Help! New Buddhist!

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Help! New Buddhist!

Postby talgar123456 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:48 am

Hi everyone,
I set out on my journey with Buddhism just a few moths ago,a nd am doing my very best to lead the right life. But I have a burning question that is halting my understanding - can anyone help:

I understand that all suffering comes from desire, and am trying to work with this - but it contradicts the fact that I have a desire to improve myself as a person and live a better life - but if I have this desire, how can I end my suffering, as I still have desire!!??

Please help. I am currently taking this journey alone, and not sure where to go to find others who can help me.

Ian
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Re: Help! New Buddhist!

Postby Alobha » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:30 pm

talgar123456 wrote:I understand that all suffering comes from desire, and am trying to work with this - but it contradicts the fact that I have a desire to improve myself as a person and live a better life - but if I have this desire, how can I end my suffering, as I still have desire!!??


I had a very similar question a few weeks ago, this short text may help:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

So yes, desire is a means to the end. This kind of wholesome desire/excitement/enthusiasm for the wholesome is called chanda in pali. You may want to check the answers on that topic: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=14161&start=0&hilit=chanda
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Re: Help! New Buddhist!

Postby purple planet » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:33 pm

As far as i understand and im new also :

to the desire to be be enlightened is a good desire -

from this thread : viewtopic.php?f=14&t=14404&view=unread#unread


But this does not mean that we should not be seeking enlightenment, which is sometimes taught
by some teachers. The feeling is that seeking enlightenment is a form of desire, the desire that is
the cause of suffering according to the Second Noble Truth of the Buddha. As was mentioned in
an earlier chapter, the type of desire the Buddha was referring to was an unwholesome, selfish
craving type of desire. Wholesome desires leading to the good for oneself and others is not the
―bad type of desire the Buddha was talking about in the Second Noble Truth. It is okay to
―desire enlightenment and seek it out, but not to cling to the Path while we are on the way or
after we have reached the other shore. Too much clinging or attachment could turn us into
fundamentalists, wishing to force our views on others. It is okay to offer the teachings to all
who will listen, but not in a forceful manner.




this subject is talked a lot about here im sure some members here will give you some good answer but until you will get a full answer i think that you should see that as good desire
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: Help! New Buddhist!

Postby kiwimark » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:48 pm

Hi Ian
Not all desire's lead to suffering, desire's based on greed hatred & delusion do. But desires based on wholesome states, leading to the development of generosity, renunciation, good will, the noble eightfold path, the seven factors of awakening, should be encouraged. The seven factors of awakening are the kammas that uproot greed, hatred & delusion.
Even the buddha after his awakening desired to help people, and so he established his fourfold spiritual community.
This link is interesting.
www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/tha ... imits.html
:-)
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Re: Help! New Buddhist!

Postby santa100 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:23 pm

Here's a great sutta that addresses your concern..
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Help! New Buddhist!

Postby Jason » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:46 pm

talgar123456 wrote:Hi everyone,
I set out on my journey with Buddhism just a few moths ago,a nd am doing my very best to lead the right life. But I have a burning question that is halting my understanding - can anyone help:

I understand that all suffering comes from desire, and am trying to work with this - but it contradicts the fact that I have a desire to improve myself as a person and live a better life - but if I have this desire, how can I end my suffering, as I still have desire!!??

Please help. I am currently taking this journey alone, and not sure where to go to find others who can help me.

Ian


I think part of the problem is that people tend to conflate desire (chanda) and craving (tahna), and this is partially the fault of translators, but desire and craving are actually two different but closely related aspects of our psychology. Desire is a neutral term, and one generally has to have the desire to achieve a goal in order to achieve it, even nibbana (SN 51.15); whereas the Pali word for craving, tahna (literally 'thirst'), is something that's directly tied to suffering.

The second noble truth states that the origination of suffering is "the craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming" (SN 56.11). As Thanissaro Bhikkhu explains in Wings to Awakening:

    Craving for sensuality, here, means the desire for sensual objects. Craving for becoming means the desire for the formation of states or realms of being that are not currently happening, while craving for non-becoming means the desire for the destruction or halting of any that are. "Passion and delight," here, is apparently a synonym for the "desire and passion" for the five aggregates that constitutes clinging/sustenance [III/H/ii].

