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John.3
03-31-2021, 02:48 PM
Hello wonderful Sangha members [emoji120][emoji4]. Sorry to run a little long here.

Recently I have been very aware of dukkha in my life. It seems that no matter what I do I have a gnawing feeling of disappointment, dissatisfaction, apprehension, and the urge to take the edge off (junk food binge, buying the next shiny thing I don't need, selfish self-indulgence, etc...)

I've spent much of my life in the vicious cycle of feeling the need to numb out dukkha, but ofcourse am always left with yet more dukkha afterwards. Now that I am a practicing Buddhist, I am trying my best not to numb anything out and to be less extreme in the selfish pleasure seeking department.

That being said, I am curious how to live with these feelings? Sometimes they can be overwhelming and very uncomfortable. Is this just what reality feels like?

Based on posts I've read in the forums I know there is no getting rid of dukkha, just learning to live with it and accept it for what it is.

I am working on accepting it, and just sitting with the feelings, but I'm curious what you all do to deal with Dukkha in your day to day lives and in your daily zen practice? Do you have a method or practice that helps you live with it/accept it?

Anyone's experience or insight on this topic is greatly appreciated. Thank you all for this community!

Gassho,
John
Sat today

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Mp
03-31-2021, 03:57 PM
Hey John,

Thanks for your question.

The simple answer is, just be with whatever arises in your life - accepting things as they are and not as we want them to be. Now, this is much easier to say then do. But in reality it is as simple as that.

When negativity arises it does so within the mind and from the basis of judgement and separation (I want or I don't want). When these moment occur try this.

1. Acknowledge (just observe that they are there)
2. Accept (accepting them as they are, remember no judgement here)
3. Be with them/sit with them even for a moment
4. Once you have been with them or sat with them for a moment ask yourself, "Is what I am experiencing reality as it is, or my judgement of reality and what is unfolding in front of me?"

Inquiring into our true nature is part of the process - who am I and why am I the way that I am. But again inquiry is not about good or bad, right or wrong - it is also not about changing anything, but rather understanding so that we can see our true nature and come to accept it as it is.

Now when we are on the cushion and this arises ... well, we do nothing other then Steps 1, 2, and 3; then return back to just sitting and allowing life and all it's conditions to just be what they are.

Once we get up from the cushion we then can take the time to explore Step 4. A lot of the time in our inquiry we do come to an understanding that a lot of our Dukkha is self-created and not what is happening in the world we engage in. Seeing this and practicing with it we come to a better place of understanding; a place with less attachment to removing suffering/Dukkha. Remember, life is suffering, but life is also beautiful and joyful - two sides to the one sided coin.

There are moments when life just sucks ... be there with it, try not to change it in that very moment. There is a difference between accepting and taking action to change it. Step 1 and 2 are very important ... they help us make the right choices if we DO need to make changes to try and end that suffering. But as you know, sometimes all the efforts in the world will not change that negative experiencing we are facing, again going back to Step 1 and 2 help us on the path to be free (attached to or stuck in) Dukkha/suffering.

I hope that helps. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

Guish
03-31-2021, 06:18 PM
Hello wonderful Sangha members [emoji120][emoji4]. Sorry to run a little long here.

Recently I have been very aware of dukkha in my life. It seems that no matter what I do I have a gnawing feeling of disappointment, dissatisfaction, apprehension, and the urge to take the edge off (junk food binge, buying the next shiny thing I don't need, selfish self-indulgence, etc...)

I've spent much of my life in the vicious cycle of feeling the need to numb out dukkha, but ofcourse am always left with yet more dukkha afterwards. Now that I am a practicing Buddhist, I am trying my best not to numb anything out and to be less extreme in the selfish pleasure seeking department.

That being said, I am curious how to live with these feelings? Sometimes they can be overwhelming and very uncomfortable. Is this just what reality feels like?

Based on posts I've read in the forums I know there is no getting rid of dukkha, just learning to live with it and accept it for what it is.

I am working on accepting it, and just sitting with the feelings, but I'm curious what you all do to deal with Dukkha in your day to day lives and in your daily zen practice? Do you have a method or practice that helps you live with it/accept it?

Anyone's experience or insight on this topic is greatly appreciated. Thank you all for this community!

Gassho,
John
Sat today

Sent from my PVG100 using TapatalkGreat tips by Shingen. One thing I'd add is that nothing lasts. Your feeling of helplessness will pass as well. You are the sky and stuff which happen to you are the clouds. Yesterday, I felt overwhelmed and angry. I still looked at the wall for 30 mins on the zafu. I accepted everything fully.

Gassho,
Sat today,
Guish.

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Risho
03-31-2021, 06:20 PM
Shingen this is awesome gassho2

I think Jundo said something in a forum post the other day that is key - zazen is not a self-help program; I'm paraphrasing, but that's a trap I find myself in often.

