical suffering - birth, death, aging, illness - and craving?
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on December 18, 2017, 03:51:24 am
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:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on December 18, 2017, 03:52:47 am
There is no such thing as physical suffering. You seem to take one misunderstanding (about the 1st noble truth) & 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"". The 1st noble truth summarised all suffering as "attachment to the five aggregates" (as I, me & mine). 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:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Chaz on December 18, 2017, 04:32:25 am
There is no such thing as physical suffering.

Laughable at best.

I'll tell you what.  Go to the nearest door and slam it, real hard, on your fingers.

Then come back to your keyboard and tell us how there is no pysical suffering.

OK.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: ground on December 18, 2017, 04:10:55 pm
Causality is stupidity.  :fu:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Chaz on December 18, 2017, 06:02:51 pm
Quote
"And this, monks is the noble truth of the origination of dukkha: the craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming."

— SN 56.11

How does craving cause physical suffering? For the mental suffering, I can understand that if there's nothing to crave for, there won't be dissatisfaction, stress, anxiety, fear, the fire of desires... But suffering isn't just mental. What's the connection between physical suffering - birth, death, aging, illness - and craving?

Have you thought to look at what some well-known teachers have to say on the matter?  While they may be teaching on the 4NT, they may also be using different source materials (translations, etc) and different perspectives which will bring with it different insights that may offer better answers to your questions.

In addition I would disregard what VR wrote:

Quote
There is no such thing as physical suffering.

This is dismissive of your question as well as, relatively speaking, innacurate, or just plain wrong.

Relatively speaking there is physical pain.  As in the example I presented to VR, the physical pain you experience is very real.  Now, your question is about craving being a cause of physical pain, is kinda tricky.  Slamming a door on your fingers may not be the result of craving - I mean, who actually craves having a door slammed on their fingers.  No one I know.  In the other hand there is, without a doubt, serious aversion to having a door slam on your fingers.  IN the parlance of the Dharma, craving and aversion are opposite extremes.  Some philosophical schools within the Mahayana would on that basis see them as the same thing.  Still, in practical terms it's nearly impossible to see craving/aversion as the cause of physical pain.  You can, however see attachment to craving/aversion to pain - yes some people are really into physical pain - will give rise to dukkha.

So physical pain isn't caused by craving.  Pain is caused by painful experiences, like slamming a door on your fingers, a dry socket, a burst appendix, passing a kidney stone or reading ground's egregious nonsense.  It's very real, too.  If you don't think so, let me introduce you to my first wife.


Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Anemephistus on December 18, 2017, 06:09:48 pm
Hello Rahul!

I'm kinda old (just a bit) , I get sick and I get hurt. I get worried I am going to get hurt at work sometimes, sometimes I worry I am going to get hurt at work while I am at home and I let my mind wander off without staying in the moment. I worry for others too, I am responsible for a lot of people and trying to keep them safe from harm is a very multifaceted struggle on many fronts. I worry sometimes for other beings as well, and try to have compassion for them.

When I don't think about how it will effect me, sometimes I wish I still had my hair ( I really liked my hair) , a better immune system (Mine sucks), I miss people who are gone, or (often :) ) that I had a different job. I think that it would be nice to be younger again. Then I go to work, if I let that wish build it makes me crave a different circumstance. That craving applied to any of this stuff hurts. It builds vanity and all manner of foolish thoughts and wishes which become uncomfortable.

Yes, this is all mental, but it bridges the two points. Sitting around wishing all day due to craving makes us live in a state where we stress about whats good enough or not good enough, it builds false expectations which create disappointment and the stress and disappointment is hard on the body, its also a hard state to be happy in and our relationships and the things we have which are lovely become invisible in the delusion it creates.

Damaging our relationships this way and letting craving form our perception distorts our lives and leads down paths over time which are unhealthy and can physically harm us. Escaping the pain of the delusion which is made by craving has been the cause of more than one physical harm. It can be subtle and what we crave can be insidious, cloying and difficult to detect.  I physically did a lot of things which made my body damaged because I craved. I wanted to be happy, I failed to recognize that would require effort and so I just did drugs because my emphasis on craving happiness made me do things which made me feel happy. It was not as good for my body, and my physical circumstances were really bad at several points. Many years later this is clear to me, at the time, not so much.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.049.olen.html (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.049.olen.html)

These four, O Monks, are distortions of perception, distortions of thought distortions of view...
Sensing no change in the changing,
Sensing pleasure in suffering,
Assuming "self" where there's no self,
Sensing the un-lovely as lovely —

Gone astray with wrong views, beings
Mis-perceive with distorted minds.
Bound in the bondage of Mara,
Those people are far from safety.
They're beings that go on flowing:
Going again from death to birth.

But when in the world of darkness
Buddhas arise to make things bright, T
hey present this profound teaching
Which brings suffering to an end.

When those with wisdom have heard this,
They recuperate their right mind:

They see change in what is changing,
Suffering where there's suffering,
"Non-self" in what is without self,
They see the un-lovely as such.
 By this acceptance of right view,
They overcome all suffering.

 :buddha:

I am not in full possession of the recognition described.  but I can see some of it in my life when I look and I work to keep it in my perception. Where craving took me, where it almost killed me. It's all there. Sometimes it's just a rough day, other times its been a real test.

Conceptual looking doesn't reveal some of these connections, that's why meditation and reflection and evaluation through discernment is so important.  Being open and kind to yourself but really looking at what is real and has happened, we can see these things. My path will be different in subjective form, but the effect is the same, there is a limited range of feelings and by a certain time which may vary we have felt most of what there is on offer with this experience as humans. Discerning what caused us to suffer, there we find our craving, and the truth of the possibility of our cessation and the path that leads to it.

Conceptually we can say simple things, but they do not account for the whole ordeal of being human. I like that when I push a button it causes a letter to appear for instance. I would be less favorable to my keyboard if it were broken and using it did not cause this effect. Then it might be proper to get a new keyboard, even if this is s subtle craving, but life has a way of putting these things into context where intellect over cognition and realization tends to over simplify the truth of them.

As a last note, I have seen people physically hurt each other over cravings. Especially craving with regards as to how one wishes to been seen by others, or with cravings for what the other person has or has taken. This has been a theme in the prison I work in over many years, and I would say it is a valid manifestation of physical harm caused by craving.
 
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Rahul on December 18, 2017, 11:56:15 pm
Some cravings result in excessive indulgence or addictions, which in turn can cause physical pain. Some other cravings result in disputes of various intensity and may result in people harming each other: wars, fights, conspiracies... Yet these are not the only sources of physical pain. What about aging? What about disease? People do get sick or injured without any addictions or without being subjected to wars/fights.

Physical pain is real, we can't deny that. It would be too naive to say it doesn't exist.

I will keep looking for explanations from Buddhist teachers and will share here if I find any.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: ground on December 19, 2017, 12:29:35 am
Thoughts and perceptions are useless.

