Is there permanent pleasure?

Buddhism seems to suggest that one must sacrifice “lesser pleasures” in pursuit of a permanent and lasting happiness. This means art, music, TV, food (not starvation but just for sustaining), video games, sex, etc. They claim that some of the practitioners have achieved this lasting bliss and happiness that “comes from within”. I’m not sure so if that is really true, even then I don’t want to give up my life as it is. Even if this stuff doesn’t last I still like it and don’t want to give it up. But then they throw in references about how we are just like children with toys and when we grow up we don’t miss the toys anymore (though that seems personal and subjective not really a point). The toys being temporary pleasures and how adults have more interesting and refined pursuits (again subjective and personal). I just don’t like how they render all the other stuff in life “pointless” because it doesn’t last. If I wanted permanent peace I would off myself.

Ain’t no such thing as permanent.

On second thought, guess there’s death.

 

 

{Imagine the horror of an orgasm that’s permanent.}

Yeah, people say a lot of stuff. And you wonder why I trust my gut ;- )

I’m no expert, but the understanding I have of Buddhist teaching is that what they shun is the desire for material things. Desire leads to disappointment, anger and disillusionment. They can’t be opposed to Art because Buddhists write books and create paintings. Steven Seagal is supposedly a Buddhist and he makes action movies (or he used to). They can’t be opposed to Music because there is music all around us in nature. They can’t be opposed to friendships because they live in communities.

That’s kind of missing the point. They are against art, and friendship. You mistake the living in communities for friends. And it’s not material things, it’s anythinf that is a transient pleasure.

That’s kind of missing the point. They are against art, and friendship. You mistake the living in communities for friends. And it’s not material things, it’s anythinf that is a transient pleasure.
Well, this exists, https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an08/an08.043.khan.html, which includes something about refraining from dancing, but I find that about as obscure as some Baptists saying something similar. Given the amount of art by Buddhists that exists, I would not go so far as to say "they are against" it. Buddhism is about intention and practice. So if you are making a presentation, artistic or otherwise, that is intended to invoke anger, then you are going against one the precepts. If you are attempting to invoke harmony, I don't think the Buddha would care.

 

It’s more like refraining from temporary and transient things such as dancing and art, for they don’t last. One must remain focused on liberation.

They say that such pursuits fall under “wrong view” because to find someone enjoyable we have to project qualities onto it that it doesn’t have.

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128721732

This gets at that theory that finding something pleasurable is based on what we believe it to be, or it’s essence. Buddhism says this view is wrong and is one of the things that leads to suffering. So I’m guessing that I am wrong when I say I like something?

I can’t tell if you’re saying what you think, or what you think Buddhism is, or what. I understand the feedback loop of believing something should make you happy and what “actually” makes you happy. Also, long term vs short term happiness, and lots of other complex interactions. So far, in your descriptions of Buddhism, you haven’t said much about Nirvana. That’s kinda the goal, but the way of Buddhism is to let go of it as a goal so then you can achieve. Okay, but the question still remains, what is it? How do you know you got there?

https://browardmeditation.org/what-is-meditation/overview/

We supposedly the likes and dislikes that we have are merely the false mind, and that through practice we cleanse ourselves of these things to find out who we really are (whatever that means).

Reading about their meditation method makes it sound buddhist, as well as the whole “letting go” to achieve what you really are. But that sounds like destroying rather than getting at who you are.

Xain wrote: "It’s more like refraining from temporary and transient things such as dancing and art, for they don’t last. One must remain focused on liberation."
I'm getting the impression that you're reading this stuff somewhere without fully understanding it. Clothes are temporary and transient things, but we don't see Buddhists going around nude. Food is temporary and transient, but Buddhists eat and drink. All pleasures are temporary and transient, but that's no reason to abstain from them. Pleasure is just not the be-all and the end-all of existence. In a way it's similar to the Stoicism of the Greeks and Romans. What's important is to be grateful for what you have rather than agonize over things you don't have.

Except that is not what they mean.

They actually do mean to abstain from pursuing and seeking it out for it only provides temporary relief and it’s a hinderance to the path. They liken it to a child having to discard toys.

The link I posted talks about having to cleanse the “false self” which is rooted in personal and sensory experience in order to live freely. They view the past, memories, likes and dislikes, as burdens which isn’t unlike Buddhism.

Who cares what they meant? Ask yourself why you give them so much authority over your outlook.

Beyond that I love the way Advocatus can phrase it:

I’m getting the impression that you’re reading this stuff somewhere without fully understanding it.

Clothes are temporary and transient things, but we don’t see Buddhists going around nude.

Food is temporary and transient, but Buddhists eat and drink.

All pleasures are temporary and transient, but that’s no reason to abstain from them.

Pleasure is just not the be-all and the end-all of existence.

In a way it’s similar to the Stoicism of the Greeks and Romans.

What’s important is to be grateful for what you have rather than agonize over things you don’t have.

But he didn’t address what it’s actually about. The like to the meditation site is closer to what it is, which is throwing away things.

Like about cleansing the false self which is rooted in experience and sensation. You are not your likes, dislikes, status, etc, because those change.

