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The root of all suffering is desire
January 20, 2006
2:03 pm
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kc30
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Anyone buy this? I do.

So how does one learn to let go of desire and expectation? Any tried and true tricks?

January 20, 2006
2:08 pm
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garfield9547
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Fantacy and unmet (unrealistic) expectetions

January 20, 2006
2:15 pm
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garfield9547
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Sorry

Did not mean this is a tried snf true trick.

Just ment this is how it begins

January 20, 2006
3:16 pm
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What I say is, its low self-esteem, thats the root of all suffering

January 20, 2006
3:17 pm
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hopeinhim
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Unmet desires for sure..........and even the fulfilled ones that are not good for us!

I think with time and effort some desires can be curbed and even forgotten. Do you have a specific desire in mind?

Smiles,
Hope

January 20, 2006
3:39 pm
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garfield9547
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My desire to have a loving relationship towards my mother nearly killed me emotionally.

Then I married somebody that I thought would heal my wounds.

Then I realised that my desire would never be met. I have to meet whatever I have desired

January 20, 2006
4:19 pm
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kc30
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Nothing specific in mind for me...just in general...I think I could apply this to anythign....from a new pair of shoes to a healthy marriage....

I think it's about present moment living...about wanting what we have...being grateful...letting go...giving up control.

This is a Buddhist belief I am told...perhaps more answers lie there?

I find it intriguing...to think that one can let go of desire and expectations of life...to simply let life unfold without trying to control...to be centered and grounded in the here and now...lines up with the 12 steps, doesn't it?

January 20, 2006
4:49 pm
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I disagree. Desire is not suffering. Unfulfilled desire maybe but fulfilled desire is a positive. But I can relate to the pain of not having what I desire....so am trying to move away from the pain. Sitll have the desire, but the pain is the root of the suffering.

January 20, 2006
5:30 pm
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If you have good self-esteem, you're able to know which desire is practical and which is not. Which is achievable and which is not, so self-esteem is the root cause. With higher self-esteem you're much better able to deal with it if the desire is not met. etc.etc.

January 20, 2006
6:39 pm
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kc30

On the 20-Jan-06 talking about desire you wrote:

"Nothing specific in mind for me...just in general...I think I could apply this to anythign....from a new pair of shoes to a healthy marriage....

I think it's about present moment living...about wanting what we have...being grateful...letting go...giving up control.

This is a Buddhist belief I am told...perhaps more answers lie there?"

--------------------

Not all desire is undesirable. 🙂

The desire to eat in moderation keeps us alive. Greed is excessive desire and is one of the three deadly Buddhist poisons. They are:

1 Hatred/Anger,

2 Greed/Lust/Avarice,

3 Ignorance.

The first thing to realize at depth is that everything in this world is impermanent; always changing.

The second thing to realize is that it is our 'human nature' to try to grasp, to cling to, to hold onto, to possess that which is always changing and slipping through our fingers - as it were.

It is this continual grasping at, attachment to and aversion to that which is in our lives that causes us suffering sooner if not later.

The third thing to realize is that what we imagine is our 'self' is an ever changing illusion created by our mind.

Self-esteem is an estimation that we make about the value of that illusory 'self' to ourself and to others.

If our self-esteem is high we feel good, if not then we feel bad. This is a highly variable(impermanent)cognitions/emotions interplay that is time/place/events/mental state dependent.

But since even the 'self' is in a constant state of flux, it is also very impermanent. Clinging to the self also brings suffering. As our 'self-image' rises and falls, our emotions rise and fall with our estimations of our value.

As soon as we realise the ephemeral nature of this thing that we call 'self' then we are freed from even bothering to assess the value of our 'self' at all. Self-esteem then becomes an irrelevancy. We are then really free to be our true 'selves' unconstrained aand unlimited by fear.

Many years ago, I learnt from the Catholic Catechism a question and it's answer off by heart. Here it is:

"Who made me? God made me, giving me a body and a soul."

But who and where is this "me" that owns this "body" and this "soul"??

Where does this "me" reside?

Where are "my" boundaries?

Where is this "soul" located?

What is permanent about either this "me", or this "body" or this "soul"?

Suffering results as soon as 'I' cling to any notion of permanency of "body" - a body that soon degenerates whether I like it or not.

This "soul" thing doesn't seem to be permanent either, even if it does really exist at all. It seems to be able to be 'stained' by 'sin' and then 'cleansed' according to certain very disputable religious affiliation dependent rites and rituals.

Permanency in this world exists only as figments of our imagination.

Enjoying what we have in the now and letting go of it as it passes, not clinging to the aversions that we feel when we come across a disagreeable thing but letting it pass also, not being attached to or avoiding anything, is the way to have suffering decline.

I realized years ago that pain in life is inevitable. But it is our 'attitude' to that pain that determines the degree to which we suffer.

If we crave the pain to go away then we suffer like hell.

On the other hand T.E.Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) was said to have achieved orgasm through paying some one to whip him to the extent of raising blood from the welts. His attitude to pain, though very perverted and not commendable, was very different from that most of us have.