The Great Ease does neither come nor go and is spontaneously present.

Self and other, thoughts and perceptions naturally dissolve
in the interval between acceptance and rejection, in the interval between affirmation and negation.

Effort corrupts. Deliberate action misleads.

 :fu:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: meez on December 19, 2017, 10:59:33 am
Ground:  What on earth are you talking about?
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Anemephistus on December 19, 2017, 02:47:16 pm
Some cravings result in excessive indulgence or addictions, which in turn can cause physical pain. Some other cravings result in disputes of various intensity and may result in people harming each other: wars, fights, conspiracies... Yet these are not the only sources of physical pain. What about aging? What about disease? People do get sick or injured without any addictions or without being subjected to wars/fights.

Physical pain is real, we can't deny that. It would be too naive to say it doesn't exist.

I will keep looking for explanations from Buddhist teachers and will share here if I find any.

There are those far wiser than me who will have answered this much better no doubt. I am not a sage or a layperson or a guru or monk. I would say something,  it is based on reasoning and not much on my personal experience and so it's full realization is beyond me at this point and to elaborate on it much would be difficult as I am not a being in possession of full enlightenment and so I must take some of the what I hope is understanding on faith:

I think that some of this teaching works on the understanding that being caught in the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth is the result of Dukka which at it's heart is the result of craving . If one is not reborn then they do not suffer they do not have cancer or illness or aging, they abide in another state which is defined in several ways by different traditions.

I am unable to see the full cycle and cannot say that I know this line of thinking is true, but I think it is true for several reasons which despite being very open on the forum I must decline to share. I will say that for me it is a matter of faith and experience, but far more faith than experience on this point.

What I do know is this: Applying the understanding of how craving is a part of interconnected experience, understanding abstractly, is good. It is also very good to look for our own cravings and how they create volition, to observe them and consider them, and to consider the impact they have on others.     

At the risk of exceeding the scope of the question:

It is my understanding that properly understanding craving is central to working on the four sublime states.

It hard to maintain equanimity without understanding craving, harder to feel compassion when we fail to observe what drives others and recognizing it within our own lives, Love can be effected by craving and attachment and turned into jealousy and fear and depression, and sympathetic joy is hard when we crave joy for ourselves instead and build expectations about what we need in order to have joy.



 


Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Chaz on December 19, 2017, 05:06:11 pm
Some cravings result in excessive indulgence or addictions, which in turn can cause physical pain. Some other cravings result in disputes of various intensity and may result in people harming each other: wars, fights, conspiracies... Yet these are not the only sources of physical pain. What about aging? What about disease? People do get sick or injured without any addictions or without being subjected to wars/fights.

Physical pain is real, we can't deny that. It would be too naive to say it doesn't exist.

I will keep looking for explanations from Buddhist teachers and will share here if I find any.


That's good.

If you're interested in how one thing leads to another with regards to suffering, I'd suggest you look into teachings on the 12 Nidannas or Links of Dependent Origination.  Thse explain a lot of what you seem to be interested in.

Here's a site that might help:
http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhism/B%20-%20Theravada/Teachers/Piyadissi%20Thera/Dependant%20Origination/Dependant%20Origination.htm (http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhism/B%20-%20Theravada/Teachers/Piyadissi%20Thera/Dependant%20Origination/Dependant%20Origination.htm)
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Anemephistus on December 19, 2017, 08:44:38 pm
Some cravings result in excessive indulgence or addictions, which in turn can cause physical pain. Some other cravings result in disputes of various intensity and may result in people harming each other: wars, fights, conspiracies... Yet these are not the only sources of physical pain. What about aging? What about disease? People do get sick or injured without any addictions or without being subjected to wars/fights.

Physical pain is real, we can't deny that. It would be too naive to say it doesn't exist.

I will keep looking for explanations from Buddhist teachers and will share here if I find any.


That's good.

If you're interested in how one thing leads to another with regards to suffering, I'd suggest you look into teachings on the 12 Nidannas or Links of Dependent Origination.  Thse explain a lot of what you seem to be interested in.

Here's a site that might help:
[url]http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhism/B%20-%20Theravada/Teachers/Piyadissi%20Thera/Dependant%20Origination/Dependant%20Origination.htm[/url] ([url]http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhism/B%20-%20Theravada/Teachers/Piyadissi%20Thera/Dependant%20Origination/Dependant%20Origination.htm[/url])


That's a really good link, thank you for sharing it.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: ground on December 19, 2017, 11:00:37 pm
A cause cannot be directly perceived, so how could a cause ever exist?

It is a scenario of a diversity of directly perceptible existents upon which thought constructs a cause due to conditioning.


An effect cannot be directly perceived, so how could an effect ever exist?

It is a scenario of a diversity of directly perceptible existents upon which thought constructs an effect due to conditioning.


And the directly perceptible existents do have spacio-temporal extension and thus they have parts.

But what has parts cannot possibly exist inherently but exists only through imputation depending on parts.

And what exists only through imputation is itself a construction of conditioned thought.


So it boils down to the uselessness of perceptions and thoughts.

Nothing has ever existed as truth inherently.

Nothing has ever existed as a phenomenon inherently.

Nothing has ever existed as cause or effect inherently.


Everything naturally dissolves in the interval between acceptance and rejection, in the interval between affirmation and negation.

The Great Ease has been spontaneously present from the outset.


 :fu:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: ground on December 19, 2017, 11:10:39 pm
Quote
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. [1] Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.023.than.html (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.023.than.html)

 :fu:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: duongcongthanh101 on December 20, 2017, 02:22:38 am
If humans do not have "needs" then the world will not grow and we are still in the hunt for predators like prehistoric people. Demand is the foundation for development, and sacrifice is an essential part of this development.

Many mice died in the lab so you and I could benefit from those great inventions. Thus, the desire to search for inventions, scientific discoveries and medicine by exchanging the lives of such innocent beings is called craving?
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Anemephistus on December 20, 2017, 08:35:54 am
If humans do not have "needs" then the world will not grow and we are still in the hunt for predators like prehistoric people. Demand is the foundation for development, and sacrifice is an essential part of this development.

Many mice died in the lab so you and I could benefit from those great inventions. Thus, the desire to search for inventions, scientific discoveries and medicine by exchanging the lives of such innocent beings is called craving?

  :buddha2:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: meez on December 20, 2017, 09:18:47 am
A cause cannot be directly perceived, so how could a cause ever exist?

It is a scenario of a diversity of directly perceptible existents upon which thought constructs a cause due to conditioning.


An effect cannot be directly perceived, so how could an effect ever exist?

It is a scenario of a diversity of directly perceptible existents upon which thought constructs an effect due to conditioning.


And the directly perceptible existents do have spacio-temporal extension and thus they have parts.

But what has parts cannot possibly exist inherently but exists only through imputation depending on parts.

And what exists only through imputation is itself a construction of conditioned thought.


So it boils down to the uselessness of perceptions and thoughts.

Nothing has ever existed as truth inherently.

