Monday, January 14, 2008

three basic hungers

hunger for sensual pleasure
hunger for being
hunger for non-being

What, friends, is the noble truth of the origin of suffering? It is hunger, which brings renewal of being, is accompanied by delight and lust, and delights in this and that; that hunger for sensual pleasures, hunger for being, and hunger for non-being. This is called the noble truth of the origin of suffering. SN 56.II

Gregory's comments on this passage from the Buddha's teaching are alone worth the price of the book...especially his comments on the hunger for non-being.

...the urge for non-being seemed downright cryptic... The hunger for non-being, I came to understand, was not only the urge to escape this crazy and painful life but also the urge to escape existing in relationship. Inherent in this urge, I saw, is the fear of being seen, the fear of intimacy. p. 34

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Grasping is the link between hunger and suffering... p32

We have had a wonderful holiday. Neither my husband or I really wanted to take down the Christmas Tree - a sign of the holiday's ending and the beginning of a year we cannot foretell - a year that, like all other years, will have its joys and it sorrows. So we hold on to the tree and the colorful lights - but in doing so add the suffering of clinging to the pleasant.

This passage (pp. 31-33) and the suggested exercise give you an opportunity to explore the links between suffering and grasping in your life and relationships. Notice especially how we cling to both pleasant and unpleasant connections.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Causes of Suffering

Interpersonal Hunger is Gregory Kramer's coining of the Second Noble Truth in this book. He includes the elements listed below in his discussion of the causes of suffering. He is sharing traditional teachings applied to contemporary living in a very practical and understandable way.

Study the headings before working with the chapter. What do you already know about these? Think of your own personal experiences in relationship to the headings. Do you have any experiences like those you think he might discuss here? Consider changing each item into a question and writing your own answer.

Clinging to Hunger Causes Suffering

Three Basic Hungers

Forming the Relational Self

The Hunger for Pleasure and the Urge to Avoid Pain

The Hunger to Be and the Fear of Nonbeing

The Hunger to Avoid Being, and the Fear of Being Seen

The Hungers Intermingled

The Energy That Drives Greed, Hatred, and Delusion