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The core of the Buddhist teachings are the four noble truths which talks about the existence of suffering. Other religions criticize Buddhism telling that this focusing on suffering makes the followers to be aware of the existence suffering and to feel more suffering instead of trying to enjoy the good things life can give us.

One answer Buddhism gives to this review is that, yes suffering exists and we are in a suffering situation but the four noble truths continues and tells us that it's possible to stop suffering.

On the other hand, suffering is stopped when enlightenment is achieved and yes, it is possible to stop suffering but also very unlikely even for monks and for an average person that would be even more difficult.

Does it means Buddhism will make the average follower to feel more suffering?

  • Related: How to explain what Buddhism is? – ChrisW Jul 29 '17 at 8:25
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    Nope. You are focusing on that aspect too much. Remember, it's always you and your thoughts. Without your ideas, Buddhism as a concept wouldn't even exist. – esh Jul 29 '17 at 8:28
  • See also Buddhism is kind of depressing – Thiago Jul 29 '17 at 12:07
  • Only Buddha told what is dukkha (Sorrow) and how to overcome it. You can see neither praying nor reciting can conquer suffering, Buddhism is a sole way to peace. – Swapnil Jul 29 '17 at 14:48
  • The understanding of Karma has to be balanced with the FNT. – theDoctor Jul 29 '17 at 16:15
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Does Buddhism focus on suffering too much?

Buddhsim doesn't focus on suffering, it only tells that suffering is essential part of life.

Other religions criticize Buddhism

Because they haven't understood Buddhism. They may think that Buddhism makes person to think life is full of suffering and lets person feel bad by making them think this things. But what Buddha told is only that suffering is essential part of life but it also can be removed, that's all. And he started to search for a way from which this remaining of suffering can also be removed. As a result he understood the four noble truths i.e:

enter image description here

Suffering is always coming in your life not life is suffering. All the suffering has some reason. all the upcoming suffering and unhappiness and negative experience can be stopped/decreased. and finally the 8 methods which if any human being follows he will feel no suffering in future. That's all. simple. Its just a simple psychology of human mind. Because Buddha himself was just a master scientist/psychologist who have carefully observed and examined everything related to mind. Surprisingly he also discovered that everything what we call universe is just part of mind and other unbelievable things related to parapsychology which truth seekers may find interested. But he also found that involving in other fruits of meditation ignoring the main goal is only stupid thing. So it can be see that what other religious people say about Buddhism is total 100% ignorance and lack of understanding of Buddhism.

... but also very unlikely even for monks and for an average person that would be even more difficult.

Does it means Buddhism will make the average follower to feel more suffering?

It only means that those who are practicing the 8 noble paths: i.e

enter image description here

will start to feel less suffering than other normal people. Because those people who are practicing Buddhism will realize that what they were thinking as suffering, loss and unhappiness were only their thoughts created by their own mind and nothing else. It should be noted that anyone who knowingly or unknowingly follow this natural laws, not Buddhas teaching he will live more happier life.

So the meaning of following this path is to just increase the level of awareness, realization, happiness and joyfullness. So it doesn't means that average follower will feel more suffering. You can watch the videos made by the 10 day course meditators, they'll explain the difference in before and after experience of following this 8 fold paths.

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Does it means Buddhism will make the average follower to feel more suffering?

No. Like every religion there are Buddhists that take the teachings of kamma too seriously or miscomprehend the 1st noble truth, just as some Christians take sin & hell too seriously.

However, most Buddhist love Buddhism & are very happy to have it.

The core of the Buddhist teachings are the four noble truths which talks about the existence of suffering. Other religions criticize Buddhism telling that this focusing on suffering makes the followers to be aware of the existence suffering and to feel more suffering instead of trying to enjoy the good things life can give us.

This statement is false & mostly pertains to the recent modern political, economic & imperialist phenomena called Protestant-Judaeo-Christianity, whose followers are spiritually blind due to their lust for worldly things.

In other words, the real Christian teachings in the Bible & also historically talked much about the suffering of the world & the giving up of 'worldliness'.

People who believe there are "good things" to enjoy in life are called "worldlings", in both Buddhism & Christianity,

The love of the world is for Judaics & the Crypto-Judaics who call themselves 'Protestant Christians'.

Real Buddhists & Christians seek the bliss of heaven. Jesus said: "My kingdom is not of this world".

One answer Buddhism gives to this review is that, yes suffering exists and we are in a suffering situation but the four noble truths continues and tells us that it's possible to stop suffering.

This is not a Buddhist answer but a view influenced by fundamentalist religion that tries to present a total view of life.

