Knowing the ways of suffering and happiness

Huaigu Wang
Huaigu Wang
Since 1995 till now, I have been following the kind mentor of BPI to start the journey on Buddhism....Read More

  Essay Writing of Buddhas’ Practice Incorporated
  (Issue 12)
  Knowing the ways of suffering and happiness
  Instructor: Bennie Spirit
  Author: Wang Huaigu
  January 29, 2023
  Abstract

  All beings want to get rid of suffering and get happiness, but they don’t know how suffering is formed and how happiness is formed, so they often will not get what they want and leave happiness and get suffering. Therefore, if sentient beings want to be free from suffering and attain happiness, they should first know how the suffering is formed and how the happiness is formed. If one knows the formation of the suffering and happiness and the rules of the suffering and happiness, and then follows the rules, one can ultimately achieve one’s goal, and one can achieve the goal in a peaceful and comfortable manner. If you do not follow the rules, you will only realize all kinds of sufferings, and you will never achieve your goal. Therefore, if everyone knows how all the dharmas of suffering and happiness are formed, and knows all the rules of freeing from suffering and attaining happiness, and can perfectly implement them, they will be able to achieve their purpose: happiness and peace! If you do not know any of the rules, or if you know them but do not do them, or if you do not do them well, you will definitely cause suffering and anxiety, and you will definitely not be able to achieve the goal of freeing from suffering!

  Key Words: get rid of suffering and get happiness, not get what they want , leave happiness and get suffering, know them but do not do them

Chapter 1 Introduction

  In the eyes of secular people, suffering and happiness are the most basic and universal emotions in the human psyche. These two emotions are formed through the physical and psychological characteristics of human beings and through environmental factors.

  Physiological and psychological characteristics play an important role in the formation of pain and pleasure. For example, when a person is hurt or in pain, their brain sends out warning signals, marking the beginning of pain. On the other hand, when a person experiences happiness and satisfaction, their brain releases chemical substances of happiness, marking the beginning of pleasure.

  Additionally, environmental factors also play a role in the formation of pain and pleasure. For instance, if some persons live in a stressful and unstable environment, they may experience more pain, while if they live in a supportive and stable environment, they may experience more pleasure.

  Thus, pain and pleasure are formed through a combination of physiological and psychological characteristics and environmental factors in humans. These factors influence each other and further shape our perception of these two emotions.

  Then how should we know the Dharma of suffering and the Dharma of happiness from the perspective of Buddhism ? Everyone wants to be free from suffering and attain happiness, but he does not know how the suffering is formed, nor does he know how the happiness is formed. Even if he knows, he still has to do it, and even if he does it, he only does it, but he may not be able to achieve his goal. If you want to achieve your goal, you have to master every detail of the dharma of suffering and the dharma of happiness, and at the same time, you must not have the three obstacles.

  Only then can you achieve your desired goal, or the goal of learning, thinking of, and practicing Buddhism: to leave suffering and attain happiness, or else you will not get what you want and leave happiness and attain suffering. Of course, this knowledge must be the right knowledge, not the wrong knowledge. The right knowledge is clear, but the wrong knowledge, the delusional knowledge, the self-righteous knowledge, is not clear, but still confused. Therefore, if sentient beings want to be free from suffering and attain happiness, they should first know how the suffering is formed and how the happiness is formed.

  If one knows the formation of the dharma of suffering and happiness and the rules of the dharma of suffering and happiness, and then follows the rules, one can ultimately achieve one’s goal, and one can achieve the goal in a peaceful and comfortable manner. If you don’t follow the rules, you will only realize all kinds of sufferings, and you will never achieve your goal. Moreover, even if one knows these rules, one may not be able to do them. Even if you do, you may not be able to achieve your purpose.

  For example, many farmers have planted their land and have done it, but they have not achieved their purpose. He wanted to harvest a thousand pounds, but ended up with only 500 pounds. There are a lot of details involved here, that is, in the process of doing it, you know the cause and condition of each detail. If you know the cause and condition of each detail, you can do it, but you may not be able to do it successfully, because there are still three obstacles here: annoyance obstacle, karma obstacle, and retribution obstacle. Because these three obstacles can hinder all the good things of sentient beings completely. No matter what he does, he will be hindered. But if one wants to be unlucky, it can strongly support him, but if one wants to be good, it starts to obstruct him. Therefore, even if one does it, it may not achieve one’s purpose.