Desire, on the other hand, can be skillful (kusala) or unskillful (akusala) depending on the context. The desire for happiness, especially long-term welfare and happiness, is actually an important part of the Buddhist path. Moreover, desire is listed as one of the four bases of power (iddhipada), which themselves are included in the seven sets of qualities that lead to the end of suffering (MN 103). The four qualities listed in the bases of power are desire, persistence, intent and discrimination. In Wings to Awakening, Thanissaro Bhikkhu points to this passage:

    There is the case where a monk develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on desire & the fabrications of exertion, thinking, 'This desire of mine will be neither overly sluggish nor overly active, neither inwardly restricted nor outwardly scattered.' (Similarly with concentration founded on persistence, intent, and discrimination.)

He goes on to explain that, "This passage shows that the problem lies not in the desire, effort, intent or discrimination, but in the fact that these qualities can be unskillfully applied or improperly tuned to their task."

If we take a look at the exchange between Ananda and the brahmin Unnabha in SN 51.15, for example, we can see that the attainment of the goal is indeed achieved through desire, even though paradoxically, the goal is said to be the abandoning of desire. That's because at the end of the path desire, as well as the other three bases of power, subside on their own. As Ananda explains at the end of SN 51.15:

    He earlier had the desire for the attainment of arahantship, and when he attained arahantship, the corresponding desire subsided. He earlier had aroused energy for the attainment of arahantship, and when he attained arahantship, the corresponding energy subsided. He earlier had made up his mind to attain arahantship, and when he attained arahantship, the corresponding resolution subsided. He earlier had made an investigation for the attainment of arahantship, and when he attained arahantship, the corresponding investigation subsided. (Bodhi)

So, essentially, desire can be beneficial in certain contexts, and you shouldn't worry too much about the desire to do skillful things.
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

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Re: Help! New Buddhist!

Postby Kamran » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:05 am

In my opinion, it is not skillful to think or intellectualize about where suffering comes from.

Only through meditation can we gain insight into how we cause ourselves to suffer.

" Don’t think. See." - Bhante Gunaratana.
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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Re: Help! New Buddhist!

Postby drifting cloud » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:35 pm

Just to add to what others have said - a lot of confusion arises among Buddhists (both new and not so new) over terminology like "desire", "mindfulness", etc. In my experience a lot of this confusion is because of how certain technical Buddhist words in Pali or Sanskrit have been translated into other languages, often using very conventional words. The case of "desire" here is a perfect example; the English "desire" doesn't differentiate between tanha and chanda. When in doubt about something like this, it can oftentimes be very....enlightening :sage: to go and check out what words are being used in the original texts and the nuances of those words. What might seem like a logical paradox is very often just linguistic confusion arising from translation.
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Re: Help! New Buddhist!

Postby xtracorrupt » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:09 am

talgar123456 wrote:Hi everyone,
I set out on my journey with Buddhism just a few moths ago,a nd am doing my very best to lead the right life. But I have a burning question that is halting my understanding - can anyone help:

I understand that all suffering comes from desire, and am trying to work with this - but it contradicts the fact that I have a desire to improve myself as a person and live a better life - but if I have this desire, how can I end my suffering, as I still have desire!!??

Please help. I am currently taking this journey alone, and not sure where to go to find others who can help me.

Ian


Yes the desire for understandment of reality is very good :clap: , also so is the desire to be happy/ stop suffering and to make other people be happy/stop their suffering.

:anjali:
theres is no need for needing
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Re: Help! New Buddhist!

Postby villkorkarma » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:34 pm

Your desire will be less and more less, eventually you are satisfied, your desire is gone
dont hurt anyone in any sort of way
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Re: Help! New Buddhist!

Postby SarathW » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:53 am

Welcome
Say you have a strong desire (addiction or craving ) for alcohol consumption. Say your drinking habits lead you in to financial distress, problems with social family and job related problems. So you now desire not to desire alcohol and successful with it. Now you are a happy person. Now you end the suffering from financial distress, problems with social, family and job related problems.

Buddhist have the desire to attain Nirvana. But there is no place called Nirvana, There is no person to attain it, there is nothing to be attained!!!!!

Your question is a very good question. Please read attached from chapter 15 onwards.
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddh ... gsurw6.pdf
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