Advayavada Study Plan – week 52
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 was 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 was 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, in week 51 we again made our best possible evaluation of our efforts to date, and, to conclude our current 13-week plan of action, this week (52) we shall continue to develop our very best meditation towards samadhi.
This task is based on the 8th step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-samadhi (in Pali) or samyak-samadhi (in Sanskrit); in Advayavada Buddhism’s usage: our very best meditation or concentration towards Samadhi; in Dutch: onze beste bezinning (de achtste stap op het edele achtvoudige pad).
Samadhi (Pali and Sanskrit): total or perfect concentration (of the mind, cf. enstasy); non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object; total absorption in the object of meditation; transcendence of the relationship between mind and object; merging of subject and object; to contemplate the world without any perception of objects; suspension of judgement; turiyatita; satori; bodhi; rigpa; realization of the sameness of the part and the whole, of the identity of form and emptiness, of samsara and nirvana, of the immediate and the ultimate; mystic oneness; perfect dynamic attunement with wondrous overall existence; oceanic feeling; wonder, awe, rapture; essential purity; deep love and compassion; awareness of our common ground and the innocence of sex.
“To be aware of the entire field of experience without selecting or suppressing anything that arises.”
Other translations of the 8th step are: right rapture (Arnold, Eliot, Malalasekera), right samadhi (Bahm, Dharmapala), right concentration (Bodhi, Burt, Ch’en, Conze, Dhammananda, Fernando, Gethin, Grimm, Guenther, Harvey, Horner, Karunadasa, Khemo, Narada, Nyanatiloka, Rahula, Saddhatissa, St Ruth, Takakusu, Warder), appropriate concentration (Batchelor), right meditation (David-Neel, Humphreys, Keown, Stroup), right meditating (Melamed), right illumination (Dharmapala), right awareness (Kornfield), right tranquility (Narasu), right contemplation (Rhys Davids, Watts); absolute concentration of purpose (Edwardes); correct concentration (Kloppenborg, Scheepers)
The ASP will be repeated in full in the first quarter of 2015.