Questions tagged [suffering]

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36
votes
8answers
10k views

If a buddhist should not kill a mouse living in their home, what justification do they have to rid themselves of a parasite such tapeworms

An extension of this question posted earlier: How not to kill the mouse in my house? Where does one draw the line for which forms of life are ok to destroy, and which ones are not? Is it just a ...
35
votes
19answers
4k views

How to explain what Buddhism is?

My mother and I come from a non-Buddhist culture/background/society/country/family. At one point when I had an opportunity to explain to her what Buddhism is, I was doing well (i.e. she was listening ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Why did the Buddha suffer before he died?

I understand that the Buddha became severely ill prior to his death as a result of eating bad food. I also was under the impression that perfectly enlightened beings have obliterated, or rendered ...
13
votes
6answers
4k views

How can I remove my desire for a relationship/girlfriend?

For at least half of my life I've had an extremely strong desire to be in a relationship/have a girlfriend and though I've tried, I've been unsuccessful and this has brought me tremendous suffering to ...
12
votes
6answers
558 views

Compassion to friends: stepping in vs. letting them learn on their own

There is a story about how the Buddha will knock on your door if your house is on fire, but he will not kick it down because you have to answer the door yourself. This is analogous to the Four Noble ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Can a Buddhist be ambitious?

Over the last few months I've distanced myself from my sangha and from Buddhism in general. I still meditate but no longer identify as a Buddhist. One of the things I've noticed is the return of some ...
9
votes
14answers
6k views

Did the Buddha really say that “life is suffering”?

I often see the first noble truth (duḥkha) stated as "life is suffering". I have yet to come across a passage in a Buddhist text which phrases it like this - mostly they don't talk about "life" in ...
9
votes
11answers
1k views

How can you see suffering in the breath?

In his book Breath by Breath, Larry Rosenberg says that being mindful of the breath, as in the Anapanasati Sutta, is a complete practice and can lead to complete liberation. Following on from that I ...
9
votes
5answers
263 views

Attachment to other people and beings?

How does one live a life with multiple relationships (family, girlfriends, friends, pets, etc) while not being attached to them(being aware it will end eventually and therefore do not dwell in Dukkha ...
8
votes
5answers
206 views

Is action a form of discontent?

I know Buddhism stresses the importance of being a content person, but I can't help thinking that any action such as walking or even shifting my foot is a form of dissatisfaction for current moment. ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How does one escape suffering when they cannot provide for those they love

Taoism and Buddhism say we should distance our self from suffering and accept life as is if we cannot change it. But what if we have serious clinical depression or cannot provide properly for those we ...
8
votes
3answers
434 views

Are practical solutions to everyday suffering that contradict Buddhism Upaya or avidya?

If we are caught in the great web of desire and aversion, and are roiling in Samsara, helpful or well meaning advise (to let go, to be in the moment, to inspect the emptiness of reality, to not ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Experiencing physical pain

What advice (or techniques e.g. of meditation) does Buddhism (of any tradition) have for people who experience physical pain (caused by an illness and treated by a doctor)? Or for the people (friends, ...
7
votes
7answers
1k views

Is there an end to the suffering in general?

Buddha said that Nirvana is an end to the suffering of an individual. However if we think from a larger perspective, there is no end to the suffering as a whole. The world will get created again and ...
7
votes
5answers
658 views

Keeping in mind impermanence, suffering and non-self

If one doesn't know the notion of "impermanence, suffering and non-self", can one see it by one's self? I know that I don't need to "force" myself to see impermanence: but do I need to keep in mind "...
7
votes
5answers
159 views

Handling painful emotions

My students' formal feedback about teaching makes me feel defeated. What would be a Buddhist view of this pain?
7
votes
3answers
190 views

How should I view others sufferings I cannot affect?