Nothing has ever existed as a phenomenon inherently.

Nothing has ever existed as cause or effect inherently.


Everything naturally dissolves in the interval between acceptance and rejection, in the interval between affirmation and negation.

The Great Ease has been spontaneously present from the outset.


 :fu:

Are you making a deliberate effort to create the most nonsensical posts possible?
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Rahul on December 20, 2017, 07:52:56 pm
There seems a distant and weak link between cravings and the physical suffering as explained in most of those articles that I found. Or so it seems to me. Craving results in being, becoming, birth, and hence the aging and disease etc. What is a bit confusing to me is why birth is considered cause of aging and disease. And what about the unexpected accidental suffering not caused by aging or disease, such as accidents. But I guess from here we are entering the murky waters, or probably we can't see because of lack of vision.

Does anyone know any specific techniques to realize this truth? Meditation is of course a very general term, but I would be glad if you could elaborate what meditative techniques or topics would help realize this truth.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Chaz on December 20, 2017, 08:12:28 pm
What is a bit confusing to me is why birth is considered cause of aging and disease.

If something is not born, how can it grow old, get sick, die?

Quote
Does anyone know any specific techniques to realize this truth? Meditation is of course a very general term, but I would be glad if you could elaborate what meditative techniques or topics would help realize this truth.

Shamatha/Vipassana.  If you can find someone who can teach you Analytical meditation, that's probably best.  Teachers associated with the Nitartha Institute is one source of that training.  Meditation instructors with Nalandabodhi is another.

Find a good teacher to explain this stuff to you.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Rahul on December 20, 2017, 11:32:23 pm
Quote
Quote
What is a bit confusing to me is why birth is considered cause of aging and disease.
If something is not born, how can it grow old, get sick, die?

You are assuming that birth must be followed by aging and illness. This is not an absolute truth. There are creatures that don't age, and don't die until they are hunted or meet an accident. Jellyfish and lobsters are two such species that do not age and are technically immortal, i.e. they die only when they are hunted or destroyed by an accident. Their metabolism doesn't fade, their bodies don't deteriorate.

What makes us and the vast majority of the creatures on this planet go through aging and death? I don't expect you to answer me. It's just a question that bothers me.

As for finding a teacher, I prefer to practice and study alone.

Quote
"Monks, be islands unto yourselves,[1] be your own refuge, having no other; let the Dhamma be an island and a refuge to you, having no other. Those who are islands unto themselves... should investigate to the very heart of things:[2] 'What is the source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair? How do they arise?'"

- Attadiipa Sutta
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Chaz on December 21, 2017, 06:00:37 am
Quote
Quote
What is a bit confusing to me is why birth is considered cause of aging and disease.
If something is not born, how can it grow old, get sick, die?

You are assuming that birth must be followed by aging and illness.

Well, it's true, isn't it?  From the moment you are born you begin to age, and  become suceptable to illnesses.

Quote
This is not an absolute truth.


You had best dfine what you mean by "absolute truth".  In Buddhist teachings, Absolute Truth is Emptiness.  I don't think you're talking about Emptiness, so you should state what that is, clearly.

Name one being that doesn't get older or get sick.  We may not demonstrate aging or illness the same way others do, but we all get older and we all get sick.  Even Jellyfish and Lobsters.

Quote
What makes us and the vast majority of the creatures on this planet go through aging and death?

Like I said before.  Birth.  Without birth,there can be no aging, sickness and death.  Untill we escape the samasaric cycle and are no longer subject to birth, it will happen to us all.

Quote
As for finding a teacher, I prefer to practice and study alone.

Ah!  But you will join a forum and ask questions about the Dharma and Practice.  You are, in effect, asking us to "teach" you.  Maybe you should run off, now, and be that "island to yourself".

LATER:  That was a little harsh.  Sorry about that.  But just the same Rahul, if you believe strongly about going it alone, being a "lamp unto yourself", I can't help but wonder why you're here in Freesangha asking dharma and practice questions and wouldn't it be better if you were off on your own figuring this stuff out for yourself?

Personally, I think going that route is an excercise in futility, but each their own.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Anemephistus on December 21, 2017, 02:14:48 pm
Quote
Quote
What is a bit confusing to me is why birth is considered cause of aging and disease.

If something is not born, how can it grow old, get sick, die?


You are assuming that birth must be followed by aging and illness. This is not an absolute truth. There are creatures that don't age, and don't die until they are hunted or meet an accident. Jellyfish and lobsters are two such species that do not age and are technically immortal, i.e. they die only when they are hunted or destroyed by an accident. Their metabolism doesn't fade, their bodies don't deteriorate.

What makes us and the vast majority of the creatures on this planet go through aging and death? I don't expect you to answer me. It's just a question that bothers me.

As for finding a teacher, I prefer to practice and study alone.

Quote
"Monks, be islands unto yourselves,[1] be your own refuge, having no other; let the Dhamma be an island and a refuge to you, having no other. Those who are islands unto themselves... should investigate to the very heart of things:[2] 'What is the source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair? How do they arise?'"

- Attadiipa Sutta



The immortal jellyfish...and the ancient Lobsters...I suppose if mice are relevant...Alright, The Jellyfish you refer to:

"Theoretically, this process can go on indefinitely, effectively rendering the jellyfish biologically immortal,[3][7] although in practice individuals can still die. In nature, most Turritopsis are likely to succumb to predation or disease in the medusa stage, without reverting to the polyp form"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turritopsis_dohrnii (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turritopsis_dohrnii)

The ancient Lobster:

Lobsters
Further information: Lobster § Longevity

Research suggests that lobsters may not slow down, weaken, or lose fertility with age, and that older lobsters may be more fertile than younger lobsters. This does not however make them immortal in the traditional sense, as they are significantly more likely to die at a shell moult the older they get (as detailed below).

Their longevity may be due to telomerase, an enzyme that repairs long repetitive sections of DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes, referred to as telomeres. Telomerase is expressed by most vertebrates during embryonic stages but is generally absent from adult stages of life.[16] However, unlike vertebrates, lobsters express telomerase as adults through most tissue, which has been suggested to be related to their longevity.[17][18][19] Contrary to popular belief, lobsters are not immortal. Lobsters grow by moulting which requires a lot of energy, and the larger the shell the more energy is required.[20] Eventually, the lobster will die from exhaustion during a moult. Older lobsters are also known to stop moulting, which means that the shell will eventually become damaged, infected, or fall apart and they die.[21] The European lobster has an average life span of 31 years for males and 54 years for females.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_immortality (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_immortality)

The jellyfish which reverts only does so when it is old, sick or injured, also it is essentially a floating central nervous system, which does not retain much experience or learn, when it reverts to the polyp stage it spawns a bunch of identical clones of itself. Twins for instance do not share memory, if they are identical they share exact genes, while the new Jellyfish are identical to the old one, and we can argue they are the same being based on genetics, if they shared the same experience they would be sick or injured. Since they are not sick or injured as was the state of the genetic progenitor,  and this species propagates this way, we can see that despite being genetically identical they are still different in subjective experience, if anything, the Jellyfish has an observable reincarnation not direct immortality free from suffering.