  Also to know the rules mentioned here, there are many details and know-how, there are good rules, bad rules, wrong rules, right rules, efficient rules, inefficient rules. Even if the efficiency is low or bad, as long as the rules are followed, the purpose can be achieved, but it can not be the best, nor the fastest. There is no way to compare the wrong rule, or the inefficient rule, with the efficient and correct method, and here comes the pain.

  Therefore, there is an important issue involved here: to know how the suffering is formed, to know how the happiness is formed, and even to know every detail of the suffering and the happiness. In this way, one can achieve one’s goal, or leaving suffering and attain happiness .

Chapter 2: The Wisdom of Cause and Effect is the Standard and Prerequisite for Knowing the Suffering and Happiness

  How do you know what the dharma of suffering and the dharma of happiness are and how they are formed? What are their prerequisites and standards? Some people take their own feelings as the premise and standard. They think that if they feel good, they are happy, and if they feel bad, they are suffering. There are also some people who take the premise and standard of seeing is believing, for example, when they see someone who steals make a small fortune, they think that stealing can make them rich, but they do not know that stealing can only make people poor and miserable.

  In reality, these standards and premises are wrong. The wisdom of cause and effect is the standard and prerequisite for knowing the suffering and happiness. In other words, only by knowing cause and effect and understanding cause and effect one can know the suffering and happiness, and can achieve one’s goal. The specific manifestation of the wisdom of cause and effect is the three major laws of cause and effect, which can also be called the three major formulas: the seed and the fruit are identical, such the cause will cause such the effect; if you plant one seed, you will reap many seeds; if you plant one seed now, you will reap in the future.

  For example, killing is the suffering. Because you will definitely be killed by the other side in the future, and you will be killed many times, so killing is the suffering. To save and protect sentient beings is the law of happiness because one will definitely be saved and protected by the other side in the future and will be saved by the other side many times, so saving and protecting sentient beings is the happiness.

  Therefore, if you want to know how the suffering is formed and how the happiness is formed, you must know that the wisdom of cause and effect is the standard and prerequisite for knowing the suffering and the happiness. When the cause and effect are understood and penetrated, one can know the suffering and the happiness, how the suffering is formed and how the happiness is formed.

Chapter 3: Knowing How the Suffering is Formed

  How does the suffering come into being specifically ? The author would like to explore and discuss the following aspects.

  Firstly. Knowing that following afflictions and creating bad karma is the dharma of suffering because it is a way to keep bond, pain, and helplessness. For example, if one is greedy for food, eats a lot of snacks, overeats, etc., one is bound by eating and food, and the final result is that the whole person is bound to food. If you want to stop eating, you can’t. If you want to stop craving, you can’t.

  Therefore, many people want to observe not-eating after noon and fasting, and they know that they want to obtain all the extraordinary benefits of not-eating after noon and fasting, but they have the will to do so, but they cannot. He was very painful and helpless, and he couldn’t figure out how he could be like this. The truth is very simple, because he is completely tied up with gluttony and food, and he doesn’t know that gluttony is the suffering. If sentient beings do not know the suffering, and even make suffering a joy, and take suffering as joy, he has no way to leave suffering.

  Therefore, if one wants to achieve one’s goal, to be free from suffering and to attain happiness, one must know that following afflictions and creating bad karma is the suffering, and how this law of suffering is formed.

  Secondly. Knowing that all happiness in the world is suffering and how this suffering is formed. The Flower Adornment Sutra says, “All happiness in the world is suffering, the realm of demons, the greed of fools, the reproach of Buddhas , and the cause of all sufferings. For example, all sentient beings in this world think that being greedy for eating and love eating are happiness, and the more you eat, the better you feel. Why? It is because when you look at all these delicious things, bananas, papayas, breadfruit, and eat a little bit of them, or eat almost as much as you want to, you feel good. However, they were deceived by the superficial goodness and happiness. In the end, if they continue to eat more and more, they will not be able to bear it, and the pain will come. The true good, as the world thinks that the more money, the better, which is universally acknowledged and confirmed. But this greed for food, where the more you eat, the more you suffer, only proves that greed for food is not really good, nor is it really joyful.