But the example does illustrate that suffering is about attitude, our mental states of mind, towards that which we feel as physical or psychological pain, both of which are experienced in our mind.

The mind is its own place and in it we can make a hell out of heaven or a heaven out of hell - after we dispell our ignorance, the choice becomes ours.

That is what Buddhism is about - dispelling ignorance of how our mind creates that which is in our lives.

Our intentions govern the state of that mind and what it creates.

Our past intentions created our present state of mind, our present intentions create our future state of mind. It truly is all in the mind.

Buddhism is about the 'science' of the mind, how it creates suffering and how it can free itself from this 'self-flagration'.

January 20, 2006
10:28 pm
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KC,

{So how does one learn to let go of desire and expectation? Any tried and true tricks?}

I think it's to plan and act as if your desires will come true, but don't expect that they in reality will. In other words, do what you can to cause them to come true, and recognize that you cannot control whether or not they actually come true.

January 24, 2006
10:13 pm
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Tez, what you wrote above: I think the following is true only for people who dont have a good "average" self-esteem. If they dont have a solid SE, they're bound to ride on these ups and downs. For example, if you've had good and loving parenting, you'll have a solid stable self-esteem thats not so easily affected by ups and downs.

--quote---------------------
If our self-esteem is high we feel good, if not then we feel bad. This is a highly variable(impermanent) cognitions/emotions interplay that is time/place/events/mental state dependent.

But since even the 'self' is in a constant state of flux, it is also very impermanent. Clinging to the self also brings suffering. As our 'self-image' rises and falls, our emotions rise and fall with our estimations of our value.
----------------------------

So you say its our attitude towards pain that determines suffering. I say, you need high self-esteem before you can be successful at having a positive attitude towards pain. Hows that? I finally got the "Honouring the self" book today, might start reading it. Its by Nathan, very nice.

January 25, 2006
8:48 am
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gazelle
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The root of all LIFE is desire!

Every single thing we do, say or think comes from a desire at some level.

Desire is behind every motivation. Desire is essential. Vital.

Desire is Life-force, in fact. At every level.

No desire = death, non-being.

Think about it! Blessings - gazelle.

January 25, 2006
8:59 am
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And right NOW I'm having the desire of you telling me what woke you up about me and that girl. Plzzzzzz tell me about it in my thread if you can, I wanna hear it!! hehe. Please.

Well ofcourse desire drives everything, including my desire to read this post and reply but he's asking about suffering - what causes suffering? I think lack of self-esteem

January 30, 2006
1:20 pm
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kathygy
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I think the greatest pain comes from self-abandonment and abandonment of one's inner child.

January 30, 2006
1:40 pm
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That causes self-esteem. I agree.. thats a good point. The low self-esteem comes from that, so that must be the source. cool. thanks. hmmmm.

January 30, 2006
1:49 pm
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suffering is when u refuse to quit trying to get a desire met from someone who by words or actions has already shown u it's not gonna happen.

January 30, 2006
2:08 pm
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kathygy
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guppy,

I think it runs much deeper than that. What you discribe is a one way of abandoning yourself. When you stop abandoning yourself and your inner child then you are in charge of choosing whether you will allow something or someone to hurt you. You are your own cheerleader no matterwhat. You never do anything or say anything to hurt yourself. This creates trust and faith because you know you can rely and count on you to always be there for you.

January 30, 2006
8:55 pm
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guest_guest

You said on the 24-Jan-06:

"So you say its our attitude towards pain that determines suffering. I say, you need high self-esteem before you can be successful at having a positive attitude towards pain. Hows that?"

Lots of people with high self -esteem have an attitude to pain that causes them immense suffering.

Be careful bro, self-esteem is but the result of an estimation that we pass on our worth to our selves and to others. There are many deeper factors that lead up to this sel-evaluation called self-esteeming. Self-esteem is not the 'holy grail' that you seem to think that it is.

Read Dr. Nathaniel Brandon's book, viewing it as but a stepping stone and then move on to asking the deeper questions that will manifest after that stage of your development passes.

January 30, 2006
10:36 pm
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ok Tez, then what would be the crux of your argument to end suffering? A positive attitude towards pain, as you said before (if I remember correctly)? For example, tell me how to apply your argument to end my suffering in a practical way which I can follow step by step. I know I'm asking for the magic pill. heh.

February 2, 2006
7:55 pm
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Yes it is a difficult challenge.

I have decided to accept the challenge in a way that is gradual and not to overly complicated yet very "practical" just the same.

I have started a new thread called 'What did the Sakyamuni Buddha have to offer'

It starts by getting you to consider the the effect of 'failing to notice' things has on how you think.

It considers the aspect of 'what it is that you cherish most in life'.

That's the first step.

If I take the issue of suffering a small bite at a time with each post, I will give you and others time to churn over, consider carefully and reflect upon each 'stepping stone' on the way to understanding ourselves, why and how we suffer and what can be done about it in a very practical way.

February 3, 2006
10:54 am
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cool thanks. I'll be following that thread closely and listening closely.

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