The end of suffering - is it actually possible?

The end of suffering - is it actually possible? Anuthep K. 8/26/14 11:43 AM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? Richard Zen 8/26/14 11:57 AM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? x x 9/12/14 6:32 PM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? Karalee Peltomaa 8/26/14 1:46 PM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? Davide Zaccagnini 9/12/14 10:28 AM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? Karalee Peltomaa 9/12/14 2:44 PM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? Jeremy May 9/12/14 11:45 PM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? John Wilde 9/12/14 6:56 PM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? Jeremy May 9/12/14 11:40 PM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? wylo . 10/18/14 5:35 PM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? lama carrot top 10/20/14 8:16 PM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? Jeremy May 10/20/14 8:23 PM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? lama carrot top 10/20/14 8:35 PM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? Jeremy May 10/20/14 9:08 PM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? T DC 10/20/14 12:51 AM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? Anuthep K. 10/20/14 4:04 AM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? Tom Tom 10/20/14 4:51 AM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? Tom Tom 10/20/14 5:08 AM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? Babs _ 10/20/14 3:54 PM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? Karalee Peltomaa 10/20/14 7:50 PM
RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible? Jeremy May 10/20/14 8:14 PM
Anuthep K, modified 9 Years ago at 8/26/14 11:43 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/26/14 11:43 AM

The end of suffering - is it actually possible?

Posts: 2 Join Date: 8/26/14 Recent Posts
Suppose we lay aside the issue of blissful states and temporary cessation of perception and feeling. Suppose we lay aside the issue of seeing the true nature of reality. All I'm asking is, is there any reason to believe that it is possible to transcend suffering permanently in this life, or is that just one of the wishful-thinking/misinterpretations that caught on? 

Just to be clear, I'm not talking about lessening stress and gaining more peace of mind or whatever -- I just wanna know whether anyone can confirm from their living reality that there is such a thing as life beyond suffering. 

Thank you.
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Richard Zen, modified 9 Years ago at 8/26/14 11:57 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/26/14 11:49 AM

RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible?

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I don't think so.  If you watch the Shinzen Young Batgap interview the masters always have more work to do.  The Syrian torture chamber example.  But you can greatly reduce mental stress to a much lower level.  Some people have cured their depression with meditation (though they took years to do so).  The typical stress that people go through is way higher than it needs to be.  Masters also remind students that they need to keep meditating because the underlying habits can return.  I think it's worthwhile to pursue.  The new baselines you develop through disenchantment are permanent improvements but how far you can go is limited only by lifespan.

Remember the difference between emotional pain and physical pain.  Also remember that a person may not have too many troubles in life.  When the big stuff happens that will be the true test.
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Karalee Peltomaa, modified 9 Years ago at 8/26/14 1:46 PM
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RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible?

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Hello Anuthep, kind regards.

I think you asked yourself a good question.   When you say cessation of suffering it sounds to me you are referring to Nirvana.  I equate the two myself.

To sum, in my practice I am rather confidently headed towards that state or condition of existence, but I only get taste of it now and then, not yet stable.   As long as I have a contentious or conflicted reactive mind of course I will bring suffering upon myself.  What about others?  I also have to have no resistence to their compulsiveness and insanity -- to their thirst for sensation at the expense of others.  The practices I use promise to bring me to that endpoint where I can freely step away from the fray or voluntarily join the "fun".  I plan on finishing this lifetime.  Then I probably won't be heard from ever again ???   :-) 

However, I know of only two people, one of them the author, who have used these techniques and achieved such a state.   Again, the author laid it out so logically and simply that only my own conflicted mind would keep me from finishing his levels of activity required to achieve Nirvana.  I won't mention more about the author because he does not fit into the framework of discussions on this forum.  I do, however belong to other forums that freely discuss his work.

In the past three years I have gone from totally crashed and burned out to a conservative equanimity.  Suffering is a great spur.

Another point, when one has reached a state of "high human" they often see no need to continue.   They will eventually find themselves in the soup again some lifetime unless they reach for a more "Causal" or "beyond human" condition.    "To be human" and to have a human mind have to be laid out for examination.   Every "must/must not -ness" dissolved, especially the life oriented goals.  Even the Buddha was a returnee imho.  I view life as a learning curve, so no dogma here.

If not this lifetime, for sure for everyone I contemplate their end of suffering.
Davide Zaccagnini, modified 9 Years ago at 9/12/14 10:28 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/12/14 10:28 AM

RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible?