Lobsters die from exhaustion eventually while molting despite their theoretical capacity.

Both species are predators too by the way, and since the are not independent of all other life, they cause a lot of suffering in order to survive. They need to eat, they crave food, and their food craves not to be eaten, when it is, it suffers. I would bet when that jellyfish gets hurt it is often trying to eat some other living thing (I don't blame it, it craves to live just like we do, and we get to buy food when are hungry...I hope), or trying to avoid being eaten, it is not free from the craving and suffering referred to.

Either way these creatures are specific, and a part of life itself, life's greater suffering and it's causes must be realized, it can't be simply conveyed in my opinion. At least not in a way which can be accepted fully without looking at it for yourself, I can't see it all, I am not that wise but to that end....
 
Quote
There seems a distant and weak link between cravings and the physical suffering as explained in most of those articles that I found. Or so it seems to me. Craving results in being, becoming, birth, and hence the aging and disease etc. What is a bit confusing to me is why birth is considered cause of aging and disease. And what about the unexpected accidental suffering not caused by aging or disease, such as accidents. But I guess from here we are entering the murky waters, or probably we can't see because of lack of vision.

Does anyone know any specific techniques to realize this truth? Meditation is of course a very general term, but I would be glad if you could elaborate what meditative techniques or topics would help realize this truth.



You have asked for a suggestion about a perspective meditation which can help with this understanding. I am not a recognized teacher, or a teacher of any kind, I am not a wise person, a monk, a layperson, a guru or any other manner of special person and not really qualified in any sense. But if you choose to ask, and wish to accept an answer from me still understanding this, then I will offer what I think might be a way of seeing what you are asking about. If you do not wish to use it that is your choice and, and it is perhaps wiser, your call.  I do not know what you have practiced, so I will go from where I started. After I discovered I couldn't skip certain things...and thought I had achieved some stuff which I had not but didn't get why until later.

So for me these has been interdependent:

Taming the Monkey Mind!

https://daringtolivefully.com/tame-your-monkey-mind (https://daringtolivefully.com/tame-your-monkey-mind)

Tame that Monkey!  :D The link has several suggestions for helping to deal with the Monkey mind, I can't say that they are all the best ideas available and there is a lot of literature and information about this topic. Personally I just about thought I was going crazy when I tried to focus, then to calmly abide in the present moment, at first I thought I must be either broken or that I was insane, it was torturous, suddenly monks looked god like to me sitting there for hours peacefully. I figured it was possible, but how? Tame the monkey!

Research provided that my monkey mind was at the heart of my problem. Effort, and lots of it brought it to a more manageable level. This was partially due to reading the Heart Sutra and seeing a certain amount of emptiness in the things it was telling me, and a certain amount of interconnected-ness as well but what may work for you could be very different. I don't teach people and so I don't know all of the troubles related to solving this but would love to hear about what approach you take and what works for you should you choose to try it. I had an undelying issue as well which I will elaborate on later.

This is not the classic translation of the heart sutra, but it is the one I think is most accurate based on my experience, which may very well be flawed.

https://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/ (https://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/)

I  read this one first with all of the commentary, It may provide extra or necessary reference.

https://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/heartstr.htm (https://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/heartstr.htm)


Calm Abiding...

I would draw your attention to this linked article at the bottom of the section, number 2 specifically with regards to mindfulness meditation practices. Clam abiding and mindfulness are requisite conditions and foundational to meditative practice, but they are not the sole goal of it. I struggled really hard with mindfulness and calm abiding as requisite conditions as described in the monkey mind paragraph. Turns out I had an undiagnosed anxiety disorder which no meditation that was practicable in my life circumstances was going to work. I could have discarded my life path and gone to a monastery, that might have done it, but I have attachment and so I did not choose to try that option.

My mind was empty for hours and there was no thinking, just the room and breathing and body,  this went on for days when I sat to meditate, but still my heart pounded in my chest and physically I was afraid despite having no attachment to any object of fear. I had started all of this to end a substance abuse problem and I ended up going to get professional help with my anxiety well after it had already helped with the first issue (along with much other input from twelve step program information and my wife). It took the doctor two visits and talking to me to agree my problem was almost definitely brain chemistry because of how I had already tried to deal with it and the state I had gotten to without it stopping.  This happens to me in the fall every year. I see him every six months.

After some rough adjustment, I found the requisite condition, a place I always have to start over to get to when I get lazy and don't put right effort into my practice. Me and my Monkey stay on pretty good terms these days though and I don't have to fight with the simian grunt very often even if I stray for awhile. So I find My mindfulness again, each time is easier, then I move forward.

http://www.freesangha.com/forums/beginner's-buddhism/ten-misperceptions-about-buddhism-(extended-version)/ (http://www.freesangha.com/forums/beginner's-buddhism/ten-misperceptions-about-buddhism-(extended-version)/)


Understanding Vipassana:
 
https://tricycle.org/magazine/vipassana-meditation/ (https://tricycle.org/magazine/vipassana-meditation/)

to quote the article:

"In Vipassana mediation, the meditator uses his concentration as a tool by which his awareness can chip away at the wall of illusion that cuts him off from the living light of reality. It is a gradual process of ever-increasing awareness into the inner workings of reality itself. It takes years, but one day the meditator chisels through that wall and tumbles into the presence of light. The transformation is complete. It’s called Liberation, and it’s permanent. Liberation is the goal of all Buddhist systems of practice. But the routes to the attainment of that end are quite diverse." 

I am not a liberated being, nope, not at all. But I work with this. What I have discerned from it and the peace it has already brought me each time I get to this point is beyond even the wordy scope of this post. I have several times walked around in a daze after I realize something almost unable to process it and as it becomes apparent that it is more applicable in my perception the world comes further into view, I have no idea how far it reaches, getting to the point where I concentrate on it from the platform of stillness to remove barriers described in the sutra/suttas is effective for me. It's just not possible for me to convey what that means perspective wise without writing a really dry book. No one would buy the book, and it would be less informative than the many beings already far better versed than me in the practice. I'm just not that wise, and not a very good Buddhist. I think however that the insight mindfulness meditation brings is critical.


The four sublime states (It's in a PDF form from Buddhanet):

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiNv86SrZvYAhUN6GMKHTedCZ4QFgg7MAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.buddhanet.net%2Fpdf_file%2F4sublime_states.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1JCHJvmLnQ7zCRrVGMqQaY (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiNv86SrZvYAhUN6GMKHTedCZ4QFgg7MAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.buddhanet.net%2Fpdf_file%2F4sublime_states.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1JCHJvmLnQ7zCRrVGMqQaY)

(this is a website version without the discourse)

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanaponika/wheel006.html (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanaponika/wheel006.html)

I haven't fully attained this teaching, it includes instructions about where to focus thought energy and what to meditate on. The effort I have put into it which when combined with a limited understanding of an interconnected reality has challenged me to lose a lot of notions, some I have let go of, others not so much, but if we ask questions about the great cycle of all suffering and it's source then seeing all living things with the proper perspective seems critical to the understanding.

