The previous two posts: and were about the practical details of renunciation. Notice how just the word 'renunciation' gives rise to immediate reflex objections, reflecting our self-centered consumer identity?: "Where's the fun in that?", "Life's not worth living if I'm forced to give up all the good stuff!"

Renunciation is not about giving up all pleasures, only unwholesome ones ie those that cause ourselves & / or others long-term suffering. Renunciation is being realistic about the actual pleasure obtainable from people, activities & objects. Less is indeed often more:

Most pleasure is very short-lived, regardless of how carefully we try to manage it. When this enjoyment is over, we tend to feel bad because we wanted it to increase or at least remain, instead of ending. We also feel bad when unpleasant things happen. So the pleasant is short-lived, and the unpleasant keeps visiting us. Everything changes rapidly. Life is not completely satisfactory; it's a bit 'off'; stressful; and we can't ever fully control it; so we suffer. This is roughly the concept of dukkha, a key Buddhist insight.

If we fail to keep dukkha in mind, we suffer far more, mistakenly believing that people can & should perfectly control life & environment. We easily get frustrated & angry with our own & others' imperfections. When we "don't suffer fools gladly", we don't have a practical, usable understanding of dukkha, and so we suffer needlessly.

Morning fog on Conrad Beach, NS, Canada

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