Buddhism does not state "we are in a suffering situation". Instead, like a doctor waiting for sick people to visit, Buddhism waits for people who are themselves aware of suffering in their life and look for a solution.

On the other hand, suffering is stopped when enlightenment is achieved and yes, it is possible to stop suffering but also very unlikely even for monks and for an average person that would be even more difficult.

It is true the majority of people cannot stop all suffering. Buddhism has no illusions about this. When the Buddha reached enlightenment, he said his core teachings, such as the four noble truths, were for the few rather than for the many.

In the Bible, it is reported Jesus said the same, when he said: "The road to life is narrow & only few will enter through the narrow gate".

This said, the Buddha & Buddhism rarely taught the four noble truths to ordinary lay people. Most Asian Buddhist lay people cannot even tell you what the four noble truths are.

Again, it is only a Western academic phenomena that believes the four nobles truths are the be all & end all of Buddhism.

Buddhism has teachings for lay people who, like the Christian Protestants, love the world.

  • Yes medicine or science tells us that our body has bacterias but a lot of them or the majority of these are responsible for oue immune system etc. Same can't be said of suffering in Buddhism. It's always something one wants to get rid off. – Val Aug 9 '17 at 15:22
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Does Buddhism focus on suffering too much?

Buddhism teaches the law of nature.That everything is subject to change.

Suffering =clinging to change.

..instead of trying to enjoy the good things life can give us.

Even the good things in life is suffering.Because it will end and give way to something else.You can see this for yourself.There is no happiness that you will meet that will last forever.We are always continuously trying to store it somewhere.Hold on to it.Fight for it.Cherish it...But it is nature to change.

As the practice matures you realise everything is subject to change.Everything is so unreliable.So you hold on less and less.And then you realise even the self is subject to change.What you always considered your self starts to gradually fade away.And then it dawns on you..if everything changes..consciousness changes..who exactly is suffering happening to..who exactly is life happening to..who is life revolving around..every time i try to pin point it i can never seem to find it..

If Buddhism is portrayed as teaching that Life is suffering.Then the good news is there's no one suffering to begin with.No one that suffering is happening to.

Buddhism shows a path where you realise for yourself through direct experience that there is no-one suffering.All there is is ever changing experiences.All there ever was was constantly changing experiences.Then you get a sense of relief.Release.

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Does medicine focus on disease too much?

but also very unlikely even for monks and for an average person that would be even more difficult

Not that very unlikely. In Ancient India, an average person does not have access to internet, books, mediation centers, etc. to learn about Buddhism. In fact, an average Ancient Indian person is illiterate. However, there are still a lot of people achieved enlightenment as recorded.

Also, the WHO definition of health is:

a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

According to this definition, few people are healthy. But medicine is still useful even if most people can only achieve incomplete health via medicine.

Does it means Buddhism will make the average follower to feel more suffering?

Medicine tells average followers that their body is full of bacteria.

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Buddhists also believe in the Law of Karma, which explains that one’s own happiness or suffering, success or failure, health or illness and so on, are caused by one’s own bodily, verbal or mental actions (karma means action). Karma is not fatalism, since Buddhists realise that karma is ‘work-in-progress’ so that even now they are generating the causes for future prosperity or failure. Thus, in times of distress, Buddhists will seek to do good karma to alleviate any unpleasantness.

Culture and Religion Information Sheet Buddhism by The Buddhist Society of Western Australia in July 2015

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Householder Luis Orantes, and those interested,

In order to understand/better see the 1. Noble Truth, which is actually the cause condition of the path to liberation, one has to get known the The difficult, importand friend, who is not at all an enemy but the cause that Saddha, ...contentment,... happiness,...concentration,...wisdom, release, knowledge of release whould arise. For one who does not proper focus on suffering everywhere, the path would never develop and he would stay delight once here, once there, bound.

...conviction has stress & suffering as its prerequisite, joy has conviction as its prerequisite, rapture has joy as its prerequisite, serenity has rapture as its prerequisite, pleasure has serenity as its prerequisite, concentration has pleasure as its prerequisite, knowledge & vision of things as they actually are present has concentration as its prerequisite, disenchantment has knowledge & vision of things as they actually are present as its prerequisite, dispassion has disenchantment as its prerequisite, release has dispassion as its prerequisite, knowledge of ending has release as its prerequisite...

So without leaving home, stand, and look out for the suffering in the world, as long householder, it's difficult to ever trace or practice on the path, yet it is the suffering seen in the world, in ones home, stand, that leads one out and to went forth, having found a worthy refuge.

(Note that this is not given for trade exchange, stacks or entertaining but to realice suffering in it and seek for an escape from this wheel)

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