Advayavada Buddhism

ON COURSE WITH NATURE.

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

Advayavada Study Plan – week 31

Dear friends,

This week (31) we again survey the 8fold path that eliminates the cause of suffering.

In Advayavada Buddhism, the Noble Eightfold Path is understood dynamically as an ongoing and fully autonomous, non-prescriptive, investigative and creative process of progressive insight, reflecting in human terms wondrous overall existence becoming over time, and is composed of (1) our very best (Pali: samma, Sanskrit: samyak) comprehension or insight followed by (2) our very best resolution or determination, (3) our very best enunciation or definition (of our intention), (4) our very best disposition or attitude, (5) our very best implementation or realization, (6) our very best effort or commitment, (7) our very best observation, reflection or evaluation and self-correction, and (8) our very best meditation or concentration towards an increasingly real experience of samadhi, which brings us to a yet better comprehension or insight, and so forth.

The Noble Eightfold Path in Advayavada Buddhism is fully personalized: it is firmly based on what we increasingly know about ourselves and our world, and trusting our own intentions, feelings and conscience. Adherence to the familiar Five Precepts (not to kill, not to steal, sexual restraint, not to lie, and refraining from alcohol and drugs) and a well-considered understanding of the Four Signs of Being and the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths suffice to start off on the Path at any time. Nirvana is, in Advayavada Buddhism, the total extinction of suffering as a result of our complete reconciliation with reality as it truly is.

Kind regards,
John Willemsens
Advayavada Foundation
@advayavada

Advayavada Study Plan – week 30

Dear friends,

This week (30) we further deepen our understanding that ignorant craving is the real cause of suffering.

According to Advayavada Buddhism, it is indisputable that the Buddha did not believe in Brahman (God, transcendent and immutable Absolute) or in the atman or atta (soul, immortal self) and taught that man suffers because he does not understand and accept that all things in life are instead utterly changeable and transitory; if the Buddha had ever expressed belief in Brahman and the atman or atta, such a fact would have been unequivocally recorded in History. Man is prone to suffering (duhkha, dukkha) quite simply because he wrongly strives after and tries to hold on to things, concepts and situations which he believes to be permanent, but are not.

Man’s mistaken view of things is produced by a thirst or craving (called trishna in Sanskrit and tanha in Pali) which is in turn caused by his fundamental ignorance (avidya, avijja) of the true nature of reality. And this thirst or craving can easily take on a more unwholesome form: already as sensuous desire, ill-will, laziness, impatience or distrust will it seriously hinder any efforts to better his circumstances.

Kind regards,
John Willemsens
Advayavada Foundation
@advayavada

Advayavada Study Plan – week 29

Dear friends,

This week (29) we again study the ubiquity of suffering (dukkha/duhkha) as thoroughly as possible.

duhkha (Skt.) undergoing suffering, sorrow; dissatisfaction; frustration, stress; pervasive unsatisfactoriness; gnawing unease; the existential distress nonliberated human beings are prone to, one of the three (in Advayavada Buddhism, four) signs or marks or basic facts of being (anitya, anatman, duhkha and pratipada); suffering in the sense of suffocation: ‘the state of the Infinite delusionally imprisoned in the finite, that manifests as human suffering’ (Kimura); in Advayavada Buddhism does not include emotional grief or physical pain; suffering is ‘not a permanent feature of reality’ and is ‘only admitted and entertained as a possible contingency in life as it is generally lived’ (B.C. Law); ‘basic frustration that reality does not conform to our innermost desires’ (Loy); the first noble truth.

Kind regards,
John Willemsens
Advayavada Foundation
@advayavada

Advayavada Study Plan – week 28

Dear friends,

This week (28) we again study the selflessness (anatmata, nisvabhava) of all things as thoroughly as possible.

anatman (Skt.) without a self or self-nature, selfless; therefore finite; denial of the atman; the Buddhist anatmata doctrine teaches that ‘no self exists in the sense of a permanent, eternal, integral, and independent substance within an individual existent’; a fundamental precept in Buddhism that ‘since there is no subsistent reality to be found in or underlying appearances, there cannot be a subsistent self or soul in the human appearance’; everything arises, abides, changes, and extinguishes according to pratityasamutpada; one of the three (in Advayavada Buddhism, four) signs or marks or basic facts of being (anitya, anatman, duhkha, and pratipada or progress).

Kind regards,
John.

A life-affirming philosophy and way of life

Advayavada Buddhism is a secular, non-dual and life-affirming philosophy and way of life derived from Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka, or philosophy of the Middle Way. The most important tenet of Advayavada Buddhism is that there is a fourth sign (or mark) of being implicit in the Buddha’s teaching, namely, that expressed purely in terms of human perception and experience, reality is sequential and dynamic in the sense of ever becoming better than before. What human beings experience and identify as good, right or beneficial, indeed as progress (pratipada, patipada), is, in fact, that which takes place in the otherwise indifferent direction that overall existence flows in of its own accord.

To understand this important tenet, one should first come to realize most deeply, for instance through meditation on the incontestable non-duality of the world, that not the human manifestation of life (i.e. its ongoing process of re-combination, mutation, concatenate multiplication and disintegration of the expended units, and its vicissitudes and perils, even possible extinction, self-inflicted or not) is the measure of things in space and time, but that it is the whole of infinite interdependent reality itself, which hardly affected, if at all, by the negligible impact of mankind’s doings on the overall scheme of things, will continue to become exactly as it, by definition, must.

It then becomes very clear to us that the Middle Way taught by the Buddha as the correct existential attitude is not meant in the least to deviate from the Dharma of the whole; that the objective of the Middle Way is, in fact, to reconnect and reconcile us with wondrous overall existence; and that the Middle Way in its dynamic Noble Eightfold Path mode must indeed be seen as an ongoing reflexion at the level of our personal lives of wondrous overall existence becoming over time. Now, as the Eightfold Path leads us towards an ever better situation, we now also know that, expressed in terms of human perception and experience, existence as a whole advances over time towards better and better as well. This fact is, indeed, the fourth sign or mark of being we speak of.

The purpose of Buddhism is then obviously, not to shun life as many choose to believe, but on the contrary to return mankind to the fold of wondrous overall existence and to delight in it. Buddhism must be understood correctly as a ‘way of reconciliation’ with the whole of existence just right as it is, i.e. as it truly is beyond our commonly limited and biased personal experience of it. The aim of Advayavada Buddhism is to help us understand this main purpose of Buddhism more clearly and to give us individually the necessary tools to become a true part of the whole, here and now.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 27

Dear friends,

This week (27) we again study the impermanence (aniccata/anityata) of all things as thoroughly as possible.

anitya (Skt.) impermanent, changeable, unstable; one of the three (in Advayavada Buddhism, four) signs or marks or basic facts of being; the Buddhist anityata doctrine teaches that impermanence or changeability is one of the fundamental properties of everything existing, without which existence (and liberation) would not be possible.

Kind regards,
John.

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