Advayavada Study Plan – week 31
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, this quarter, are the subjects of weeks 27 to 31) 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 help improve the didactic presence of Advayavada Buddhism on the social media; what is your specific objective this quarter?
In week 27 we observed and studied the impermanence or changeability of all things, in week 28 we studied the selflessness and finitude of all things, in week 29 we studied the ubiquity of existential suffering in the world, in week 30 we continued to deepen our understanding that ignorant craving and attachment are the immediate causes of existential suffering, and, to continue this 13-week action plan, in week 31 we again closely survey the Noble Eightfold Path that eliminates the immediate causes of existential suffering (the fourth noble truth of Buddhism) and attunes us as best as possible with overall existence advancing over time in its manifest direction (in Advayavada Buddhism, progress is the fourth sign of being); in Dutch: het edele achtvoudige pad (de vierde waarheid van de Boeddha) en de vooruitgang (in het Advayavada-boeddhisme, het vierde kenmerk van het bestaan).
In Secular Buddhism generally, firmly bearing in mind the impermanence and selflessness of all composite things, the focus is on the correct interpretation and realization of the historical Buddha’s so-called ‘four noble truths’: 1) that of the ubiquity of existential suffering in the world, 2) that ignorant craving and attachment are the actual and immediate causes of such suffering, 3) that this suffering shall cease altogether when we deal with and overcome its causes, and 4) that the sure way to achieve this is by following the Noble Eightfold Path or Middle Way.
In Advayavada Buddhism, the Path is understood 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 in its manifest direction. When followed conscientiously, it becomes nothing less than the main karmic factor in one’s share in the universal interdependent origination process (madhyamaka-pratityasamutpada). It is composed stepwise of (1) our very best (samma in Pali and samyak in Sanskrit) 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 oneness with the universe, which brings us to (1) a yet better comprehension or insight, and so forth.
Please note that this is the last weekly ASP instalment in this elaborate format for the time being.