Advayavada Buddhism

ON COURSE WITH NATURE.

Archive for the month “February, 2015”

Amsterdam

Photographie Anto Youssef

Amsterdam

J’ai eu la chance d’assister à cette merveilleuse vue de la ville d’Amsterdam. Il y avait une terrasse en haut de l’hôtel Hilton, là où mon amie Shauni m’avait recommandé d’aller. Nous avions passé une partie de l’après-midi là bas entre amis, et nous avons eu beaucoup de plaisir!

Mais lorsque le soleil a commencer à se coucher, le ciel est devenu magique, et la ville s’est métamorphosée en en scène spectaculaire!

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Five Themes for Poets (and Other Text-Loving Bloggers)

The WordPress.com Blog

Over at The Daily Post, our first poetry-focused Blogging U. course, Writing 201: Poetry, has just entered its second week. It’s been a blast, with hundreds of poets sharing their work, experimenting with new forms, and commenting on their peers’ poems.

After working hard on polishing their elegies, haiku, and ballads, most writers want to make sure their readers can enjoy their work to the fullest. This is where choosing the right theme can play an important role (this is true for non-poets too, of course): you want your posts to be readable, clean, and inviting. Here are some options to consider (as well as a few community favorites).

Illustratr

mint - illustratr

This might sound like an unorthodox choice, given Illustratr‘s natural appeal to visual artists of all types. But its typography, post title styling, and overall crispness makes Illustratr as poem-friendly as it gets. Add a featured image, and you can balance the spare look with a bold…

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The rain has stopped

Zen Flash

The rain has stopped, the clouds have drifted away,
And the weather is clear again.
If your heart is pure, then all things in your world are pure.
Abandon this fleeting world, abandon yourself,
Then the moon and flowers will guide you along the way.

Ryokan

Poetry Gardens

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Weekly Teaching

Amitabha Buddhist Retreat Centre News Press

ABRC2014_March03

neither fire nor wind,
birth nor death
can erase our good deeds.

ABRC

 ”path to peace” –  venerable wuling

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Advayavada Study Plan – week 9

Dear friends,

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, which were the subjects of weeks 1 to 5, suffice to start off on this Path at any time.

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.

(My own specific personal objective this quarter is to observe and interpret as closely as possible the workings in my own life of pratityasamutpada, i.e. the process of universal relativity or interdependent origination, understood as in Madhyamaka, where ‘all causes are effects and all effects are causes’, and karma, understood as the everchanging knotlet of biopsychosocial events in which I am personally embedded – what’s yours?)

In week 6 we reviewed and took stock of our personal situation and circumstances, in week 7 we took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course, in week 8 we put our decision and objective in writing as precisely as possible, and, to continue this weekly series, in week 9 we further develop our very best attitude to carry out our improved personal objective.

This task is based on the 4th step on the Noble 8fold Path: samma-kammanta (in Pali) or samyak-karmanta (in Sanskrit); in Advayavada Buddhism’s usage: our very best disposition or attitude; in Dutch: onze beste instelling (de vierde stap op het edele achtvoudige pad). To follow this ASP conscientiously is of course already proof of a serious and positive attitude.

Nirvana is, in Advayavada Buddhism, the total extinction of our 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 distress, alienation and conflict is essentially due to the very many not knowing or not understanding or simply disbelieving the true nature of existence.

Other translations of the 4th step are: right behaviour (Arnold), right conduct (Burt, Conze, Eliot, Malalasekera, Rhys Davids), right action (Bahm, Bodhi, Ch’en, David-Neel, Fernando, Gethin, Guenther, Harvey, Horner, Humphreys, Keown, Khemo, Kornfield, Narada, Narasu, Nyanatiloka, Rahula, Saddhatissa, St Ruth, Stroup, Takakusu, Warder, Watts), appropriate action (Batchelor), right actions (Dhammananda, Dharmapala), right acting (Grimm); proper behaviour (Edwardes); correct action (Kloppenborg, Scheepers); the right deed (Melamed).

Kind regards,
John Willemsens,
Advayavada Foundation.
@advayavada

“Judge ye not” (Osho)

Jesus says: ”Judge ye not,” and this is one of the greatest sayings ever uttered by any man on the earth. It is one of the most impossible things for the mind. The mind judges immediately; without any grounds the mind makes a judgment.

You have made many judgments without ever looking whether grounds existed for them or not. And if you look deep, you will find Jesus is right. Every judgment is wrong, because the whole world is so deeply interconnected that unless you know the whole you cannot know the part. One thing leads to another because it is interlinked.

The present moment is interlinked with all the past; the present moment is interlinked with all the future. In this moment culminates all eternity. All that has happened is there; all that is happening is there; all that will ever happen is there. How can you judge? The world is not divided. If it was divided then a fragment could be known, but the world is a totality. All judgments are false because they will be partial and they will claim as if they are the whole.

