The truth of suffering (dukkha)

The word “dukkha” comes from Pali. It means “suffering”, “anxiety”, “stress”, or “unsatisfactoriness”.

The word “dakkha” also refers to anything that is temporary, conditional, or compounded of other things. Even something percious and enjoyable is dukkha, because it is not permanent.

Suffering comes in many forms and it can be categorized into eight types:

  • Death: Includes the pain of separation and not being able to continue on in your endeavors, as well as the physical discomfort of dying.
  • Disease: The discomfort of physical or psychological illness.
  • Old Age:  The discomfort involved in the process of again and growing old; this can apply to psychological as well as physical discomfort of aging.
  • Birth: The discomfort of birth and experiencing the world for the first time; and discomfort of relating to new demands or experiences.
  • Not getting what one seeks: The anxiety of not getting what you want.
  • Parting from loved ones: The pain of trying to hold onto what is desirable, lovely, splendid, terrific.
  • Association with the unloved: Being unable to avoid difficult or painful situations.
  • The five clinging aggregates:  The five aggregates –
  1. Form: external or internal matter.
  2. Feeling: sensing an object as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.
  3. Perception: registering whether an object is recognized or not.
  4. Mental formation: all types of mental habits, thoughts, ideas, opinions, prejudices, compulsions and decisions triggered by an object.
  5. Consciousness