The nature of our suffering. The little reading and discussion I have had about Buddhist theology and precepts has shown me that they essentially are striving to find a path to cease the suffering. To avoid having to re-incarnate thus avoiding the eternal cycle of suffering. Suffice to say Buddha believed that to exist one can not do so with out suffering. May be I am wrong in this observation and actually this is not what I want to discuss whether I am wrong of not but the nature of suffering it self. One intuitively knows that without suffering there is no pleasure. We often say that too much of a good thing leads to suffering thus suggesting a path of austerity being a better one than one of over indulgence. In trying to explain this in an analogous way to my aging father one day as we were walking on the beach....I used a stretch of plain uninteresting sand as an example of austerity.....nothing to see just the sand. I then threw a sea shell into this austerity and I thought that this could symbolise pleasure. “A single flower in a sea of green trees.” I then threw a hole heap of shells over the sand and there was much pleasure to be seen. I went on to say to my father that now that we have the sand covered with pleasure, the pleasure itself has become suffering. His response was to sweep away all the shells and uncover the austerity we started with thus completing the cycle of suffering and pleasure. The sand is now austere and a symbol of Moo or nothingness. Addiction I have found is when the pleasure is unable to return to Moo....or centre and thus the addict just keeps adding more pleasure on top, in this context it may be a bit of sea weed (excuse the pun ) and now there are shells and seaweed but yet this is not enough and so the pleasure just gets more and more painful for there is less to add, until the addict either learns to clear the beach sand or he has the potential to die. Most of the time we can clear the beach only in part and manage to maintain a level of suffering but not cure ourselves of addiction. To succeed in full is to be able to return to a state of a clear beach and achieve satisfaction from austerity. (After all a clear beach can be so beautiful on it's own with out the shells) Today’s modern society I feel is unable to clear the beach too well. We seem to be compelled to pursue pleasure more and more with out clearing the beach. We find less and less pleasure in new things for we are nearing our limits of what we can add to the beach (pleasure-ability). In search of a new model mobile phone, a faster car, a better holiday destination, better sex, a new designer drug, a newer and more complex video game etc etc So the Key to enjoying life is not just adding pleasure to remove the suffering of a previous pleasure but to as the Buddhist tend to do and strive to find austerity and find pleasure in the mundane. Meditation is one of the methods. To be able to find a centre of austere peace. As is well known it is the contrast between suffering and pleasure that makes it all so good. But there is a level of natural sufferance and addicted sufferance. So when people talk of living a simple life with simple pleasures they are talking wisely I feel. I would love comments and input to this thread.