My understanding is probably faulty, so please take my comments below with a grain of salt. The issue you bring up has been an obstacle for me too, at times.Myotai wrote:
I cannot see any inspiration in ceasing to exist...sounds horribly nihilistic!
But anyway, here's how I see it:
(Theravada) Buddhists are inspired by the goal of transcending the samsaric cycle and attaining the supreme state of tranquility and freedom known as nibbana, which the Buddha achieved.
Once you've reached that state, non-existence (parinibbbana) happens in due course. You don't crave continued existence, but you're not desiring non-existence either. It's just what happens naturally when the time is right. Or, to be more doctrinally precise, when the kammic fuel sustaining your existence is used up.
The Buddhist path is a gradual one, with insight unfolding as we progress. In the beginning one may be motivated primarily by the wish to do something about dukkha. As we begin to understand the pervasiveness of dukkha, the desire to be utterly free of it deepens. With greater insight, we are drawn to the "other shore" which is nibbana.
And when we get there, we are very happy.