- grief, lamentation, despair, distress, woe, ill, misery, off-kilter, unsatisfactoriness, or the catchall "suffering."
Monday, August 13, 2018
Love's suffering: "We're just FRIENDS!" (video)
Heartbreak hurts so much, so very much. This disappointment/pain is called dukkha in Buddhism, a word that covers the range of unpleasant sensation:
Dukkha (the opposite of the Buddhist word sukha that covers the range of pleasant sensations or "happiness") refers to painful feeling, which may be bodily or mental. (The Buddhist word for "feeling" is vedanā).
Disappointment/suffering is the first of the Four Noble Truth , the thing that causes most of us to strive for freedom, liberation, and the final "end of all suffering" (nirvana) that comes with enlightenment. It is the second of the Three Universal Characteristics of Existence.
The term is not limited to painful experience as under, but refers to the unsatisfactory (dissatisfying, unsatisfactory) nature and the general insecurity of all conditioned phenomena. Such phenomena are things dependent for their existence on constituents or conditions.
On account of their impermanence, all are liable to result in disappointment/suffering. The shocking thing is that this includes pleasurable experiences.
So "unsatisfactoriness" -- which refers to all the things "liable to result in suffering" -- is a more adequate rendering than "suffering." Let's go with "disappointment."
The first noble truth does not deny the existence of happiness, joy, or pleasurable experiences, as is often wrongly assumed. This is illustrated by the following sutra excerpts when the Buddha said:
SATISFACTION in the world, meditators, I had pursued my way. That satisfaction in the world I found. Insofar as satisfaction exists in the world, I have well perceived it by wisdom.
"Seeking for MISERY in the world, meditators, I had pursued my way. That misery in the world I found. Insofar as misery exists in the world, I have well perceived it by wisdom.
"Seeking for the ESCAPE from the world, meditators, I had pursued my way. That escape from the world I found. Insofar as an escape from the world exists, I have well perceived it by wisdom" (A.iii.105).
"If there were no satisfaction [pleasure, joy, happiness] to be found in the world, beings would not be attached to the world....
"If there were no misery to be found in the world, beings would not be repelled by the world....
"If there were no escape from the world, beings could not escape from the world" (A.iii.106).