Yes, Jesus is absolutely right: ”Judge ye not,” because the very judgment will close you; it will be a deadness within. Your sensitivity will be lost, and with it your possibility for growth. The moment you judge, you shrink; the moment you judge, you stop; the moment you judge, you are no longer flowering.

So the greatest thing is to be courageous enough not to judge. In fact, to suspend judgment is the greatest courage, because the mind is so eager to judge, to say good or bad, right or wrong. The mind is juvenile, it jumps from one judgment to another. If you ever want to get out of the mind and without it there is no possibility of your inner growth then, ”Judge ye not.”… 

And when we say only God knows, it means only the total knows. Judge ye not, otherwise you will never be able to become one with the total. You will be obsessed with fragments, with small things you will jump to conclusions. And Sufis are very insistent on this: that you never bother that there are things which are completely beyond you but even about them you make judgments.

Your consciousness is on a very low rung of the ladder. You live in the dark valley of misery, anguish, and from your darkest valleys of miseries you judge even a buddha. Even a buddha is not left without your judgment. Even a Jesus is judged by you not only judged but crucified, judged and found guilty, judged and punished.

You live in the valley, a dark and damp valley; you have not seen the peaks even in your dreams. You cannot even imagine them, because even imagination needs a base in experience. You cannot dream about something which is absolutely unknown, because even dreaming comes out of your knowledge. You cannot dream about God, you cannot imagine God; you cannot imagine the peaks and the life that exists in a buddha. But you judge.

You say, ”Yes, this man is a buddha, and this man is not a buddha; this man is enlightened and this man is not.” The enlightened person is not harmed by you because he cannot be harmed in any way, but you are harmed by your judgment.

Once you judge you have stopped growing. Judgment means a stale state of mind; now the movement has stopped, the effort to know more has stopped, the effort to grow has stopped. You have already made the judgment and it is finished.

And the mind always wants to be in a judgment because movement is troublesome to be in a process is always hazardous. To come to a conclusion means you have reached the goal; now there is no journey.

A man who wants to journey to the ultimate should make it a basic point not to judge. Very difficult, almost impossible because before you know it, the mind judges. Before you have even become aware of it, the mind has judged. But if you try, by and by, a subtle awareness arises and then you can suspend judgment. If you suspend judgment you have become religious. Then you don’t know what is right and what is wrong.

But ordinarily the people you call religious are the people who know everything what is right and what is wrong, what to do and what not to do. They have all the commandments with them. That’s why religious people become pig-headed, thick-skinned. Their journey has stopped; they are not growing at all. The river is not moving; it has become stale. If you want movement, growth and infinite movement and growth are possible because God is not a static point; God is the total movement of life, of existence if you want to walk with God then you have to move continuously. You have to be continuously on the journey.

In fact, the journey never ends. One path ends, another opens; one door closes, another opens. A higher peak is always there. You reach to a peak and you were just going to rest thinking everything is achieved suddenly a higher peak is still there. From peak to peak, it never comes to an end; it is an endless journey God is an endless journey. That’s why only those who are very, very courageous so courageous that they don’t bother about the goal but are content with the journey; just to move with life, to float with the river, just to live the moment and grow into it only those are able to walk with God.

Goal-oriented people are mediocre all your achievers are mediocre. What can you achieve? Can you achieve the supreme? If you can achieve the supreme, just by your achievement it will not be supreme. If you could achieve it, how can it be supreme? Can you reach to the goal? Then the goal will be less than you. No, the goal cannot be reached. In fact there is no goal, and it is good that there is no goal.

That’s why life is deathless, because every goal will be a death. Then you are no longer needed. A man who judges too much is stopping his growth from everywhere. And once judgments settle inside, you become incapable of seeing the new. The judgment won’t allow it because the judgment will be disturbed by the new. Then you will live with closed eyes.

You are not blind, nobody is blind, but everybody behaves like a blind man has to: judgments are there. If you open your eyes the fear is that you may have to see something, something may be encountered, and you may have to change the judgment. And judgment is so cozy you have settled in a house and forgotten the road, and the journey and the effort and the continuous movement and the danger and the hazards. You have forgotten the adventure…

A man who lives with open eyes is never bored. Life is so enchanting, life is so magical, life is such a miracle. Every moment millions of miracles are happening all around you but you live with closed eyes, with your judgments. (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) – Journey Toward The Heart – Discourses On The Sufi Way)

The Self in Buddhism and Western Philosophy (Moore)

The Self in Buddhism and Western Philosophy (from Political Theory in Canonical Buddhism, by Matthew J. Moore, in Philosophy East and West, January 2015)