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What I am experiencing since few months, after what I consider significant and apparently stable attainments, is not a cessation of suffering but a cessation of my involvment with suffering. In other words, suffering still occurs in its various forms both physical and mental, but I see it, always, as something that does not involves me (since 'me' does not really exist).

Some practical examples: do I still get mad at people? yes (although way, way less than before, a 90% reduction, I would say). Do I suffer while or after getting mad? Not really. I do feel my heart beating, my voice raising and my thoughts accelerating and narrowing on the object of my hanger, but all that is happening at a distance, is not touching that tender spot (somewhere in the chest) that actually makes me feel pain. And then everything drops away in seconds or few minutes and I am back to equanimity. Before it took me hours, days even weeks to regain balance. Hyronically I am getting used to this state, which is very much mixed into a life that most of the times, in the end, feels very "normal". In retrospect though the change is dramatic. Also, as other pointed out, all this keeps changing, moving on and I susepct it will until my physical body exists.

Hope this helps

D
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Karalee Peltomaa, modified 9 Years ago at 9/12/14 2:44 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/12/14 2:44 PM

RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible?

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Hello, Davide,

That was very heartening and well expressed, thank you.

Yes, from the "bottom" it does seem to be a restoration of normalcy.
x x, modified 9 Years ago at 9/12/14 6:32 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/12/14 6:32 PM

RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible?

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Richard Zen:
I don't think so.  If you watch the Shinzen Young Batgap interview the masters always have more work to do.  The Syrian torture chamber example.


I was going to quote shinzen,too... but if you watch closely he says he does believe that there are people that can pass this rather extreme test.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbznm2NLais#t=2839
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago at 9/12/14 6:56 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/12/14 6:56 PM

RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible?

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Anuthep K.:

I just wanna know whether anyone can confirm from their living reality that there is such a thing as life beyond suffering. 


Not me, but I'm still firmly convinced that it's possible. I don't believe that existence itself, and all things in it, are dukkha. I'm firmly convinced that the 'dukkha' aspect of all things can be much more precisely targeted and dealt with.

Yet to prove it!
Jeremy May, modified 9 Years ago at 9/12/14 11:40 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/12/14 11:40 PM

RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible?

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Yes, I assure you.  It is impossible for me to suffer.  I do not suffer.  
Jeremy May, modified 9 Years ago at 9/12/14 11:45 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/12/14 11:45 PM

RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible?

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Like Davide has said, it was how suffering became less and less as pieces of 'old self' died.

Believe me, If you follow the Dharma, you can escape suffering.  I have tested it to the extreme.  I still feel extreme pain, but it is like I am listening to a song.  Even grief is something I can choose to explore at will.  The promise of Buddha is real!  KEEP GOING!!!!
wylo , modified 9 Years ago at 10/18/14 5:35 PM
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RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible?

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I still go through pain, depression, fear, anger, anxiety, , low self esteem, confusion, general angst , highs, lows, bliss and desire but I havent actually suffered in about a year and a half at this stage. 
T DC, modified 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 12:51 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 12:51 AM

RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible?

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Everyone always talks about the end of suffering, or the end of emotions.  Quite frankly you have hit on the truth of the matter, and it is: seeing the true nature of reality.  The true nature of reality is what we can hope to get out of practice.  Enlightenment is ultimately a state of oneness in which one recognizes fully the true nature of reality.  That true nature of reality can be described as all one, all is love...

In my experience, our issue or suffering is our seperation from reality, our ignorance of our true nature.  Enlightenment is great completion, and final wholeness.  Just curios, why have you phrased your post so deliberately to not reffer to this?  While emotional suffering is clearly a bummer, could this really be said to be our most basic issue?  Personally I would say our confusion over self, over what is and is not truly real is more of a fundamental issue, an issue of perception rather than simply life situation.

Consider this: in our live, sometimes, due to situational factors, we eperience negative emotions.  Our obscured/dualistic perception causes us to be unsure and seperated from our (blissfull) true nature all the time.  Which do you think is the larger issue?
Anuthep K, modified 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 4:04 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 2:35 AM

RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible?

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T DC:
Just curios, why have you phrased your post so deliberately to not reffer to this?  While emotional suffering is clearly a bummer, could this really be said to be our most basic issue?  Personally I would say our confusion over self, over what is and is not truly real is more of a fundamental issue, an issue of perception rather than simply life situation.

