Suffering and the Cessation of Suffering



This chapter outlines traditional Buddhist views on suffering, craving, desire, aversion, and attachment as expressed in the classical formulation of the Four Noble Truths. The chapter examines the ways in which these views remain useful to modern Western practitioners, as well the ways they may require qualification in terms of the eudaimonic enlightenment model. It also addresses the ambiguities involved in thinking about “attachment,” as well as whether anger is, in fact, always bad. How can Buddhist teachings on the nature of suffering best be modified or reinterpreted in a way that makes the most sense to modern Westerners? The eudaimonic enlightenment model proposes that one ought to aspire to the wise regulation of sensual desire, attachment, and anger rather than to their complete extirpation. The chapter explores how the concept of nirvāṇa has been reinterpreted across the centuries. It concludes with a critique of the nirvāṇa ideal in the light of Western ideas concerning human well-being and flourishing.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.White PlainsUSA

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