Through Vipassan meditation one can learn how to guard ones mind against externalities and not be affected by emotions. I believe that trying to follow this meditation to view the world from an ...
6
votes
18answers
2k views

Buddhism and misanthropy

Is it possible to be Buddhist and a misanthropist? I've realised I actually despise humanity and sometimes I fantasise about the sun exploding and wiping us all out. I believe that the majority of ...
6
votes
8answers
366 views

How can I forget my old girlfriend?

Hello to all of you and thank you for your time in answering the questions here. I have a big problem with my feelings. I have a huge emotional lack, which means I've never moved on with my old ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Does Buddhism focus on suffering too much?

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 ...
6
votes
11answers
952 views

Rejecting clinging to both pleasure and displeasure

I recently listened to a talk by Ajahn Chah, in which he mentions (@ ~14:20-14:53) that wisdom is found when one clings to neither pleasure nor displeasure. This really created a dilemma in my head ...
6
votes
5answers
201 views

Can a human being reside both in this world and Nirvana at the same time?

I've heard Samsara as the term to describe a world with suffering. And it's my simple understanding that Nirvana is the absence of suffering. Correct me if I'm mistaken. My question is fairly simple, ...
6
votes
6answers
243 views

Suffering more in order to feel less suffering? Living with suffering?

I have been reflecting on suffering and it seems to me that, since everyone is suffering and yet most people around me seem happy and contented, there is a way to live "happily" despite suffering that ...
6
votes
2answers
117 views

Are we taught to try to understand our fears?

On page 13 of Good Questions, Good Answers it says, The Buddha taught us to try to understand our fears, to lessen our desires and to calmly and courageously accept the things we cannot change. Is ...
6
votes
2answers
120 views

What is a skillful way to meditate in the midst of a migraine headache?

When the Bod-hisattva Quan the Am, who has been such a source of inspiration of peace workers in Viet- nam, saw into the reality of the five aggregates giving rise to emptiness of self, she was ...
6
votes
1answer
566 views

According to the Buddha, how is one freed from suffering?

I'm a bit confused about how, according to the Buddha, one is freed from suffering. I have read that suffering is one of the marks of existence. So can one be freed from it at all? If it's an aspect ...
5
votes
5answers
934 views

Zen & Dukkha — Is Everything Suffering?

Thich Nhat Hanh seems to deny a major teaching on dukkha/suffering common to both Theravada and Tibetan teachings -- the idea of all-perasive suffering ("the suffering of composite things",...
5
votes
4answers
311 views

Does buddhism allow for families?

I have studied Buddhism for a few years now, on and off, and this one question has been bugging me for a long time. Please correct me if I am wrong, however, the way that I understand it is that ...
5
votes
7answers
513 views

How should I offer a compassionate ear to my mother while setting healthy boundaries?

I hope you are all well. I have been studying Buddhism for a few months and I am very grateful for the teachings. I've visited this website frequently for similar questions and this is the first ...
5
votes
2answers
225 views

How to prevent self-deception?

I have recently attended my first Vipassana 10-day course. I observe the moral precepts fully, practice diligently and attempt to proceed wisely on the path. I came into contact with Vipassana because ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

How do you help or take on the sufferings of others?

In the past month or so, a number of people i know are suffering in a number of ways e.g. cancer, allergies, etc. Especially when a child is concerned, i am inclined to 'take on' their suffering. ...
5
votes
7answers
308 views

How to deal with suffering and losing faith?

I came across this section by chance, and read another question by a person with misanthropic feelings. I read all the answers because I feel the same as her. I've always been spiritual with an ...
5
votes
4answers
122 views

Does the saṅ­kha­ta­lak­kha­ṇa of dukkha apply to the noble path?

Dukkha is usually clarified as an intrinsic characteristic of everything conditioned and to be as such a direct derivative of the characteristic of impermanence. Does this also apply to the noble ...
5
votes
6answers
135 views

Why do enlightened beings want to save sentient beings? Does everyone want to be saved?