  The same is true for all the pleasures of the world, such as greed for food, greed for sleep, and greed for lust. It is happiness at the beginning, but the amount is not enough. Once the amount is too much, it is pain. The truth of pain is revealed, and there is no happiness at all. Therefore, the practitioner must know that all worldly happiness is itself suffering, and what is the truth of the formation of suffering. This is the first step to leave suffering.

  Thirdly. Coveting praise, coveting favor, coveting feelings, coveting face, coveting fame and fortune is the suffering. Many people rejoice when they hear people praise them, but in fact, that is self-cruelty and self-destruction. Therefore, praise and kill are often linked together, called praise and kill. After being praised and killed, it is like falling down from the top of a tall tree. Is it bitter ? Very bitter. What is the principle behind this? On the one hand, the essence of these phenomena is greed, and greed can only bring suffering to people. On the other hand, other people are cultivating their good causes, which is the point of their future achievement, and it has nothing to do with oneself, why are you still joyful and happy?

  If you can always know that if you are happy when others praise you, then you are foolish, self-cruelty and self-destruction! If the more people praise you, the more frightened you are, then you should enter a state of proper practice; if the more people praise you, the more comfortable you are, then you should know that danger is coming. As long as one is favored and pampered by others, and the more comfortable one feels, the faster one will be doomed and finished. It is very important to have such an understanding, because you will not harm yourself at the point of others’ achievement.

  Therefore, covetousness of praise, covetousness of favor, covetousness of feeling, covetousness of face, and covetousness of fame and fortune are all forms of suffering, and we know how these forms of suffering are formed. It is only when one knows suffering that one can be free from suffering, and if one adds wisdom, rules and methods, one can achieve the goal of being free from suffering.

  Fourthly, not exercising is the suffering. For example, if you do not worship Buddhism more, do not do more work, and do not move for a long time, your body will be stiff and you will even suffer from many diseases. Because life is in motion , if you do not exercise, your life will be threatened. Many people are reluctant to exercise, they just want to be comfortable and sit still for a long time, which will bring a lot of diseases and sufferings, and even increase the chance of death.

  The U.S. website has a report called Sitting is Killing You, which refers to people who sit for more than 6 hours a day, compared to people who sit for 3 hours a day, the chance of death after 15 years increased by 40%. And there are other studies pointing out that even if sedentary people have the habit of exercise, the chance of developing diabetes is as high as 90%, the death rate of heart disease will also increase by 18%, the average overall mortality rate is 24% higher than the general population.

  The damage to the human body caused by prolonged inactivity is enormous. In addition to bringing about the familiar lower limb paralysis ,edema, obesity, heart disease, and even diabetes and certain liver and kidney diseases, it is also easy to cause lesions in the lumbar spine and hip pain, which is better known as “sciatica”, and another disease related to the injury caused by prolonged sitting is called “cauda equina syndrome”.

  Sitting for a long time without moving, if one is not for practice, one is useless. That is to say, except for practice, you can sit still, but you must move at other times. Otherwise, you are waiting for sickness and suffering, waiting for death.

  Therefore, one must have this knowledge and view, knowing that not moving is the suffering and how this suffering is formed. Only in this way is it possible to leave suffering and achieve the goal of leaving suffering.

  Fifthly. Using all false thinking, following false thinking , and considering false thinking as true is the suffering. The Brief History of the Human Body says, “What beings see, hear, taste, touch, and think is not real, but is simply delusion plus delusion, all of which is merely their own false thinking . Through the video, we can understand more clearly and in detail that all the creations of sentient beings are nothing but false thinking.