Using zazen to escape from problems works in the short term, and it is a necessary phase in practice, but ultimately zazen is best done as its own reward. To use this practice as another tool is what brings us here in the first place.

Dukkha is the basic human condition, so we just experience dukkha - or it may be that dukkha arises; it's our clinging to it as "ours" that adds more to it. It becomes a very compelling narrative. There is a subtle distinction there; we recently had another forum topic on this. I think Jishin pointed it out that we don't own that anger or that stress. That's important.

Zazen allows us to see things arising without believing in them. It takes time to really, really bake in; that's why it's so important to stay consistent. This process cannot be rushed; it takes as long as it takes. And it's another temptation to come into zazen with a goal of something; but just drop all thoughts of this or that and see thoughts arise and fade - even thoughts of having some sort of goal with zazen; that's completely natural.

Really - just don't give up.

Zazen allows us to see this suffering and grasping mind and also see through it by not pushing it away or grasping and believing in the stories we tell ourselves, but just letting it arise and past, just like all things do.

Gassho

Risho
-stlah

Jishin
03-31-2021, 08:37 PM
Just when I thought I was rid of Dukkha Shingen appears out of nowhere.

Such is the nature of Dukkha.

:)

Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

aprapti
03-31-2021, 08:40 PM
we sing a song, but that's not easy to reproduce here.
the words go : if you do its dukkha, if you don't its dukkha, there is no but dukkha that there is..

gassho2

aprapti

std

Guish
04-01-2021, 02:19 AM
we sing a song, but that's not easy to reproduce here.
the words go : if you do its dukkha, if you don't its dukkha, there is no but dukkha that there is..

gassho2

aprapti

stdIndeed. First noble truth.. Life is suffering.

Gassho,
Guish.

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JimInBC
04-01-2021, 03:32 AM
Full Disclosure: I'm not sure if this answer fits with Soto Zen, or if I'm too much coming from my old Theravada framework here. But forgetting schools, this is a Buddhist practice I find helpful.

Get curious about how Dukkha arises. What experiences in the body and mind create this sense of Dukkha. How, instant by instant, is Dukkha created and felt.

For instance, I'm enjoying a walk down a sunny street. I see someone I had a disagreement with. In itself, that pure sense experience is neutral raw data. But - if I'm watching closely - I'll notice an immediate pre-thought feeling tone, either "this is good" or "this is bad." In the case of the someone I had an issue with - "this is bad". A moment later I have a thought, but it isn't based only on reality - the sight of a person walking - but also my feeling tone. But - again, if I'm watching closely - I'll observe that thought arise. Now, once we get to thought we can easily start to create a narrative that can be quite far from the reality of walking on a sunny street and seeing someone else walking. Suddenly, instead of enjoying the sun I'm reliving a bad conversation or fantasizing about stabbing him with a pen or whatever. This may continue long after we have passed each other.

But... If we observe, again and again, how we create reality, in this instant-by-instant way, the flow of experience we start to see space to decide. Space to choose not to identify. The sense experience is what it is. The feeling tone is what it is. But the thought is a conditioned response, not reality, and we can find the space to step back before we identify with it.

From there you can start to tease out general mental suffering (not being able to get what one wants, not being able to escape what one doesn't want), then at a deeper level suffering that arises from impermanence (not only that we didn't get what we want, but in a fundamental way we never can), and then finally start to see how it all arises from the fundamental delusion of a continuous self - there is nothing there to get or not get what it wants.

But for me, what's kinda cool, is that the more you turn with curiousity towards exploring how you construct reality, the less it feels like Dukkha and the more it feels like an adventure.

Good luck! [emoji846]

Gassho, Jim
ST/LaH



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Doshin
04-01-2021, 06:32 PM
Just when I thought I was rid of Dukkha Shingen appears out of nowhere.

Such is the nature of Dukkha.

:)

Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

You funny Jishin :)

......and it is wonderful to have Shingen back :encouragement:

Doshin
St

Mp
04-01-2021, 07:08 PM
You funny Jishin :)

......and it is wonderful to have Shingen back :encouragement:

Doshin
StThanks buddy. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

newby_x86
04-04-2021, 01:18 PM
Nice to see you back, Shingen. [happy] [wave]

Gassho
Anant
Sat

Mp
04-04-2021, 01:41 PM
Nice to see you back, Shingen. [happy] [wave]

Gassho
Anant
Sat

Thank you. gassho2

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

John.3
04-04-2021, 01:45 PM
Thanks everyone for your responses on this thread. It has been very helpful and instructive.

Gassho,
John
Sat today

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Matt
04-14-2021, 01:44 AM
But again inquiry is not about good or bad, right or wrong - it is also not about changing anything, but rather understanding so that we can see our true nature and come to accept it as it is.


Thank you for this, Shingen.

Gassho,
Matt
Sat/Lah

Ryudo
04-14-2021, 02:54 AM
Thank you Shingen.

gassho1

SatToday