The moment of the Buddha’s enlightenment is shrouded in symbolism, so no wonder you can find different interpretations of it. To claim that this meditation site is correct is dubious. Gautama sat down to meditate until he achieved enlightenment, depriving himself of all worldly things. But when he realized it all just is what it is, he returned to the world where joy is available and experiencing it is neither bad nor good. Demons and gods have no power over the wisdom of being present in the moment.

As Gautama sat in deep meditation, Mara, Lord of Illusion, perceiving that his power was about to be broken, rushed to distract him from his purpose. The Bodhisattva touched the earth, calling it to bear witness the countless lifetimes of virtue that had led him to this place of enlightenment. When the earth shook, confirming the truth of Gautama's words, Mara unleashed his army of demons. In the epic battle that ensued, Gautama's wisdom broke through the illusions and the power of his compassion transformed the demons' weapons into flowers and Mara and all his forces fled in disarray.
The Bodhi Moment

 

Did you take a look at the site?

Also I don’t understand that. It still makes it sound like you have to throw away everything you love and care about in order to reach this alleged state. They say that you have to cleanse the false self, which seems like you would have to throw away everyone and everything you care about because “it isn’t you” (according to the site). Such a prospect is heartrending to me since then I wouldn’t have anything to guide me. If my life is a lie then what do I do?

I don’t need to read some random site to change what I know. I’m responding to what you think it means. Unless you can point me to something that demonstrates they are experts on the Buddha’s life and philosophy, why should I bother? The question is, why are you worried about what they think? Why do you think they are right? If you are taking something on the internet so much to heart, maybe you should stay off it. You might end up believing the earth is flat and Bigfoot lives in your backyard.

I admit there is a bit of a paradox here. The story has the guy sitting there for 49 days to get to the place where he realizes he doesn’t need to sit there for 49 days. Enlightenment has been compared to looking for your shoes and then realizing they are on your feet. As the koan goes; two monks are walking along and one taps the ground and says, enlightenment is right here. The other says, yes, isn’t that terrible. And they both laugh and walk on.

 

Because if you read what they said you could see the truth in it and that is what worries me. Buddhism has been a net harm in my life.

Their claim is that we are not our experiences. Our likes, dislikes, personal views, etc, things that we accumulate through our time in life is not who we really are and that meditation cleanses all of this. That’s what hurts me because to “see things as they are” I have to throw away everything that gives my life meaning. Buddhism was the same with detachment.

It’s not a long read, but if you read it you could see why im distressed.

 

If you do indeed “see the truth” in it, then why are you distressed? When I saw the truth about how smoking was harming me, I was bummed out, I saw a slight struggle to overcome that, and I knew I’d miss it, but the truth was, it was the right choice to quit. It didn’t hurt me. I realized I was already hurting myself. If you aren’t willing to go through some pain to get what you want, then how do you get out of bed? Actually, if you try avoiding all pain by surrounding yourself with comfort, you find that eventually leads to different kinds of pains, like sore muscles.

You sound like a couple people who used to hang out here. One was young and eventually got over his obsession with pleasure. The other one just wasn’t really well but once we outed him he went away. Not sure if you are like either them or are either of them, but your lack of logic is boring me just like they did. You use words like “cleanse” as if they really mean something and believe some website that says you will see the truth, but then you are afraid to do the practice they are suggesting. Try reading some real Buddhist masters, like Thich Nhat Hahn and see if the website stacks up to that. He says, do the practices or not, it’s up to you, it won’t make you superhuman or show you something that makes you better than everyone else, but you’ll probably be happier for it and people around will be too.

Because of what they said and the things that resulted from that. It was the same issue that happened with Buddhism the first time, the religion makes it seem like there is only one correct answer to life and it is to seek liberation. This website is something that “I don’t know if it’s right” but I am afraid of it being so. Just to give you an idea:

“. This meditation defines the human mind as an accumulation of pictures, stored within one’s body and mind. These pictures are an accumulation of past experiences which are taken through the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and body. The pictures mold us into our pattern of thinking, how we react, and habitual behavior that are not who we truly are. These pictures stored in the mind hold the emotions, thoughts and attachments to people, places, and things. They create the individual’s picture world. As you practice this meditation, you will realize the mind that was filled with pictures from the past is being cleansed, eliminating all burdens. You will live in freedom. Now, you are able to know and become Truth”

 

And as far as the meditation they say goes:

Level 1: Throwing away remembered thoughts
Level 2: Throwing away images of myself, images of human relationships, and myself
Level 3: Throwing away the body of my self
Level 4: Throwing away the body of my self and the universe
Level 5: Throwing away the body of my self and the universe
Level 6: My self disappears and Become the universe
Level 7: Throwing away the picture world and myself living in that world

It just involves throwing away things I love and care about just because they are “burdens” or “false” or “not who you really are”. It’s just as heartbreaking and depressing as my first brush with Buddhism. That’s why I asked you guys too look at it because I don’t really know if it’s true or false and I’m not paying someone (they ask for an appointment and to sign up if you want answers to questions) just to tell me if it is.