  It turns out that the outer skin of the body of a beautiful man or a beautiful woman is just dead skin, all dead cuticles; the smell is just different kinds of molecules pulsating, which does not exist at all; the sound is just the vibration of sound waves felt by the eardrum; all the colors seen, such as red and green, are just different kinds of light spectrum, and there are no such colors at all; a woman’s sense of touch is much sharper than a man’s, which means her false thinking of illusory clarity are sharper and more perceptive. Once she has physical contact with the other party, she is more likely to be poisoned, to be poisoned by touch, and to suffer more than men, and the sense of touch is nothing but delusion. All these are nothing but false thinking. But you and all sentient beings are greedy for these empty flowers, which have the name but no reality, stare with eyes and generate sickness and are not there at all, and give rise to the greedy mind ,and have all kinds of delusions, are completely trapped in delusion, to look as if one is dying, then they are to suffer endlessly.

  The five skandhas are all delusions. As the Surangama Sutra says, “These five skandhas of reception develop with five kinds of false thinking.; the knowledge of seeing and knowing is the origin of ignorance.” It is also said, ” You should know that all sentient beings, from the beginninglessness of time, live and die in succession because they do not know the pure and clear nature of the dwelling true heart and use all delusions or false thinking. This false thinking is not true, so there is reincarnation for them.

  Therefore, if one does not know the true appearance of delusion, and if one follows delusion and considers delusion to be true, the sea of suffering will be boundless, and this is how suffering is formed.

  All sentient beings do not want to suffer themselves, but they do not know that knowing suffering is the first step to leaving suffering. Therefore, knowing how the suffering is formed is the only way to be free from suffering. If one knows how suffering is formed and can rely on wisdom and rules to keep away from suffering, and can master each and every detail, and at the same time not have the influence of the three obstacles, then one can achieve one’s goal, or leave suffering.

  Sixthly. Obstructing others from gaining benefits is the suffering. If you hinder others, no matter what kindness they have for themselves, there will be obstacles to their own achievement, because this is the law of cause and effect. Especially when others are involved in Buddhism, one must not obstruct them at all, because Buddhism is the root of sentient beings’ freedom from suffering. Therefore, we must know that obstructing others to get benefits is the suffering, this is how the suffering is formed. This is the first step for beings to leave suffering.

  In summary, if beings want to leave suffering, they must first know what is the suffering, and how the suffering is formed.

Chapter 4: Knowing How the Dharma of Happiness is Formed

  We have talked about what is suffering and how it is formed above. Then, what is the dharma of happiness and how is it formed? The author would like to discuss it from the following aspects.

  Firstly. Knowing the rules, methods, and precepts is the dharma of happiness, which ensures liberation, security, happiness, and freedom, and is able to achieve one’s own purpose. For example, fasting is the dharma of happiness. Because only one meal is eaten 24 hours a day, after 18 hours, the macrophages start to work and clean up the garbage and viruses in the body, and it takes 6 hours to clean them up, so basically they can fight against viruses. This way, you will naturally have a healthy body and a happy mind. All sentient beings want to be happy, but only when they know how happiness is formed ,can they have the possibility to be happy.

  Let’s look at another example: I want to grow pumpkins, I have the seeds, I have the ground, I have the wind, I have the water, I have the fertilizer, and I want to be able to produce big pumpkins. Can I grow big pumpkins? Absolutely not, even small pumpkins can not grow. Because there is still an important condition missing here: sunlight. Why is this so? Because there is a wrong point in my knowledge and view: it does not matter much if there is no sunlight to grow pumpkins. This one wrong point of knowledge and view has caused me to fail to achieve my goal at all, let alone all my points, all my arising of the conditions, rules and methods are wrong. Furthermore, even if the pumpkin bears fruit and I don’t want to harvest it, or if the pumpkin-loving animal eats it, will I still get the pumpkin? Is there still the joy of harvesting pumpkins? Of course the answer is no.

  Therefore, if one knows the rules, methods, or precepts, and can do them according to the right methods, and can master every detail, without the influence of the three obstacles, then one can achieve the goal of attain happiness.

