From our text Molly (2013), identifies that change, no permanent identity and suffering are three marks of reality in the Buddhists religions and dukkha is a central focus of the four noble truths that life is full of suffering, that there is a cause for suffering, suffering can be stopped, and there is a way to extinguish suffering. According to the Aich, Buddhists believe that suffering can be stopped by following the eightfold path which is by having the “right views, right resolve/aspiration, right speech, right action/conduct, right livelihood, right effort right mindfulness, and right concentration”(2013, para 1). However As stated by Molloy, “life, when lived conventionally, can never be fully satisfying because of its inescapable change” (2013, p. 132). We know through experience that life is constantly changing, we experience sickness, disasters, losses, births, deaths, joys, divorce, etc. that one can not escape from all suffering.
The focus of Buddhism religion related to dukkha is to analyze the nature and cause of suffering. “Indeed, no one can escape suffering, but each person can decide how to respond to it, as indicated in the Four Noble Truths” (Molloy, 2013) I believe the Buddhist meaning of dukkha and suffering is misleading because change is not always negative and does not always lead to suffering. Change can provide a positive impact on one’s life, and often, one can experience “suffering” that can lead to a good thing. My interpretation of what Buddha was trying to convey about dukkha is that both good and bad things happen that cannot be prevented; however, our feelings related to those events can be overcome. If we choose to let bad things affect us, they can cause us pain, sorrow, and suffering. A translation that may fit the term dukkha better would be “individualization”, as each person’s experience and how they respond or deal with changes and suffering is an individual response.
Aich T. K. (2013). Buddha philosophy and western psychology. Indian journal of psychiatry, 55(Suppl 2), S165–S170. doi:10.4103/0019-5545.105517
Molloy, M. (2013). Experiencing the world’s religions (6th ed.). New York City, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc
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