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What is suffering really?

The pali word dukkha is most often translated as “suffering.” Thanissaro Bhikku says that “stress” is another word for it. I think it’s also a word that most Westerners can more readily relate to. Dukkha is a general sense of unease, a wheel off its axle. It’s like that wheel on the shopping cart that just doesn’t seem to roll right and makes it shake. 

With that perspective in mind most of us can more easily practice the First Noble Truth of recognizing suffering or stress in our lives, perhaps even at finer levels. It’s not just tragedy that causes suffering, but also the small stresses that arise from resisting our lives as they unfold in the minutia of daily life that really wear us down the most over time.

Notes

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    So stress = suffering. Makes sense.
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