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What kind of suffering does enlightenment get rid of?

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I heard that when you are fully enlightened you no longer have suffering. What is meant by suffering though? Anxiety & depression? Does enlightenment get rid of anxiety and depression?

RE: What kind of suffering does enlightenment get rid of?
Answer
7/27/12 12:10 AM as a reply to Jake T Smith.
Hi, Jake. Are you struggling with anxiety or depression?

RE: What kind of suffering does enlightenment get rid of?
Answer
7/27/12 1:14 AM as a reply to Jake T Smith.
Jake, I suggest you follow up with fivebells, but to provide a direct answer, many people here have made an end to anxiety depression and plenty of other things. It is good to reflect on the fact that people have made an end to suffering to keep yourself motivated especially in the midst of things like depression, but don't overdo it or you may find yourself fantasizing about the future as a form of pleasure for you to consume in the present. If what you are looking for is a way out of a tough patch or if you are suddenly becoming very motivated I'd suggest a practice thread.

RE: What kind of suffering does enlightenment get rid of?
Answer
7/27/12 6:49 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
I believe that it is crucial to think of Mental Health/Psychiatric Care as a separate issue from enlightenment.

It is also true that basic buddhist strategies, like mindfulness and right speech and the like have been shown to help correct the neurotransmitter imbalance that leads to mental health disorders.

In some tradtions enlightenment is deliverance from dukkha - which is where the word 'suffering' is translated from and I think your question takes root.


wikipedia:
Within the Buddhist tradition, dukkha is commonly explained according to three different patterns or categories. In the first category, dukkha includes the obvious physical suffering or pain associated with giving birth, growing old, physical illness and the process of dying. These outer discomforts are referred to as the dukkha of ordinary suffering (dukkha-dukkha). In a second category, dukkha also includes the anxiety or stress of trying to hold onto things that are constantly changing; these inner anxieties are called the dukkha produced by change (vipariṇāma-dukkha). The third pattern or category of dukkha refers to a basic unsatisfactoriness pervading all forms of life because all forms of life are impermanent and constantly changing. On this level, the term indicates a lack of satisfaction, a sense that things never measure up to our expectations or standards. This subtle dissatisfaction is referred to as the dukkha of conditioned states (saṃkhāra-dukkha).



Buddhism is not a self-help system for sad people. It is a system of looking at experience. One of the most common egoic and twisted pieces of advice I see is that, 'If you meditate, you wil be happier"... which is a ridiculous twisting of the original teachings.

RE: What kind of suffering does enlightenment get rid of?
Answer
7/27/12 4:25 PM as a reply to Jake T Smith.
I agree with MMA's point about keeping the two seperate, but in my experience I would say that insight practice can be used to skilfully investigate and dismantle the mental patterns which lead to anxiety and mild to moderate depression. How it fares on more severe conditions, I don't know but I think there's a few people around here who've had their fair share of issues on this front.

The question itself is way too complicated to respond to in any useful way, to be honest with you, as it would require a raft of definitions of the terms being used and we'd need to ensure we're reading from the same page so as to avoid confusion. To answer your question quickly though, enlightenment/awakening/whatever is an ongoing process which is worth aiming for as it makes these kinds of question far less interesting. emoticon

RE: What kind of suffering does enlightenment get rid of?
Answer
7/27/12 5:36 PM as a reply to Jake T Smith.
I'm likely a very small minority (only due to few that try), but I was able to cure major mental illness by becoming awakened in a relatively short period of time (on pretty much no retreats), and have a good amount of hospitalization experience/experience with psychosis. I believe we've talked about this before and I gave you some advice in an earlier thread. PM me if you need more guidance. As someone who did succeed, I am prone to encouraging people to give it a go, but there are others who feel that they did not succeed (or who are currently not succeeding or dark nighting) who would be prone to suggest otherwise.

Though as someone who did succeed, I will tell you that the circumstances require a different kind of practice (derived/modified from it though) than everyone else is doing here (and that doing exactly what Daniel did, or anyone else on this forum or any other for that matter, is likely to lead to episodes of psychosis/mania, maybe depression). Again, send me a private message and I can go into this in more detail. To anyone else reading this in similar circumstances, I would give the following advice:


-Do NOT start doing insight practices until you are stabilized/reasonably happy/not depressed/or having any episodes by doing basic mindfulness/breath practices. It took me about 1.5 years of this. I will give you much more detailed advice if you PM me.