  Secondly, kindness, compassion, joy and giving are the dharma of happiness. Just one compassion can make sentient beings break a mountain of bad karma and build a mountain of merit and virtue. It is said in the Sutra of the Precepts for Upasaka: “If one can practice such compassion, one is known to be able to destroy a mountain of bad karma like the Sumeru Mountain, and will soon attain Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. If a person does a little good deeds, the reward is like Mount Sumeru. An important detail here is to know what is suffering and what is the extraction of suffering in order to obtain the happy rewards of various good fruits. Therefore, if sentient beings know that the extraction of suffering is the dharma of happiness, how the dharma of happiness is formed, and can do it, and can master every detail, and at the same time not have the influence of the three obstacles, then they can achieve the goal of attaining happiness for themselves.

  Thirdly, to be rebuked and chided by Buddhas, Bodhisattvas or kind mentor is a happy method. Only soft words, only all chiding, and soft words and chiding are all three ways in which the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are good at regulating sentient beings.

  As the Great Nirvana Sutra says: “The first true kind mentors are the Bodhisattvas and the Buddhas. What is the reason for this? Because of the three kinds of being good at regulating. What are these three? One is always soft-spoken, the other is always chiding, and the third is always soft-spoken and chiding. In this sense, all Bodhisattvas and Buddhas are true kind mentors. Also, “If a Bodhisattva sees all evil and bad beings, if he chides, if he speaks softly, if he repels, if he gives up, if he is evil, he manifests speaking softly, if he is arrogant, he manifests great pride, but he is not arrogant in his heart, this is called the incredible ways of the Bodhisattva.” From this we can see that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas use such corresponding ways as rebukes and scolding to discipline sentient beings. Because of the different roots and causes and conditions of sentient beings, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will use the corresponding methods of scolding and rebuking. Of course, these are also skillful ways showing from their kindness and compassion , is the right medicine to deal with sickness, is that the coming medicine can eradicate the disease, the beings attain naturally physical and mental peace and happiness. So, the happy method is formed.

  Being able to be scolded and chastised by the kind mentor is the happiness, the author’s own feelings are indeed so. So how does this happiness come about? Because of my own deep afflictions, especially the pride, I have always been willing to listen to the praise and compliments of others and the kind mentor, but not to hear others and the kind mentor scold and rebuke me, and even when I hear the kind mentor scold others, I jump around and cannot bear it. In the last three years, because of the ripening of cause and condition, the kind mentor has dared to scold me a little bit. When I was scolded, I didn’t feel very comfortable either. But I thought that this is a rare thing. If the kind mentor does not scold me anymore, it means that he does not care about me anymore, and no one can really point out my mistakes, foolishness and evil views, because I do not care much about the words of the kind mentor anymore. Only with these words of condemnation can I be shaken and awakened to one’s true wrongdoing.

  With this kind of thinking and understanding, I was able to feel more at ease when I was scolded, and later I found that the afflictions and evil karma scolded by the kind mentor was much less or even gone, which was much better and faster than the effect of my own confession. As the times ,the number of gaining benefits increased, so did the joy of being chastised by the kind mentor, and I was naturally willing to accept such chastisement, my practice progressed significantly, and I could see the light and hope for achievement. Then I am more willing to accept the joy of being scolded and chastised, and the affliction, karma, and retribution obstacles are eliminated to the greatest extent possible, achieving one of the important purposes of my Dharma practice: I vow to eliminate the three obstacles and all impure things.

  Therefore, to be scolded and chastised by a good advisor is a happy dharma, and the good feeling of this happy dharma in myself is very obvious. This is how the dharma of happiness is formed.

  Fourthly: The Six Harmonies and Four Absorbings are the Dharma of Happiness. The Six Harmonies are the Six Harmonies and Respects: Harmony and respect of the body, Harmony and respect of the speech, Harmony and respect of the mind, Harmony and respect of the profit, Harmony and respect of the cultivating precepts, and Harmony and respect of the same view. The Four Absorbings , namely: giving, loving words, benefitting the others’ practice , and working together. In the Buddha’s Inconceivable Secret Sutra Preached by the Buddha, it is said, “There are six methods that can protect the world. What are the six methods? The first one is to practice compassionate body karma, to respect and love the teacher and kind mentor and pure practitioner and all sentient beings. It is called the first harmony and respect of body karma. All kind men, the Six Dharmas of Harmony and Respect are able to protect the world.” Since the Six Dharmas of Harmony and Respect can protect the world and give happiness to all sentient beings, it is natural to be a happy dharma, and this is how the happy dharma is formed.