I hope it helps, the meditation on the four sublime states is...difficult for me, I am exposed to a lot of things which make it hard to hold onto and act on. We all are honestly, but these were taught by the Buddha and I think the effort of seeking them might help provide an answer. Where intellect seeks to overcome the answers we find, realization can provide the answers through proper discernment, but I cannot give you realization, I'm just not that wise, so I think through the Sutra you can find you hold the capacity for what you are seeking in this case if you put in the right effort to find it and use careful and proper discernment. You will need to take extra care without a teacher, I have arrived at some bad conclusions because I have had guidance only in the form of books and it caused me extra effort to recognize them....I also can't tell how many more I haul around because there is no one to tell me for sure.   

Sorry for the immodest leangth of the post, but you have said

 
Quote
Does anyone know any specific techniques to realize this truth? Meditation is of course a very general term, but I would be glad if you could elaborate what meditative techniques or topics would help realize this truth.


I am just not able to make it smaller for such a big question.

Lastly: The word "Know" is operative, I do not know this will do what you ask, I cannot see the outcome fully as I am not educated on the thousands of years of what works and what does not work for specific things, But I have worked with all of this (Not attained it fully) and I think I see what you are asking for.  I can point at what I have done, and tell you about it. But I am no authority and wish to be clear for one last time on this point.

Best wishes! I hope it helps!

 :om:

   
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: ground on December 21, 2017, 11:50:48 pm
Does anyone know any specific techniques to realize this truth?
Belief and belief that this belief is realization.  :fu:

Does anyone know any specific techniques to realize this truth? Meditation is of course a very general term, but I would be glad if you could elaborate what meditative techniques or topics would help realize this truth.

Shamatha/Vipassana.  If you can find someone who can teach you Analytical meditation, that's probably best.  Teachers associated with the Nitartha Institute is one source of that training.  Meditation instructors with Nalandabodhi is another.

Find a good teacher to explain this stuff to you.

He advises to find someone who can make you believe.  :fu:


As for finding a teacher, I prefer to practice and study alone.
It wouldn't take much to believe if doubt wouldn't be concomitant with belief.  :fu:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: ground on December 22, 2017, 12:03:16 am
A cause cannot be directly perceived, so how could a cause ever exist?

It is a scenario of a diversity of directly perceptible existents upon which thought constructs a cause due to conditioning.


An effect cannot be directly perceived, so how could an effect ever exist?

It is a scenario of a diversity of directly perceptible existents upon which thought constructs an effect due to conditioning.


And the directly perceptible existents do have spacio-temporal extension and thus they have parts.

But what has parts cannot possibly exist inherently but exists only through imputation depending on parts.

And what exists only through imputation is itself a construction of conditioned thought.


So it boils down to the uselessness of perceptions and thoughts.

Nothing has ever existed as truth inherently.

Nothing has ever existed as a phenomenon inherently.

Nothing has ever existed as cause or effect inherently.


Everything naturally dissolves in the interval between acceptance and rejection, in the interval between affirmation and negation.

The Great Ease has been spontaneously present from the outset.


 :fu:

Are you making a deliberate effort to create the most nonsensical posts possible?

There is no effort involved in non-doing. Words are empty of meaning from the outset. If nonsense is found in words that is the nonsense arising dependent on the reader's conditioning or lack of appropriate conditioning. :fu:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: meez on December 22, 2017, 09:13:38 am

There is no effort involved in non-doing. Words are empty of meaning from the outset. If nonsense is found in words that is the nonsense arising dependent on the reader's conditioning or lack of appropriate conditioning. :fu:

You are "doing" and you are making an effort.  The fact that you take multiple steps to visit the site, log in, click on threads, read them, click the reply button, type the words, then click "post" means you aren't even close to "non-doing".  If you truly believed words are empty and meaningless, you wouldn't be "doing" all the aforementioned things to let everyone here see them.

The "everything is nothing and nothing is nothing and this is empty and emptiness is nothingness" stuff is too much for every thread you comment in.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: ground on December 22, 2017, 10:54:02 pm

There is no effort involved in non-doing. Words are empty of meaning from the outset. If nonsense is found in words that is the nonsense arising dependent on the reader's conditioning or lack of appropriate conditioning. :fu:

You are "doing" and you are making an effort.  The fact that you take multiple steps to visit the site, log in, click on threads, read them, click the reply button, type the words, then click "post" means you aren't even close to "non-doing".  If you truly believed words are empty and meaningless, you wouldn't be "doing" all the aforementioned things to let everyone here see them.

The "everything is nothing and nothing is nothing and this is empty and emptiness is nothingness" stuff is too much for every thread you comment in.

The 'you'-ing and the 'me'-ing and the 'they'-ing and the 'we'-ing arise ceaselessly as does the asserting, believing, accepting, affirming, rejecting and negating.
Since nothing at all, neither the 'you', nor the 'me', nor the 'they, nor the 'we' etc. has ever existed inherently as self or other what or who may get involved in arisings when what arises dissolves in the interval between acceptance and rejction, in the inverval between affirmation and negation? Without involvement what may be the basis for volition and effort? Without volition and effort what may be the basis for doing sth? Nobody doing anything. No basis in empty space.
Simplicity, suchness, notionlessness -
The Great Ease.

 :fu:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on December 24, 2017, 11:39:49 am
Quote
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All.  Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.023.than.html (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.023.than.html)

 :fu:

Silly kindergarten sutta for silly Brahmans who sillyly believed Brahma or God was 'The All'. Quoting this sutta all the time means nothing much.  :bugeye:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: ground on December 24, 2017, 11:36:01 pm
Quoting this sutta all the time means nothing much.  :bugeye:
Nothing means anything from the outset. Total meaninglessness. Great Ease.

 :fu:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Rahul on December 25, 2017, 07:52:27 pm
If you say that's a 'kindergarten' sutta, you should reconsider its meaning and implications. We think the world means the objects, the scenery, the smells, ... but in fact it's all just an experience. Experience arising from the stimuli coming in contact with your senses, and the way you interpret them. It's just and just an experience. Haven't we all had vivid dreams in which we feel it to be a reality? For example, in such a dream if you see coins lying in the ground and if you pick them up, it feels as good as a real coin. When you wake up you realized it was your mind tricking you to feel that it was real. This reality is no more than that. A trickery of the mind. Maya!
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: BlackLooter 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?
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Dairy Lama 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.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Shogun 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.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: VincentRJ 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.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Dairy Lama 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.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: VincentRJ 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'.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Dairy Lama 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 (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn36/sn36.006.than.html)

This might be looked at differently in different schools of Buddhism of course.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: VincentRJ 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 (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.  :)
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Anemephistus 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 (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?
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: VincentRJ 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 (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.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Dairy Lama 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.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Dairy Lama 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.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: VincentRJ 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.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Anemephistus 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!
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: BlackLooter 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..
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 27, 2018, 02:35:39 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.

