Advayavada Study Plan – week 51
The purpose of Advayavada Buddhism is to become a true part of the whole.
Our quest 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 three (in Advayavada Buddhism, four) signs of being and the Buddha’s four noble truths suffice to start off on this Path at any time (see weeks 40 to 44).
Advayavada Buddhism does not tell you what to do or believe, but invites us all to make the very best of our own lives by indeed attuning as best as possible with wondrous overall existence advancing over time now in its manifest direction. The Advayavada Study Plan (ASP) is repeated four times a year.
The purpose of the autonomous ASP is that we study (and debate in a local group, the family circle or with good friends) the meaning and implications of the weekly subject, not as a formal and impersonal intellectual exercise, but in the context of whatever we ourselves are presently doing or are concerned with, or about, such as our health, relationships, work, study, our place in society, etc.
(As stated earlier, my personal specific objective this quarter is to further investigate and explain to my fellow Buddhists in my country and elsewhere what is meant by the ‘whole’ in the non-dual and life-affirming philosophy and way of life we call Advayavada Buddhism – what’s yours?)
In week 45 we reviewed and took stock of our personal situation and circumstances, in week 46 we took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course, in week 47 we again put our decision and objective in writing as precisely as possible, in week 48 we further developed our very best attitude to carry out our improved personal objective, in week 49 we implemented our improved modus operandi as best as possible, in week 50 we continued to muster our very best effort to fulfil our improved objective, and, to continue our current 13-week plan of action, this week (51) we again make our best possible evaluation of our efforts to date.
This task is based on the 7th step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-sati (in Pali) or samyak-smriti (in Sanskrit); in Advayavada Buddhism’s usage: our very best observation or reflection and self-correction; in Dutch: onze beste aandacht (de zevende stap op het edele achtvoudige pad).
Our goal, Nirvana, is, in Advayavada Buddhism, the total extinction of existential suffering as a result of our complete reconciliation and harmonization with reality as it truly is beyond our commonly limited and biased personal experience of it; the unremitting persistency of human suffering is fundamentally due to the very many not understanding or disregarding the true nature of existence.
Other translations of the 7th step are: right loneliness (Arnold), right alertness (Burt), right mindfulness (Bahm, Bodhi, Ch’en, Conze, Dhammananda, Dharmapala, Eliot, Fernando, Gethin, Harvey, Horner, Karunadasa, Keown, Malalasekera, Narada, Rahula, Rhys Davids, Saddhatissa, St Ruth, Takakusu), appropriate mindfulness (Batchelor), right attention (David-Neel), right recollectedness (Grimm, Watts), right inspection (Guenther), right recollection (Humphreys, Stroup), right attentiveness (Khemo, Nyanatiloka), right concentration (Kornfield), right thought (Narasu), right remembering (Melamed), right remembrance, right memory, right awareness; full understanding of action and thought (Edwardes); correct attention (Kloppenborg, Scheepers), right self-possession (Warder).