I didn't intend to place a higher emphasis on any particular suffering. I tried to phrase the question in such a way that it wouldn't get bogged down by the hows and whys and what-have-you because I only wanted a clear answer on the subject of ending it

Your observation, though, falls in line with mine. People seem to be inflicted with the worst emotional suffering when there is confusion over self, when the person we take ourselves to be is under attack by other thoughts and we wonder "Am I really ___?" "Did I really ___?"

I asked the initial question partly because here in Thailand most people take it for granted that the Buddha found a way to permanently transcend suffering, and Buddhism was his attempt to spread that knowledge. Yet strangely enough, in this land where Buddhism is practically everyone's lifeblood and the Buddha is the most revered figure of all time, no one seems really concerned with actually ending suffering. At all. No one is keeping a log of techniques and comparing their results. No one is recording the number of people who have been successful in this pursuit and seeing how many percent they consist of compared to the ones who didn't make it and asking why. No one is trying to hack away the crust that have formed around the core of Buddhism over milleniums of reinterpretation. In fact, Buddhism has become the foundation of people's separate self, the diamond heart of their identity, instead of a method of transcending such an illusion. It's a complete reversal of what Buddhism was created for, which is pretty funny actually. People here have also gotten the strange notion that when they give alms or donate to a temple, they receive "boon" in return, which is like karma points the amount of which a person has determines whether they would go to heaven or hell after they die and how previleged their next life will be when they are reborn. Billions of bahts have been donated and more golden statues and exquisite architectures and a thousand other things are being made every year to further embellish "Buddhism", and no one seems to mind in the slightest that the Buddha said,

"I teach one thing and one thing only: suffering and the end of suffering."

I once asked the head of a temple how long I would have to do vipassana before achieving Nirvana. He laughed and said seven thousand lifetimes or more. That just about sums up the attitude of Buddhists here: the goal is to collect more and more karma points, and then maybe, several thousand lifetimes later, we can start thinking about the end of suffering. Doesn't matter that the Buddha did it in less than thirty years, because he must have been accumulating an inhumanly large amount of karma points from all his previous lives. Doesn't matter that we have no real reason to believe that a high amount of karma points is necessary for seeing the true nature of reality and getting rid of all suffering that arise as a result of not seeing clearly. No, the most vocal "experts" of Buddhism told us it's all about doing good and being calm and making more karma points and having faith that it'll all work out eventually, so we are not in any great hurry. 
Tom Tom, modified 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 4:51 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 4:50 AM

RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible?

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What we can work with here is what we know to be true.  It is apparent from this forum that enlightenment is possible and very do-able as there are many case reports to show.  Describing how much less enlightened people suffer will not allow you to suffer less nor does it really give anyone who does not have the realization a taste of enlightenment.  

I could go on for paragraphs about how much less I suffer, but I doubt it will help you suffer less.  Is it really important whether or not absolutely all suffering will be eliminated or not while you're still alive?  Let's assume it reduces your suffering by 95%, does that mean it is not worth doing because it is not some absurdly perfect 100%?  What if it turns out to be 99%?  What if it turns out to be 99.999%?  Just get started on reducing your suffering and see what happens.  Just because everyone around you says it cannot be done, does not mean you may not achieve it or something close to it.  Just look at your Thailand example.   

The situation in Thailand sounds unfortunate, but it is apparent that the core of the dharma is alive and well in the monastaries of Burma and countless other sanghas around the world.  Luckily we now have the internet and can hear teachings from much farther away than our own small and perhaps dogmatic communities.

Suppose we lay aside the issue of blissful states and temporary cessation of perception and feeling. Suppose we lay aside the issue of seeing the true nature of reality. All I'm asking is, is there any reason to believe that it is possible to transcend suffering permanently in this life, or is that just one of the wishful-thinking/misinterpretations that caught on?


I think T DC was pointing out that you cannot just put aside seeing the true nature of reality as that is the core issue that will significantly reduce suffering and throw you down the path of emotional transformation as well.  There really is no real solution to suffering if you lay aside "seeing the true nature of reality." 
Tom Tom, modified 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 5:08 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 5:08 AM

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Another thing I should point out is that the longer an enlightened person lives in an enlightened position it becomes harder and harder to remember what it was like to suffer in the un-enlightened way.

It is due to this fact that asking enlightened people how much less they suffer is very unreliable.  The person has to use their memory to go all the way back to before they started meditating or obtained paths.  This may have been decades ago for some people.  All they really have is a memory which is very unreliable.  

