Tag Archives: Suffering

Desire Vs Suffering: Buddhism 2.0

I took several classes on Buddhism in college and even went to study in Sri Lanka in 1986, where I attended the University of Peradinya, in the central highlands of Kandy, a fantastic place. As part of my field research, I wanted to know what it was like to be a monk so I became one for 30 days. I took vows and lived in a monastery on the remote island of Dodandua off Sri Lanka’s Southern Coast with about 20 other monks, some of whom were also westerners. Most of my day was spent working toward achieving “enlightenment” by ridding myself of desire. In Buddhism, desire is the root of the cycle of suffering (Samsara) and the way you free yourself from it is to meditate for long periods of time. For anyone who has ever tried this, it’s extraordinarily difficult for two reasons: Continue reading

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