  Also, the Sutra of Flowers of Compassion says: “In the eon of epidemic, I will teach all sentient beings to live in the six harmonious and respectful dharma, also make them dwell in the four absorbing dharmas peacefully, all epidemic, darkness of sentient beings will be extinguished. ”This shows that if all sentient beings can truly dwell in the Six Harmonies and Four Absorbing Dharmas, adding the Bodhisattva’ upholding of powers of vows , all sentient beings will naturally be healthy and happy. From this, it is clear that the Six Harmonies and Four Absorbing Dharmas are naturally the Dharma of Bliss.

  Therefore, the possibility of attaining happiness is only possible as long as one knows how the dharma of happiness is formed. If one knows how the dharma of happiness is formed, and can do it according to the dharma, and can master every detail, without the influence of the three obstacles, then one can achieve the goal of attaining happiness.

Chapter 5 Conclusion

  If all beings can know how all the dharmas of suffering and happiness are formed, and know all the rules to get rid of suffering and attain happiness, and can implement them perfectly, they will be able to achieve their goal: happiness and peace! If one does not know any of the rules, or if one knows but does not do them, or if one does not do them well, it will certainly lead to suffering and anxiety, and can certainly not lead to the goal of freedom from suffering!

  References
  I. Ancient texts (in chronological order of dynasties)
  1 [Northern Liang], translated by Tangwuchan: The Sutra of the Precepts for Upasaka, vol. 24 of Dazhengzang,.
  2 [Tang] translated by Siksananda: The Flower Adornment Sutra, vol. 10 of Dazhengzang,.
  3 [Tang] Translated by Bolamidi: The Surangama, vol. 19 of Da Zheng Zang.
  4 [Song] Translated by Fahu-Weijing, the Buddha’s Inconceivable Secret Sutra Preached by the Buddha, vol. 11 of Dazheng Zang.

  II. Others
  1. Chen Yiyun: (sedentary buttocks soreness and pain of office workers, beware of “ponytail syndrome” stalking you), website name: Heho Health and Hope, website address: https://heho.com.tw/archives/40026, retrieval date: January 29, 2023.
  2.Catog:(科普 |《人体简史》),網址:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR_PlDenPKM ,檢索日期:2023 年1月29日。
  2. Catog: (Science | A Brief History of the Human Body), URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR_PlDenPKM , retrieved January 29, 2023.
  3.Dr. Berger: Highest autophagic effect and causes, website name :Health Knowledge, URL:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhdwoGizLjU&t=29s , retrieved January 29, 2023.

Download: https://www.bpi2019.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Knowing-the-ways-of-suffering-and-happiness.pdf

Leave a review

More from the article

The relationship between hatred and disease

Essay Writing of Buddhas’ Practice Incorporated (Issue 17) The relationship between hatred and disease Instructor:Bennie Spirit ,Shi Wuguang Author: Wang HuaiguMarch 16th, 2024 Abstract The relationship between hatred and...

3 Types of Inborn Wisdoms

復次,佛子!如來智慧無處不至。何以故?無一眾生而不具有如來智慧,但以妄想顛倒執著而不證得;若離妄想,一切智、自然智、無礙智則得現前。 Furthermore, Heir of Buddha! The wisdoms of Buddhas can exist everywhere.Why? Everybody is born with Buddhas’ wisdom. They cannot attain it just because their...

The relationship between greed and disease

  Essay Writing of Buddhas’ Practice Incorporated  (Issue 16)  The relationship between greed and disease  Instructor:Bennie Spirit  Shi Wuguang  Author: Wang Huaigu  January 4, 2024   Abstract   The relationship between greed and disease is...

On Consciousness

  Essay Writing of Buddhas’ Practice Incorporated    On Consciousness   Supervisor: Director Wang Huaigu, Master Wuguang  Submitted by: Bhikkhuni Shi Yin Yi  June 23, 2023   Abstract  This study explores consciousness from a...