The three domains of suffering, Dukkha

Hi, I’m looking for suttas that unravel these, three domains of suffering, in detail. Thanks in advance.

I am afraid that from the topic I made, it seems that the suttas doesn’t go into this in detail. The first post is my own commentary on it, you’re free to read on for the contribution by others, but I still stick to my first post as one of the best explanation for it.


Thanks for your reply. Read your link. Pain of pain (two arrows), impermanence (nature of energy and matter, sensations, feelings, thoughts) and conditioning - reaction to feeling tone.
My search is more into the dimensional layered nature.

Hi again, do you know if there are any commentaries on the linked discourses you provided?

Practically speaking impermanence is the cause of dukkha (SN 22.45):

“Insight into the impermanence of the five aggregates or of the six sense-spheres is “right view”, and thereby leads directly on to realization.39 Thus the direct experience of impermanence represents indeed the “power” aspect of meditative wisdom.40 These passages clearly show the central importance of developing a direct experience of the impermanent nature of all phenomena, as envisaged in this part of the satipatthãna “refrain”. The same is reflected in the commentarial scheme of the insight knowledges, which details key experiences to be encountered during the path to realization, where the stage of apprehending the arising and passing away of phenomena is of central importance.”—Analayo

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Impermanence is not the cause of dukkha, according to the SN 22 suttas. One needs to see the reason why “impermanence is suffring”. “The origin of suffering lies in self-view, in self-attachment to the five aggregates, which are impermanent phenomena”:
Pages 55-6 from the-fundamental-teachings-of-early-buddhism_Choong Mun-keat 2000.pdf (149.0 KB)

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I don’t understand what this means.

For commentaries, you can easily google them. Digital Pali Reader is one of the useful sources. I have only limited internet now, so can’t do that for you.

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Thank you for the references Paul. I have constructed a model of the aggregates and how they are seen through the lens of impermanence revealing the relative nature, time, material and energy of arising and passing away of the aggregate phenomena. I can show the 3 domains of suffering through this and link it to clinical mindfulness, the ‘full catastrophe of living’.
Thanks again

Because of the time element it is easier to study the cycle of impermanence in the body than the mind:

"It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what’s called ‘mind,’ ‘intellect,’ or ‘consciousness’ by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. "—SN 12.61

Being a meditation manual there is more practical material on impermanence in materiality in the Vism., such as an exercise on studying the growth, maturity and decline of the leaf on a tree.

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Thanks, I am using the analogy of the three relative material states of water and their ionisations in molecular form, dimensional states in time and space constantly changing. Four elements plus space in relative timescales. The linked suttas you referenced are really good, I’m branching out from SN 22.37 Anandasutta. Thank you so much.

Hi Paul thanks for your guidance. I constructed/deconstructed ‘dukkha’ as dukkha through rupa, anicca and anatta. I became quite interested in rupa as a form of common language across the body, feeling, mind platform. Also it’s interaction between perception, memory and volitional mental co factors. Are there any interesting suttas describing these relationships?

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SN 22 is the Khanda Vagga, the section on the aggregates.

At the level of establishment of practice the five clinging aggregates are defined singly (SN 22.79).

At the level of insight the four consciousness factors are combined so nama-rupa= mind and body:

"Feeling, perception, & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them. For what one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one cognizes. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them.”—-MN 43

The practical task is to separate experiences of body from those of mind.
The Satipatthana sutta (MN 10) four foundations are divided into body, feelings, mind, and dhamma. Feelings communicate between body and mind. The second foundation of mindfulness distinguishes between two different classes of feelings:

“The distinction between worldly (sãmisa) and unworldly (nirãmisa) feelings is concerned with the difference between feelings related to the “flesh” (ãmisa) and feelings related to renunciation…”—Analayo

“Is passion-obsession to be abandoned with regard to all pleasant feeling? Is resistance-obsession to be abandoned with regard to all painful feeling? Is ignorance-obsession to be abandoned with regard to all neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling?”

"No… There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With that he abandons passion. "—MN 44

SN 22.48 points out that body and mind are not necessarily clinging aggregates. Without clinging these aggregates are neutral (SN 22.5).