Pleasure leads to preferences or pre-references, which lead to always wanting to be somewhere else, never being fully here now. How does a feelingfull person find a way out of the wheel of repetition?

Part Two

Buddha discovered the truth about life, not only suffering.

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Buddhas teaching was written about 400 years after he spoke, after 400 years memorising and repetition. During his teaching buddha often repeated the 4 Noble Truths and there are many versions.

In his first teaching, the Sermon at Benares, he talked of the middle way and the 4 Noble Truths; these two ideas were his most immediate concerns as a teacher.

Buddha taught "the middle path, which keeps aloof from both extremes"(6), and then apparently continued with : ""Now, this, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning suffering: Birth is attended with pain, decay is painful, disease is painful, death is painful, . Union with the unpleasant is painful, ... " etc. (6)

If this is the middle way and we wish to keep aloof from both extremes ... then why describe just one extreme? Very simple thinking would suggest looking at the other extreme : love is joy, health is joy, birth can surely be joy, death can be peaceful, surely not purely and only suffering.

But according to the text and present understanding, all these key experiences in life are judged in a very one sided way, as suffering, (or painful in this translation).

And apparently, he gave this very short description of suffering to five ascetics who already had a deep understanding of the Hindu teaching on desire, illusion, impermanence and the consequent suffering.

How different it would all be if Buddhas meaning had been "the wheel of life and death is not running smoothly".

If ever the everyday term dukkha had previously described any number of little and big problems, the Mahasatipatthhana allowed no more flexibility.

Here in the first Truth, apparently the enlightened buddha described the suffering in detail with a list of dictionary defintions.

"And what, monks is lamentation? The crying and lamenting, the act of crying and lamenting, and the state of crying and lamentation that arises because of this or that loss (of relatives, or possessions) or this or that painful state that one experiences - this monks, is called lamentation."(2)

And such dictionary defintions are given for old age, sorrow, lamentation, physical pain, mental pain, anguish, having to associate with those one dislikes, and being separated from those one loves or likes.

(I note with interest that the dictionary definition for birth and death are only different in that they mention the manifestation and dissolution of the 5 aggregates of clinging).

There is also a form of mirror logic used in the summary where for "wishing for what one cannot get is suffering" apparently buddha used all the previous suffering experiences as examples "Oh that we were not subject to sorrow, lamentation, physical pain, mental pain and anguish! Oh that sorrow, lamentation, physical pain, mental pain, and anguish would not happen to us!"(2)

The Noble Truths