Saṃsāra (Buddhism) - Characteristics - Habitual, Repetitive Pattern

Habitual, Repetitive Pattern

The nature of samsara is a habitual, repetitive pattern. Ajahn Sucitto explains:

The pattern is that each new arising, or “birth” if you like, is experienced as unfulfilling. In this process of ongoing need, we keep moving from this to that without ever getting to the root of the process. Another aspect of this need is the need to fix things, or to fix ourselves—to make conflict or pain go away. By this I mean an instinctive response rather than a measured approach of understanding what is possible to fix and what dukkha has to be accommodated right now. Then there’s the need to know, to have it all figured out. That gets us moving too. This continued movement is an unenlightened being’s response to dukkha. That movement is what is meant by samsāra, the wandering on. According to the Buddha, this process doesn’t even stop with death—it’s like the habit transfers almost genetically to a new consciousness and body. But even within this life, we can see all these “births,” or as the Buddha put it, birth—the same habit taking different forms. And each new birth is unsatisfactory too, because sooner or later we meet with another obstacle, another disappointment, another option in the ongoing merry-go-round. High-option cultures just give you a few more spins on the wheel.

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