Sure, bodily pain has a protective function in evolutionary terms.  But bodily pain also results from disease and aging, and those things will come to us all sooner or later.  It's just the way it is.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: stillpointdancer on January 27, 2018, 04:04:01 am

Sure, bodily pain has a protective function in evolutionary terms.  But bodily pain also results from disease and aging, and those things will come to us all sooner or later.  It's just the way it is.
That's it exactly. Pain is part of being alive and being human. Without it, it wouldn't be the same experience. On the other hand I have had enough myself to understand why people would want to be without physical pain sometimes.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: VincentRJ on January 27, 2018, 04:06:31 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.

Sure, bodily pain has a protective function in evolutionary terms.  But bodily pain also results from disease and aging, and those things will come to us all sooner or later.  It's just the way it is.

That certainly used to be the case, during the times of the Buddha. However, we now have modern medicines, a variety of effective pain-killers, and potentially very good palliative care for those who have no hope of recovery.

Of course, people who are ill and/or aged usually experience some degree of discomfort, but it's nothing like what it used to be in a world without anesthetics, effective pain-killers, and well-organised, caring hospital staff.

Consider yourself lucky you aren't living during the times of the Buddha. We now have the best of both worlds; the wisdom of ancient sages plus the benefits of modern science and medicine, and in some advanced societies a social security network that takes good care of the poor.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 28, 2018, 03:35:17 am
Of course, people who are ill and/or aged usually experience some degree of discomfort, but it's nothing like what it used to be in a world without anesthetics, effective pain-killers, and well-organised, caring hospital staff.

Bodily pain is better managed these days ( at least in some countries ), but there is still illness, disease, aging and death, and these are inescapable.

The important point here is that the more one can accept these facts of life, the less mental anguish and dukkha there will be.  That's what the Arrow Sutta is saying.

Linking this back to the OP, the Second Noble Truth basically says that dukkha results from reacting to experience with craving ( wanting ) and aversion ( not wanting ), rather than with equanimity.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 28, 2018, 03:37:06 am

Sure, bodily pain has a protective function in evolutionary terms.  But bodily pain also results from disease and aging, and those things will come to us all sooner or later.  It's just the way it is.
That's it exactly. Pain is part of being alive and being human. Without it, it wouldn't be the same experience. On the other hand I have had enough myself to understand why people would want to be without physical pain sometimes.

I have found that chronic pain is the worst, it can be really debilitating.  Those who are lucky enough not to have yet experienced significant bodily pain might not fully understand of course.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: VincentRJ on January 28, 2018, 04:31:42 am
Of course, people who are ill and/or aged usually experience some degree of discomfort, but it's nothing like what it used to be in a world without anesthetics, effective pain-killers, and well-organised, caring hospital staff.

Bodily pain is better managed these days ( at least in some countries ), but there is still illness, disease, aging and death, and these are inescapable.

I think what you means is that aging and death is inescapable. Illness, disease and the consequent 'physical' pain can be significantly reduced, and sometimes avoided, through a combination of a healthy diet and life-style, the use of pain-killers when painful problems arise, for whatever reasons, and the effective medical procedure which were not available during the times of the Buddha

At least, that's my experience so far. I'm currently 75 years old, nearing 76. I hope to live at least to a hundred, but not by being kept alive for long periods whilst incapacitated. When there's no hope for recovery, I wish to pass away in the most peaceful manner, with whatever amount of palliative care that is required for a peaceful death.

If I were to disagree with the doctor's prognosis or recommended treatment, I might try to cure myself with prolonged fasting, or natural herbal remedies, because I like to be in charge of myself, and tend to favour natural remedies.

Quote
The important point here is that the more one can accept these facts of life, the less mental anguish and dukkha there will be.  That's what the Arrow Sutta is saying.

Of course. That's pretty obvious. Accepting the inevitable has to be beneficial. The Christian Serenity Prayer is very relevant in this context.

"God, grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change...
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference."
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: BlackLooter on January 28, 2018, 04:35:11 am
 :r4wheel:

So Buddha exists forever..

But all these things are transient..:

Sickness, disease, the aging process and death..

Even the functions of the body are transient

Thoughts, mindfulness of certain and uncertain things..

No object can last forever except that which lives on in memory

Based on non attachment to these things.. one might overcome life and death..

And maybe suffering itself..

This is all according to the Buddha's teachings..

I think a good question is this: Can one attain Buddhahood during this life? During these times?
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: VincentRJ on January 28, 2018, 04:53:32 am
:r4wheel:
I think a good question is this: Can one attain Buddhahood during this life? During these times?

Only a person who claims to have achieved Buddhahood in this life could answer such a question. I certainly don't claim to have achieved such a state.  :wink1:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: BlackLooter on January 28, 2018, 05:01:20 am
Hmmm, I think everyone is a Buddha some of the time.. but attaining 100% Buddhahood would probably be a miracle in these end of days..
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 28, 2018, 07:46:03 am
Of course, people who are ill and/or aged usually experience some degree of discomfort, but it's nothing like what it used to be in a world without anesthetics, effective pain-killers, and well-organised, caring hospital staff.

Bodily pain is better managed these days ( at least in some countries ), but there is still illness, disease, aging and death, and these are inescapable.

I think what you means is that aging and death is inescapable. Illness, disease and the consequent 'physical' pain can be significantly reduced, and sometimes avoided, through a combination of a healthy diet and life-style, the use of pain-killers when painful problems arise, for whatever reasons, and the effective medical procedure which were not available during the times of the Buddha

At least, that's my experience so far. I'm currently 75 years old, nearing 76. I hope to live at least to a hundred, but not by being kept alive for long periods whilst incapacitated. When there's no hope for recovery, I wish to pass away in the most peaceful manner, with whatever amount of palliative care that is required for a peaceful death.

If I were to disagree with the doctor's prognosis or recommended treatment, I might try to cure myself with prolonged fasting, or natural herbal remedies, because I like to be in charge of myself, and tend to favour natural remedies.

Quote
The important point here is that the more one can accept these facts of life, the less mental anguish and dukkha there will be.  That's what the Arrow Sutta is saying.

Of course. That's pretty obvious. Accepting the inevitable has to be beneficial. The Christian Serenity Prayer is very relevant in this context.

"God, grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change...
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference."


No, I do mean that illness, disease, aging and death are inevitable.  A good lifestyle can reduce the risks of illness and disease, but there are no guarantees, and I have several friends get seriously ill despite doing all the right things.

"Accepting the inevitable has to be beneficial" might be obvious intellectually, but really seeing it is something else entirely. 