Yet, not surprisingly, the Western philosophical tradition contains several different strands of thought about the self, which are more or less close to the [no-self] Buddhist position. The view that is the furthest from the Buddhist no-self theory is the Greek and Christian idea that human beings are or posses selves, and that these selves are indestructible, immortal natural essences (i.e. souls). A view that takes one step toward the Buddhist position is the idea that human beings are or posses selves, but that these selves arise more-or-less contingently from the functioning of the body and/or mind. In this group we get thinkers like William James, who argues that the self is ultimately merely a way of talking about some aspects of the body, like Kant, who argues that the mind’s perception of a single, unified self is merely the logically necessary but empirically unverifiable corollary of the mind’s perception of external objects extended in space and time, and finally like the contemporary “embodied mind” school of thought [cf. embodied cognition], which builds off of phenomenology to suggest that our experience of being selves may be rooted in both bodily and cognitive processes. The closest that Western thinking about the self gets to the Buddhist perspective comes in the work of Hume, who suggests that the self is an illusion but one that we cannot get rid of, and Nietzsche, who suggests that the self is an illusion that we might turn to our own purposes. One influential line of contemporary Western thought (which roughly corresponds to “postmodernism”) has built on the insights of Hume, Kant, and Nietzsche to argue that identity is either largely or wholly contingent or constructed.

Given this range of ideas, we can see, first, that while the Buddhist no-self position goes further in one direction than any influential Westerm theory, there are similarities between the two traditions, and, second, that the Buddhist position extends one of the Western approaches to its logical conclusion. The anatta doctrine would not be shocking to Hume, Kant, or Nietzsche, though none of them would be prepared to embrace it, and it, at the same time, represents the logical next step for contemporary theories of the constructed and contingent nature of identity. Thus, the Buddhist theory is not so foreign that it could not enter into conversation with Western theories, and it presents the opportunity to extend more familiar theories in their natural direction of development. For both reasons, it is simultaneously distinct from Western theories and an appealing alternative (or supplement) to them. (this excerpt compiled by advayavada.org)

The highest form of human intelligence

The purpose of morality is control of behavior

Zen Flash

https://humansofvictoria.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/blue-bud.jpgThe purpose of morality is control of behavior.

The purpose of controlled behavior is absence of regret.

The purpose of absence of regret is joy.

The purpose of joy is satisfaction.

The purpose of satisfaction is calm.

The purpose of calm is contentment.

The purpose of contentment is concentration.

The purpose of concentration is understanding.

The purpose of understanding is disillusionment.

The purpose of disillusionment is detachment.

The purpose of detachment is mental release.

The purpose of mental release is Nirvana,

final freedom, without any remnants of clinging.

―Buddha Shakyamuni

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Advayavada Study Plan – week 8

Dear friends,

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, which were the subjects of weeks 1 to 5, suffice to start off on this Path at any time.

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.

(My own specific personal objective this quarter is to observe and interpret as closely as possible the workings in my own life of pratityasamutpada, i.e. the process of universal relativity or interdependent origination, understood as in Madhyamaka, where ‘all causes are effects and all effects are causes’, and karma, understood as the everchanging knotlet of biopsychosocial events in which I am personally embedded – what’s yours?)

In week 6 we reviewed and took stock of our personal situation and circumstances, last week (7) we took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course, and, to continue this weekly series, this week (8) we again put our decision and objective in writing as precisely as possible.

This task is based on the 3rd step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-vacha (in Pali) or samyag-vac (in Sanskrit); in Advayavada Buddhism’s usage: our very best enunciation or definition of our intention (as Karl Popper says, putting our ideas into words, or better, writing them down, makes an important difference, for in this way they become objective and criticizable); in Dutch: onze beste uitleg (de derde stap op het edele achtvoudige pad).

Nirvana is, in Advayavada Buddhism, the total extinction of our 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 distress, alienation and conflict is essentially due to the very many not knowing or not understanding or simply disbelieving the true nature of existence.

Other translations of the 3rd step are: right discourse (Arnold), right speech (Bahm, Bodhi, Burt, Ch’en, Conze, David-Neel, Dhammananda, Dharmapala, Eliot, Fernando, Gethin, Guenther, Harvey, Horner, Humphreys, Keown, Khemo, Kornfield, Malalasekera, Narada, Narasu, Nyanatiloka, Rahula, Rhys Davids, Saddhatissa, St Ruth, Stroup, Takakusu, Warder, Watts), appropriate speech (Batchelor), right speaking (Grimm); proper language of definition (Edwardes); correct speech (Kloppenborg, Scheepers), the right word (Melamed).

Feel free to share these ASP instalments.

Kind regards,
John Willemsens
Advayavada Foundation
@advayavada

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