Does enlightenment always comes with compassion so that all enlightened beings aspire to save sentient beings from sufferings? Or is the question 'why' only showing that I am using my discriminating ...
4
votes
10answers
292 views

How can I escape the suffering of losing my Father?

One day my Father will leave me. I love him a a lot. It will cause suffering when he leaves. My question is : How can I escape the suffering of losing my Father?
4
votes
7answers
337 views

What did Siddhartha really meant by ending suffering

I constantly hear from buddhists that "happiness is inside of you" and that thinking you can get away from suffering by wanting to be somewhere else, or wanting to be with someone else or stuff like ...
4
votes
5answers
673 views

Should my happiness be dependent on the suffering of others?

Once I asked a wise man "Why should I be happy?" He said "Because there are people more miserable than you. Thank God that at least you are better than them." There are couple of depressed kids living ...
4
votes
1answer
950 views

Did the Buddha ever weep in his days of Enlightenment?

Did Buddha ever weep while in his days of Enlightenment? What does Buddha say about weeping? Did he ever weep, for instance, a death of a relative?
4
votes
3answers
266 views

How does one practice suffering well?

Correct me if I'm wrong, I understand a lot of buddhism is about relieving of suffering through practicing of detachment. Removing detachment is a long process. Until one removes those attachments, ...
4
votes
2answers
309 views

Are some forms of employment less just to workers, according to Buddhism?

I live in a pleasant apartment complex and work as an Instructor. My job is cushy, which is good because I have health issues (and teach adults with health issues). But I watch workers mow the lawn at ...
4
votes
6answers
680 views

buddhism in real life

In the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta the Buddha said "desire is source of all suffering". So we cannot avoid suffering in life. It is a part of life. However, he also said there was a path to the ...
4
votes
4answers
302 views

How is suffering the supporting condition for faith?

In Upanisa Sutta Suffering is noted as a supporting condition for faith, I have a faint idea of how this could be, but I have a hard time following it as I did all other supporting conditioned listed ...
4
votes
1answer
102 views

Why do I learn the most from people that suffer?

When ever I see an individual that is suffering and I am able to tolerate their suffering, is also when I seem to learn and grow the most. Spiritual leaders get me on the path but the so called 'bad ...
4
votes
3answers
532 views

Dealing with intense negative emotions

What would you recommend as a short-term fix for someone in serious psychological/emotional pain? If meditation, what kind? I feel pretty angry/powerless/frustrated right now, or "unenlightened". I ...
4
votes
3answers
98 views

Unintended but mindless action resulted in death of a living thing

I am very new to Buddhism and am learning the teachings, so I am reaching out. I avoid hurting any living thing at all cost, but this morning while walking my dogs I was texting and I crushed a snail. ...
4
votes
5answers
153 views

Renunciation and Negative Mysticism (Escaping from ones Dharma)

May All Beings be Truly Happy! Is it possible that one can see that everything they have tried has failed, in a worldly sense, and has brought about suffering for themselves and others: has been ...
4
votes
2answers
260 views

Can humiliation be liberation?

Do you think that pointing out ego fixations publically serves to free students of their egos? What do you think are the advantages, and drawbacks of this teaching method? Why do you think it works or ...
4
votes
6answers
204 views

Caring is wrong?

Is caring is a bad thing according to Buddhism ? Because as I experience caring leads us to suffering. But caring can come in so many levels such as we do help a person normally as a result of our ...
4
votes
3answers
206 views

Does the aim of enlightenment equal the aspiration of the end of all life?

In my understanding suffering -- craving and aversion and all which it results in -- exists in living beings to help sustain procreation, evolution, and life. Can the ideal of all beings attaining ...
4
votes
3answers
252 views

How does our inactions contribute to Karma?… For eg:How can you justify act of your cook killing an animal for your non buddhist guest?

I came to know His Holiness Dalai Lama serves his guests meat at his residency.... Is it dharma to ask your cook to kill an animal to serve your guest or further is it not your dharma to ask your cook ...