After starting insight practices:

-Do NOT note in your head until you are at least mctb 3rd path (as this will create a tangle of spaghetthi that will most definitely lead to mania/psychosis - especially upon hitting review).
-Do a technique I call "very light noting" (note out loud on occasion, like once every minute/30 seconds). Don't note out-loud every second like Kenneth Folk suggests, as this will likely lead to mania/psychosis too. Noting becomes less necessary at higher paths.
-Be very wary of review cycles and keep someone around/or someone's phone number if you're likely to hit path and enter a review. All episodes of acute psychosis happened to me in review.
-Avoid "sitting" meditation of longer than about 3 hours a day. Just because you can't "sit" longer than this doesn't mean you cannot become very highly awakened.
-These are major points, but I have a lot more and how to accomplish them if you PM me.
-I could feasibly write the "extra extreme" version of what's written in MCTB regarding the stages of insight if the above instructions are not followed. Including verification of very impossible sounding powers that most people here likely don't believe in.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would not agree that it does not make you "happier." It does make you happier (but takes some time/effort to stabilize as well as going through a lot of unpleasantness that was already there anyways, but was being ignored), and it is not the same "happiness" as the impermanent variety of "happiness" that you may be thinking of. It is a much better happiness.

Even during periods of very horrible hellish mind-states (and unhappiness), it helps, as there is less reactive stuff going on (oh, poor me) in unfortunate or strange circumstances. Seeing everything as not really "that big of a deal" is a big improvement over whatever mental health problems (hellish states) were already going on, in experience.

RE: What kind of suffering does enlightenment get rid of?
Answer
2/19/14 10:02 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom Tom:
I'm likely a very small minority (only due to few that try), but I was able to cure major mental illness by becoming awakened in a relatively short period of time (on pretty much no retreats), and have a good amount of hospitalization experience/experience with psychosis. I believe we've talked about this before and I gave you some advice in an earlier thread. PM me if you need more guidance. As someone who did succeed, I am prone to encouraging people to give it a go, but there are others who feel that they did not succeed (or who are currently not succeeding or dark nighting) who would be prone to suggest otherwise.

Though as someone who did succeed, I will tell you that the circumstances require a different kind of practice (derived/modified from it though) than everyone else is doing here (and that doing exactly what Daniel did, or anyone else on this forum or any other for that matter, is likely to lead to episodes of psychosis/mania, maybe depression). Again, send me a private message and I can go into this in more detail. To anyone else reading this in similar circumstances, I would give the following advice:


-Do NOT start doing insight practices until you are stabilized/reasonably happy/not depressed/or having any episodes by doing basic mindfulness/breath practices. It took me about 1.5 years of this. I will give you much more detailed advice if you PM me.

After starting insight practices:

-Do NOT note in your head until you are at least mctb 3rd path (as this will create a tangle of spaghetthi that will most definitely lead to mania/psychosis - especially upon hitting review).
-Do a technique I call "very light noting" (note out loud on occasion, like once every minute/30 seconds). Don't note out-loud every second like Kenneth Folk suggests, as this will likely lead to mania/psychosis too. Noting becomes less necessary at higher paths.
-Be very wary of review cycles and keep someone around/or someone's phone number if you're likely to hit path and enter a review. All episodes of acute psychosis happened to me in review.
-Avoid "sitting" meditation of longer than about 3 hours a day. Just because you can't "sit" longer than this doesn't mean you cannot become very highly awakened.
-These are major points, but I have a lot more and how to accomplish them if you PM me.
-I could feasibly write the "extra extreme" version of what's written in MCTB regarding the stages of insight if the above instructions are not followed. Including verification of very impossible sounding powers that most people here likely don't believe in.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would not agree that it does not make you "happier." It does make you happier (but takes some time/effort to stabilize as well as going through a lot of unpleasantness that was already there anyways, but was being ignored), and it is not the same "happiness" as the impermanent variety of "happiness" that you may be thinking of. It is a much better happiness.