In this sense the enlightened person can really only tell you how much they suffer now.  What to them may appear to be a lot of suffering is only in relation to the very very low suffering that they currently experience.  They may say they still suffer to an extent, but what does that really mean?  
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Babs _, modified 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 3:54 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 3:47 PM

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Anuthep K.:
Suppose we lay aside the issue of blissful states and temporary cessation of perception and feeling. Suppose we lay aside the issue of seeing the true nature of reality. All I'm asking is, is there any reason to believe that it is possible to transcend suffering permanently in this life, or is that just one of the wishful-thinking/misinterpretations that caught on? 

Just to be clear, I'm not talking about lessening stress and gaining more peace of mind or whatever -- I just wanna know whether anyone can confirm from their living reality that there is such a thing as life beyond suffering. 

Thank you.
Hi Anuthep,

I enjoy this forum as it is so wonderfully open. I've been to several forums before, writing thousands of messages, but this is the first one where things are actually spoken of. Nice emoticon

What is suffering? I would say suffering is existential and it relates directly to our psychology. The cause of suffering is in the mind, I mean mental and emotional bodies. If we talk about suffering and the removing of suffering in these terms then physical pain caused by sickness or the lads in the torture chamber is another question. I think so. Does the complete removal of existential suffering/delusion remove the possibility of physical pain? I do not think so. I don't think that is a very good way of measuring ones spiritual attainments.

On the other hand, surely for a person who has deeply cultivated it is a different kind of situation as the Tibetan monks in Chinese captivity have demonstrated. I remember one rinpoche telling that during his captivity of 20 years (or something like that) there were two dangerous situations (although he was beaten up and tortured many times). These were situations when he was about to lose his compassion towards the Chinese. What would you do in such circumstances? We can only imagine such conditions. Real life test is another matter. What is more important, I feel, is how our attainment is tested in the situations we live in. These may and do dramatically change as well.

If we talk strictly about "spiritual masters" (ref. to Shinzen Young's comment) I'd say that real masters do not have more to go progress-wise. Here we have to be clear what a master actually is and who are just at the level of teachers though they may be bullet-proof-amazing-roshis, yogis or something like that. To me a jivanmukta/arhat is such a person but to be a master you really need to be a full blown buddha/paramukta/mahasiddha. My perception is that it is rare to find a teacher/adept from this world who has attained liberation/jivanmukta/arhat but they do exist for sure.

So if I think of suffering in existential terms as I explained before, then I say yes, it is possible to reach a state beyond suffering (jivanmukta/arhat). That is achieved by purification of mental and emotional bodies whic is the same as shedding light through the subconscios mind. I have also a good friend who has attained this. My teacher was one but she passed away a few years ago. I don't know others personally.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Baba
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Karalee Peltomaa, modified 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 7:50 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 7:50 PM

RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible?

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Lester Levenson (founder of The Sedona Method) was free from suffering and in one of his lectures he said 99.9 percent of those who go free leave, so we might not hear of them.  How hard would it be to stay once you realized we don't exist as we think we do?

About the Buddhists in Thailand, surely there is one way to teach children - the general populace -- and another teaching for the advanced ones.   How do you unboil a boiled frog?
Jeremy May, modified 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 8:14 PM
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RE: The end of suffering - is it actually possible?

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"...Queen Srimala implored the Lord with these words: "Lord, may the Tathagata's power make me also eloquent to teach the far-ranging meaning!" The Lord replied: 
"Queen, as you know that the time for it has come, may you preach eloquently!"  Queen Srimala implored the Lord with these words: "Lord, may the Tathagata's power make me also eloquent to teach the far-ranging meaning!" The Lord replied: 
"Queen, as you know that the time for it has come, may you preach eloquently!"... "
http://huntingtonarchive.osu.edu/resources/downloads/sutras/08technicalMayayana/Lions%20Roar%20fo%20SriVimala.doc.pdf
lama carrot top, modified 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 8:16 PM
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wylo .:
I still go through pain, depression, fear, anger, anxiety, , low self esteem, confusion, general angst , highs, lows, bliss and desire but I havent actually suffered in about a year and a half at this stage. 

How are fear, anger, anxiety, low self esteem, general angst, etc. not suffering? 
Jeremy May, modified 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 8:23 PM
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LOL
(IadoreCarrotTop)
lama carrot top, modified 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 8:35 PM
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Glad you found it funny.
Jeremy May, modified 9 Years ago at 10/20/14 9:08 PM
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Cleverness is Always Funny!!!

(I am truly free)

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