 
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: VincentRJ on January 28, 2018, 06:25:41 pm
No, I do mean that illness, disease, aging and death are inevitable.  A good lifestyle can reduce the risks of illness and disease, but there are no guarantees, and I have several friends get seriously ill despite doing all the right things.

"Accepting the inevitable has to be beneficial" might be obvious intellectually, but really seeing it is something else entirely.

I think perhaps the confusion here, at least on my part, is the concept that it's possible to die of old age. Apparently no doctor would write on any death certificate that the cause of death was old age, even if the cause is not clear as a result of many overlapping complexities.

As the body ages, the immune system functions less effectively, the cells reproduce with error, so eventually the body becomes vulnerable to a specific disease or a multitude of overlapping ailments that cause death.
So, in the sense that death is always accompanied by some sort, or many sorts, of disease, causing organ failure, I would agree that illness, disease, aging and death are inevitable, eventually.

The key word here is 'eventually'. The word inevitable means unavoidable. On the path towards one's eventual demise, there are many illnesses and accidents which can be avoided, but of course not necessarily always avoided in all circumstances.

My objection is really to the all-encompassing, blanket nature of your statement, which seems to imply that there's nothing one can do to avoid illness and disease during the course of one's life. For example, I'm sure you would agree there are many vaccines that are effective against many specific diseases, such as  polio, measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, mumps, tetanus, hepatitis, cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, and so on.

I presume such diseases would have existed during the times of the Buddha, and infant mortality would have been very high, as well as the suffering of many adults from accidents and diseases that got progressively worse, as witnessed by the Buddha outside the palace.

I'm sorry that you had friends who got seriously ill despite doing all the right things. However, self-reporting is often very unreliable. How can we be sure they did all the right things? There is also the problem of genetic variability, so what is right for one person might not be right for another.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 29, 2018, 03:01:30 am
I acknowledged it is possible to reduce the risk of illness and disease.  But I think you are missing the point that there is a genetic component in many diseases, so it's the luck of the draw in terms of family history and predisposition.   

Anyway, returning to the OP, what is your take on the Second Noble Truth?  What did you make of my earlier summary of the Second Truth, as follows:  "The Second Noble Truth basically says that dukkha results from reacting to experience with craving ( wanting ) and aversion ( not wanting ), rather than with equanimity."  Agree?  Disagree?
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: VincentRJ on January 29, 2018, 05:31:32 pm
I acknowledged it is possible to reduce the risk of illness and disease.

Do you also acknowledge that it's sometimes possible to actually cure an illness and disease with modern medicines that weren't available during the times of the Buddha?

Quote
But I think you are missing the point that there is a genetic component in many diseases, so it's the luck of the draw in terms of family history and predisposition.


Why do you think that? Didn't you notice my remark at the end of the previous post?  "There is also the problem of genetic variability, so what is right for one person might not be right for another."

Quote
What did you make of my earlier summary of the Second Truth, as follows: "The Second Noble Truth basically says that dukkha results from reacting to experience with craving ( wanting ) and aversion ( not wanting ), rather than with equanimity." Agree? Disagree?

Agree/Disagree? Isn't that a duality? Shouldn't we try to avoid dualities, like hot or cold, good or bad, when trying to be precise?

I believe I understand the Arrow Sutta quite well. The initial experience of pain from the arrow, which serves a very practical and necessary purpose, is often exaggerated by feelings of aversion, and worry about the consequences of the pain. Different parts of the brain and its pathways, deal with the different aspects of that initial pain from the arrow. One part of the brain generates the basic feeling of pain due to the arrow piercing the flesh. Another part of the brain identifies the location of the source of the pain in or on the body, and yet other parts of the brain will fabricate the worry, anguish and aversion which has the effect of exaggerating the pain.

I have no doubt that Buddhist teachings, meditation and mindfulness practices, can significantly reduce the overall pain, by eliminating those aspects of the pain which are due to aversion, anguish and worry. What I'm not so sure about is the experience of that basic, fundamental, signal of pain, that informs our consciousness that an injury to our body has occurred.

I would deduce that a very advanced Buddhist practitioner, such as an Arahant, which I don't claim to be, would be able to completely remove all sensations of pain, and even undergo a major surgical operation without the need of anesthetics, but I'm just speculating.

There is also the issue of the precise meaning of Dukkha. Does it include all types of pain, including that basic, unadorned pain of an arrow piercing the flesh? If it does, then your summary of the Second Noble Truth needs amending along the lines:

"The Second Noble Truth basically says that often (but not always) dukkha results from reacting to experience with craving ( wanting ) and aversion ( not wanting ), rather than with equanimity."

Am I getting too pedantic?  :wink1:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Anemephistus on January 29, 2018, 07:41:48 pm
In the Arrow sutta provided by this link:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn36/sn36.006.than.html (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn36/sn36.006.than.html)


There is the Sutta, and Near the end, There are four Verses, Mantra, Stanza (?)  Each of them sharing relevance.

I see a couple of major things, but am entirely open to the possibility that what I think on this is misinterpreted.

First, That a person who feels mental suffering from physical pain suffers twice, which the Sutta says plainly.

Second, That a person who is attached to the idea of health and fails to recognize that it is going to fail regardless of effort eventually, is going to suffer twice, because this disposition will not be prepared to fully accept the first understanding, they can't be. So they will resort to the things listed in the Suttra which are "uninstructed" because they have not prepared and realized the futility of the situation, instead being caught in the specifics.   

Quote
The discerning person, learned,
doesn't sense a (mental) feeling of pleasure or pain:
 This is the difference in skillfulness between the sage & the person run-of-the-mill.

For a learned person
who has fathomed the Dhamma,
clearly seeing this world & the next,
           desirable things don't charm the mind,
           undesirable ones bring no resistance.

 His acceptance
& rejection   are scattered,
            gone to their end,
            do not exist.

Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
 has gone,
beyond becoming,
 to the Further Shore.

My personal trouble is with  desirable things don't charm the mind, health is desirable, sure, but failing to accept that it is going to fail, (because one way or another it is going to), that seems like being charmed by it. Arguing that this type of failure or that type of failure is the relevant point and being terribly specific avoids that health is fragile, and every effort, every skill, the entire legacy of medicine and healing art developed by all of the effort all of humankind out of the desire to keep health intact has not solved death, illness and aging.

The teaching seems to provide a disposition about this in undesirable ones bring no resistance. I haven't achieved this, I know this because the last time I almost died I was really unhappy about it and it wasn't really that long ago (illness). Now, I learned from that, and when I was badly injured and stuck I was a great deal more peaceful about it, but I learned that I am defiantly going to die and I already know I get illness and am aging. I could get specific, argue that this thing or that thing will not be the way of it, but that's resisting. 

Trying to accept these issues in advance and create the proper dispositions to them seems like the only course of action when one reads this, especially in light of the For a learned person part. It seems to me to indicate that learning before the arrow is the only way to go. 