Even during periods of very horrible hellish mind-states (and unhappiness), it helps, as there is less reactive stuff going on (oh, poor me) in unfortunate or strange circumstances. Seeing everything as not really "that big of a deal" is a big improvement over whatever mental health problems (hellish states) were already going on, in experience.


I know I am reviving an old thread but the private message page is slow and not working for me. It seems like the whole user database is being pulled on that page and its giving my machine a heart attack.

Anyway, Tom Tom I am interested in speaking with you over PM. If you could message me that would be great. Like I said I have tried to message you but it hasn't worked. The content of this message has resonated with me and I think I could benefit with a discussion with you.

RE: What kind of suffering does enlightenment get rid of?
Answer
2/19/14 5:03 PM as a reply to Jake.
Hi Jake WM,

I no longer believe awakening fully cured me of psychosis (though I have used other methods that have essentially "cured" me). Whether it cured me of mood problems is possible though for possibly different reasons than other people since my condition was perceptually oriented from the beginning (this is gone into detail in the links below). I was asked about this recently in this thread (it's a sidetrack in the post and you'll have to scroll to find it): http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5126180

I have written very extensively about this topic in this post: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/3373753

I have also kept the above thread up to date with edits.

I have also PM'd you with my e-mail address.

Let me know if you have more questions.

Tom

RE: What kind of suffering does enlightenment get rid of?
Answer
3/8/14 2:10 AM as a reply to Jake T Smith.
Jake T Smith:
I heard that when you are fully enlightened you no longer have suffering. What is meant by suffering though? Anxiety & depression? Does enlightenment get rid of anxiety and depression?


I can only say what I've read, since I'm not enlightened.

"They" (various teachers) say suffering ends altogether. The body-mind which was once so intimate becomes like a character on a movie screen. The character continues to feel pain and pleasure and may even struggle to escape difficulty, (just as the character in a movie would), but you are unharmed. Death and torture are of no concern.

Regarding depression and anxiety, access to jhana should cure this (jhana is bliss, so it cannot co-exist with negative mind states).

RE: What kind of suffering does enlightenment get rid of?
Answer
10/4/14 8:40 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom Tom:
-I could feasibly write the "extra extreme" version of what's written in MCTB regarding the stages of insight if the above instructions are not followed. Including verification of very impossible sounding powers that most people here likely don't believe in.

Hi Tom Tom!

Is there anywhere else you have written about these powers? If not do you mind dropping me a quick note summarizing them?

BTW I tried to send this to you as a PM but "Tom Tom" didn't appear in the user list that drops down.

Thanks!

Edd

RE: What kind of suffering does enlightenment get rid of?
Answer
10/4/14 4:46 PM as a reply to Illuminatus.
Hi Tom Tom!

Is there anywhere else you have written about these powers? If not do you mind dropping me a quick note summarizing them?

BTW I tried to send this to you as a PM but "Tom Tom" didn't appear in the user list that drops down.

Thanks!




This thread is from a few years back.  As far as powers-type experiences, I was referring to the stuff I wrote in these two threads:

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1909651

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/3485413


RE: What kind of suffering does enlightenment get rid of?
Answer
11/11/14 8:01 PM as a reply to Illuminatus.
Edd:
Tom Tom:
-I could feasibly write the "extra extreme" version of what's written in MCTB regarding the stages of insight if the above instructions are not followed. Including verification of very impossible sounding powers that most people here likely don't believe in.

Hi Tom Tom!

Is there anywhere else you have written about these powers? If not do you mind dropping me a quick note summarizing them?

BTW I tried to send this to you as a PM but "Tom Tom" didn't appear in the user list that drops down.

Thanks!

Edd


On this forum 'powers' means getting into some really messed-up head space. Nothing more. If they could affect lottery results they would, but they cant.

RE: What kind of suffering does enlightenment get rid of?
Answer
11/12/14 12:06 AM as a reply to Jake T Smith.
Enlightenment is the complete eradication of all stress - even the slightest, most insignificant, mental tension.

At least, that's what I'm here for... emoticon

EDIT: BTW, Actual Freedom practice and tranquility meditation aimed at stabilizing the awareness has been the best for anxiety in my experience.