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Does having pleasure cause suffering ?

Pleasure is not the cause of suffering but attachment to pleasure is suffering .

That is the cause of suffering stated in 2nd noble truth .

Pleasure feeling arises from looking at beautiful things , eating nice food , having sex .

Should we avoid all this things , do not look at beautiful things .When a beautiful woman walk past us we look on the floor , eat tasteless food , stop having sex .Is this the correct way ?It is easy to listen to teaching but practising it correctly is another thing .I do not believe in suppressing oneself .We are living in a city day in day out we are bombarded with all the stimulants .

Many of us know about this teaching .Question is how to REALIZE that attachment to pleasure is suffering .And how to handle pleasure ?===>Reject or accept it .

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Tashi Delek, lacu.


first - please excuse my language, I am very new here and I may not always use the correct terms for expressing my thoughts on the matter.


I believe most of us have similar problems. I was told a few days ago (hopefully my interpretation is correct!) that it is completely okay to let yourself experience such a pleasure but you should not get yourself attached to it. you should merely observe your mind what it is doing when experiencing that pleasure. of course that does not mean you should involve yourself into every opportunity that offers pleasure, I guess the wisdom of middle path should set some limits. obviously you are given a human body which can experience pleasure so why denying that (especially we, who have only just begun walking the path of Dharma :wink: ). the decision of each person is then what to do with it. either make it another point of attachment and hence suffering or transform it into one of the practices for you self-development.


of course I can only speak from my point of view. so in the every day for me it looks something like this - when I find myself in a situation which can offer me pleasure (be it eating a delicious meal or meeting an adorable guy who shows the signs of liking me :%) I am trying to distance myself from mere experience of the pleasure and I observe what my mind starts doing - I get the opportunity to see many of my projections, prejudice and mind patterns arise. Really a lot is happening in my mind at that moment :wink: ... I try to see pleasure as one of the ways of experiencing life from the level of my own spiritual and self-development. All the "mind patterns" which arise give me the chance for an insight into what is really important for me and lead me to the question, why so. and then on and on (I transform it into some kind of a "meditation" on the subject).


perhaps I am doing this wrong, I don't know. from a very precious discussion I had with Rinpoche it was an important view for me that I should not think that experiencing pleasure is something wrong on itself, but it does carry its value.


surely, later on our path to enlightment this is also one of the "burdens" we have to get rid of. but my "walk" has merely begun :wink:


I don't know if that is of any help to you, since it is only my personal experience.


best regards

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Tashi Delek,


The first of the three principal aspects of the Path is renunciation, yearning for Liberation from the grips of Samsara. You might have heard the saying: "Pleasure is like salted water, the more you drink it, the thirstier you become."

If the word Samsara itself doesn't make you tremble with fear ;) one should contemplate the unbearable sufferings of the lower realms (hell, hungry ghost and animal realm) and the precious human rebirth section of the LamRim. Also impermanence-inevitability of death.

I think the feeling of renunciation is caused by fear of the sufferings of Samsara. When you read how difficult it is to maintain the human rebirth and how easy it is to fall into unfortunate re-birth by the law of karma, any indulgence in pleasure should be seen almost as crime, or worse actually, especially if done with great grasping-attachment or ill will.


Here are some words by Lama Je Tsongkhapa from The Three Principal Aspects of the Path:


"Listen with clear minds, you fortunate ones,

Who rely on the path that pleases the Conqueror,

Strive to make your freedoms and endowments meaningful,

And are unattached to the pleasures of cyclic existence.

Embodied beings are bound by the longing for existence.

Without pure renunciation, there are no means to pacify

The aspiration for pleasant results in the ocean of existence.

Therefore, at the beginning, seek renunciation.


Counteract clinging to this life by familiarizing your mind

With the difficulty of finding the freedoms and endowments

And with the fleeting nature of this life.

Counteract clinging to future lives by repeatedly contemplating

The infallibility of action and result

And the sufferings of cyclic existence.


By familiarizing yourself in this way,

When you do not desire the perfections of samsara for even an instant

And continually aspire for liberation, day and night,

At that time, you have developed renunciation."



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any indulgence in pleasure should be seen almost as crime, or worse actually, especially if done with great grasping-attachment or ill will.


Another small note: I agree pleasure itself is not bad but indulgence in pleasure is, because in this way you lose any mindfulness you may have. And there can't be any real renunciation without a certain degree of mindfulness, right? :?


I personally can't effectively meditate on renunciation without keeping in mind the real empty nature of phenomena...


You can read more about renunciaton from Lama Yeshe here:



Best regards :)

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There is a stupid way of liking or disliking things and a smart one, the one with wisdom... and wisdom in Buddhism implies realizing things have no inherent nature. Things appear pleasurable or unpleasurable to us by the force of our past karma. Let's say we meet a person who is doing an unpleasant thing to us. This person is not bad by its own nature and the argument is that there is always another person who thinks he or she is good (in most of the cases his or her mother). By having the natural reaction to pay back his badness we will surely meet this person again...and there really are bad people... but our goal is not this...... We want to get rid of all the unpleasant things in our life, isn't it?...so being kind with him or her is how we surely get rid of this person :) the same with pleasurable things.... as soon as you receive a thing that makes you happy, quikly give it to others...this way you will receive more of this thing in the future....enlightened self interest :wink:

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Tashi Delek, Lacu.


Maybe this also could help you.



"In working with the emotions we can apply different methods. When our mind is steeped in duality, in object-subject perception, we can cut iron with iron: we antidote a negative thought with a positive one, attachment to our own happiness with attachment to the happiness of others. If we are able to relax the dualistic habit of the mind, we can experience the true essence, or "ground," of an emotion and thus "liberate it in its own ground." In this way, its wisdom principle is revealed: pride as the wisdom of equanimity; jealousy as all-accomplishing wisdom; attachment and desire as discriminating wisdom; anger and aversion as mirror-like wisdom; and ignorance as dharmadhatu wisdom, the wisdom of the true nature of reality."


Best regards,



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