Physically resisting illness is responsible, you wouldn't leave the arrow there, mentally resisting illness, aging and death as relevant phenomenon which will be important to us all seems like craving to me, and, while not explicit in the sutta, it does seem implicit to me.  What is the point of the mental resistance if it does not come from craving a different circumstance, why be specific about this illness or that one if not craving to see a way of escape,  there will always be another and eventually my body will fail, I will physically resist but mentally I am practicing to let go of this concern.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: VincentRJ on January 30, 2018, 04:06:13 am
I'm not sure I understand all the points you are making, Anemephistus.
Your post sounds a bit rambling. You haven't been drinking have you?  :wink1:

Anyway, one of the problems in the Sutta that I see is highlighted by the following verse towards the end of your 'acesstoinsight' link.

"The discerning person, learned, doesn't sense a (mental) feeling of pleasure or pain: This is the difference in skillfulness between the sage & the person run-of-the-mill."

Since we both agree that the sensation of bodily pain serves a vital purpose for survival, I find the statement a bit strange that a discerning and learned person would not sense any feeling of pleasure or pain at all.
Perhaps this is due to a flawed translation of the Sutta, or a failure, in the memorised teachings handed down by word of mouth for hundreds of years, to understand that all pain, whatever it's source, can only be experienced in the mind.

I don't see how anyone could sensibly argue against that in modern times. A person who is anesthetized does not feel any pain, of whatever type, because he is temporarily unconscious. To feel pain one has to be awake and conscious.

The word (mental), in parenthesis in the quote, would appear to suggest there is a distinction being made between a pain with a physical source and a pain with a mental source, and that the discerning and learned person does not feel any of the emotional pain that the run-of-the-mill person unnecessarily and foolishly creates, and which adds to the initial, physical pain stimulus and might make the pain in the mind, unbearable.

If this is what is really meant in the Sutta, it's still not clear how that pain with a physical source is felt by the discerning and learned person. I'm assuming that the discerning and learned person still feels the pain, but it is much reduced when stripped of the unnecessary emotional pain, and is therefore much more bearable, but still strong enough to be useful as a warning signal.

Quote
My personal trouble is with desirable things don't charm the mind, health is desirable, sure, but failing to accept that it is going to fail, (because one way or another it is going to), that seems like being charmed by it. Arguing that this type of failure or that type of failure is the relevant point and being terribly specific avoids that health is fragile, and every effort, every skill, the entire legacy of medicine and healing art developed by all of the effort all of humankind out of the desire to keep health intact has not solved death, illness and aging.

We have not completely solved it, true. But we have definitely created the potential for great improvement, especially if one combines the wisdom of Buddhism with the modern dietary and lifestyle knowledge, and with modern medication and painkillers when used as a last resort when natural remedies don't work.

Of course, in the end, there's no escaping death and the accompanying illness that eventually causes it. However, prior to that inevitable ending, we have the potential to organize our affairs to ensure maximum health and longevity, if we wish to give that priority.

My impression is that most people don't have that as a priority. Their priority is satisfying their desires, ego and vanity, eating too much tasty but junk food just for the pleasure, and becoming overweight and sick as a result.

My impression also is that much of the modern medical industry in developed countries, serves the purpose of administering medication to sick people to allow them to continue with their unhealthy diet and lifestyle which is the real cause of their illness. It's much easier to take a blood-pressure pill every day than change one's diet and lifestyle in order to reduce one's blood pressure.
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Anemephistus on January 30, 2018, 09:54:43 pm
I am also curious as to the question from DL directed at the OP :
Quote
"The Second Noble Truth basically says that dukkha results from reacting to experience with craving ( wanting ) and aversion ( not wanting ), rather than with equanimity."  Agree?  Disagree?

Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on February 04, 2018, 06:04:58 am
Quote
Anemephistus:  I am also curious as to the question from DL directed at the OP :

Quote
DL:  "The Second Noble Truth basically says that dukkha results from reacting to experience with craving ( wanting ) and aversion ( not wanting ), rather than with equanimity."  Agree?  Disagree?

My take, primarily due to study and personal experience,  is that all manner of clinging inevitably leads to dukkha due to ignorance of the underlying cause: "impermanence".  In short, no matter what we "wish" or "want" to remain as is (status quo), will end, deteriorate, corrupt, or change.  This reality of life has not changed for me in any circumstance I can remember during my last seventy-three and seven twelfths years. 

My personal experience has been:  "All things arise, dwell for but a time, and eventually pass away."

Ironically,  the only thing that never seems to change is "impermanence".

Therefore, IMHO, it is "ignorance" of this fact which leads to suffering, because when we don't realize this we cling to what is impermanent.  :dharma:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Empty13 on February 13, 2018, 01:03:04 pm
Quote
"And this, monks is the noble truth of the origination of dukkha: the craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming."

— SN 56.11

How does craving cause physical suffering? For the mental suffering, I can understand that if there's nothing to crave for, there won't be dissatisfaction, stress, anxiety, fear, the fire of desires... But suffering isn't just mental. What's the connection between physical suffering - birth, death, aging, illness - and craving?

Have you thought to look at what some well-known teachers have to say on the matter?  While they may be teaching on the 4NT, they may also be using different source materials (translations, etc) and different perspectives which will bring with it different insights that may offer better answers to your questions.

In addition I would disregard what VR wrote:

Quote
There is no such thing as physical suffering.

This is dismissive of your question as well as, relatively speaking, innacurate, or just plain wrong.

Relatively speaking there is physical pain.  As in the example I presented to VR, the physical pain you experience is very real.  Now, your question is about craving being a cause of physical pain, is kinda tricky.  Slamming a door on your fingers may not be the result of craving - I mean, who actually craves having a door slammed on their fingers.  No one I know.  In the other hand there is, without a doubt, serious aversion to having a door slam on your fingers.  IN the parlance of the Dharma, craving and aversion are opposite extremes.  Some philosophical schools within the Mahayana would on that basis see them as the same thing.  Still, in practical terms it's nearly impossible to see craving/aversion as the cause of physical pain.  You can, however see attachment to craving/aversion to pain - yes some people are really into physical pain - will give rise to dukkha.

So physical pain isn't caused by craving.  Pain is caused by painful experiences, like slamming a door on your fingers, a dry socket, a burst appendix, passing a kidney stone or reading ground's egregious nonsense.  It's very real, too.  If you don't think so, let me introduce you to my first wife.

This made me chuckle, thank you.  :cheesy:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Dairy Lama on February 20, 2018, 03:19:21 am
Ironically,  the only thing that never seems to change is "impermanence".

Impermanence ends for us when we snuff it of course.   :wink1:
Title: Re: The Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is craving? Is that all?
Post by: Lotusmile on April 03, 2018, 03:37:28 am
As far as earth is concerned, if any living beings don’t age or die on earth, the that part of earth would be solely covered by this living beings. Earth also will “die” and form again unless all beings enlightened. Even formless Heavenly beings having extremely long lifespan will “die”. Arhat will “die” as well when they become buddha, the dieless
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