Hello all, Ben
I'm writing a post that I should've written a long time ago.
I did a 10 day vipassana retreat in the SN Goenka system. It was the most profound experience of my life. However, I'm starting to question some of the insights I had. The main insight I had in that retreat was that suffering is realy optional, if you train your mind. This came from the insight that unpleasant sensations are not suffering; it's our attitude towards them that is suffering. However if one accepts this conclusion, the reverse conclusion also follows: pleasant sensations are not happiness. That was even more shocking to me, since I don't know how to deal with that conclusion, I don't know how to be happy.
One way to untie this knot is to distinguish sensations in two categories: physical and mental. In that case, my insight was that the unpleasant physical sensations are not suffering, it's the unpleasant mental sensations that are suffering. If that's the case, It's only the pleasant physical sensations that are not happiness; the pleasant mental sensations are happiness.
Maybe this is a oversimplification, but would you say that this is basicaly correct?
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)