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Term Definition

(skt.: dukkha; tib.: dug ngel) Suffering. The root word of dukkha implies the axle of a wheel that is out of place, so that the wheel wobbles and creates inappropriate stresses on the axle. Thus dukkha is the pain and dissatisfaction in life that arises from thoughts, speech, and actions which are out of alignment.

Lord Buddha Shakyamuni in Samyutta Nikaya described dukkha as: Birth is dukkha, aging is dukkha, death is dukkha; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are dukkha; association with the unbeloved is dukkha; separation from the loved is dukkha; not getting what is wanted is dukkha. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are dukkha. 
There are three types of suffering (dukkha): 
- suffering of suffering, which refers to most obvious kinds of suffering, like some kind of physical or mental pain 
- suffering of change, which refers to suffering which is brought by change, for example the happiness of enjoying something disappears eventually
- all pervading suffering, which refers to the fact that we are limited and that we always have the potential to suffer


Words of Wisdom

"This world we see is a painting born from the brush of discursive thought, and within it or upon it nothing truly existent can be found. All things in samsara and nirvana are but mental labels and projections. Knowing this one knows reality; seeing this one sees most true."
- 2nd Dalai Lama

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