Advayavada Buddhism

ON COURSE WITH NATURE.

Archive for the month “October, 2015”

Consensus Buddhism: what’s left

Vividness

When I started writing about Consensus Buddhism, four years ago, I pointed to signs that it was in crisis and on its way out. Now, its failed attempt to mount a coherent political response to secular mindfulness shows it’s over. Of course, the teachers are still teaching and the centers are still open; but as a cultural force, it’s spent.

This means specifically that it is no longer capable of suppressing modern Tantric Buddhism—one of my main motivations for writing about it. (There’s many other obstacles to that—but Consensus hostility had been the most daunting, and that’s no longer significant.)

So I’m probably done writing about Consensus Buddhism. There’s some loose ends, though.

View original post 798 more words

Batchelor and Brhamali Debate Teachings of the Buddha and Rebirth

Engage!

This forum features Stephen Batchelor and Ajahn Brahmali in a debate the meaning of the Buddha’s original teachings on the Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path and the implications of teachings regarding rebirth. It’s an excellent way to focus in on the teachings of the Buddha himself, what the Buddha thought was essential for the spiritual life.

View original post

Realize You are the Earth – Thich Nhat Hanh

Creative by Nature

“We need a real awakening, enlightenment, to change our way of thinking and seeing things. To breathe in and be aware of your body and look deeply into it, realise you are the Earth and your consciousness is also the consciousness of the Earth.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

earth-from-outer-space

“You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer. In that kind of relationship you have enough love, strength and awakening in order to change your life.

Fear, separation, hate and anger come from the wrong view that you and the Earth are two separate entities, that the Earth is only the environment. That is a dualistic way of seeing.

10513455_502706996526907_5936773499849797750_nSo to breathe in and be aware of your body…

View original post 542 more words

Karma’s Ontological Importance (Matthew MacKenzie)

The Concept of Karma does Important Ontological Work within Buddhist Philosophy (from Enacting Selves, Enacting Worlds: On the Buddhist Theory of Karma, by Matthew MacKenzie, in Philosophy East and West, Honolulu, April 2013):
In addition to the important role it plays in Buddhist moral theory, moral psychology and soteriology, the concept of karma does important ontological work within Buddhist philosophy. Self, world, and action are taken to be three interdependent aspects of an ontologically and phenomenologically more basic and universal process of [inter]dependent co-arising (pratityasamutpada). Thus, not only do actions, as common sense would have it, arise from selves interacting with the world, but also, Buddhist philosophers insist, selves and the world are enacted in and through the process of [inter]dependent origination. It is perhaps not clear which idea is more paradoxical – that we enact ourselves or that we enact the world – but in any case I will begin with the former idea and take up the latter in the next section. [Neither exposition in this short excerpt.]

One central focus of Indian Buddhism is the examination of the structure and dynamics of lived experience in the service of identifying and addressing the distortions and afflictions that perpetuate human suffering (duhkha). What is distinctive about Buddhist thought – both within its own historical and intellectual milieu and, to some degree, within the context of philosophy more generally – is its radical rejection of substantialism in favor of an ontology of interdependent events and processes. In the Buddhist view, phenomena arise in dependence on a network of causes and conditions. Thus, the Buddhist analysis of any particular entity, event, or process will not be based on the categories of substance and attribute, agent and action, or subject and object. Rather, the analysis will focus on the dynamic patterns of interaction within which events arise, have their effects, and pass away. The identity of any persisting object, then, is determined by its place in this vast pattern of relations. Indeed, even what we would normally conceive of as enduring substances are reconceptualized as more or less stable patterns of more basic and more ephemeral events and processes. It is against the backdrop of these basic analytical and ontological commitments, then, that we can understand the Buddhist account of the self and the claim that we create and recreate ourselves through karma. (more relevant excerpts at advayavada.org/excerpts.htm)

Better Buddhisms: A developmental approach

Vividness

Western Buddhist organizations and events rarely run smoothly. We take muddled ineffectuality for granted. Leaders don’t understand how to organize, and participants vigorously resist all systematic processes. Few are on board with principle that “if you say you are going to do something, you should do it.” (And if you are not going to do it, you need to tell someone about it and help clean up the mess.)

Someone said they were going to help set up for an event because they really felt like saying so was the way to preserve harmony and good feelings at the time; but something came up with a friend. And they didn’t feel that being there for the set-up was important. They “forgot” to tell you, because that might have led to bad feelings. It would be uncompassionate and un-Buddhist of you to give them a hard time about it, because…

View original post 3,018 more words

Duhkha in Advayavada

Dukkha (Pali) or duhkha (Sanskrit) means suffering, sorrow; dissatisfaction; frustration; stress; gnawing unease; the existential distress and distrust of life non-liberated human beings are prone to. In Advayavada Buddhism, dukkha or duhkha is the third of the four signs or marks or basic facts of being and the first of the four noble truths of Buddhism; it does not include emotional grief nor physical pain and is, above all, not seen as a permanent feature of reality; it is rather understood as an existential suffering in the sense of a basic frustration, even suffocation, caused by the unhealthy and socially infectious feeling that reality does not conform to the person’s desires and expectations. The unremitting persistency of human distress, alienation and conflict is undeniably due to the very many everywhere not knowing or not understanding or simply disbelieving the true nature of existence.

“Buddhist ethics”: a Tantric critique

Vividness

“Buddhist ethics,” as I’ve pointed out in recent posts, has nothing to do withtraditional Buddhist morality. Instead, it’s indistinguishable from mainstream leftish middle-class American secular morality. That, in turn, mainly derives from Calvinism.1

This page points out disagreements between contemporary “Buddhist ethics” and a Tantric Buddhist view, for several reasons:

  1. I think, at these points of conflict, Tantra is ethically correct, and “Buddhist ethics” is wrong.
  2. Western Buddhist Tantra was suppressed in the early 1990s partly because of these conflicts. Explaining the Tantric view may help reopen a door that has been closed for two decades.
  3. An attractive, genuinely Buddhist alternative to “Buddhist ethics” might be possible.
  4. Middle-class American secular values are failing many people. Tantra might be a weapon for throwing off Calvinism’s memetic domination.

Tantric Buddhism includes a complete rejection of mainstream (Sutric) Buddhist morality. However, since “Buddhist ethics” is not…

View original post 3,899 more words

The mindfulness crisis and the end of Consensus Buddhism

Vividness

Secular “mindfulness” courses, promoted as stress-reduction treatments, have become more popular than Buddhism. A meditation method based on modern vipassana is their core.

Many Buddhists have strong mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it’s great that so many more people are experiencing the benefits of Buddhist-style meditation. On the other hand, “mindfulness” seems like weaksauce kitsch; it’s missing most of what’s important about Buddhism. There’s a worry that if Buddhism is “unbundled,” with its most attractive part available separately, it will disintegrate,1 and critical aspects of the whole will be lost. And isn’t the whole greater than the sum of its parts?

But… what is the important rest of Buddhism?

That’s a genuinely difficult, important question. I wrote about it in a post three years ago that foreshadows this one.

As I wrote that, Consensus Buddhism was organizing a political consensus that ethics is what makes it…

View original post 3,688 more words

The Mind by Alan Watts (3:57)

“Ethics” is advertising

Vividness

AnistonSmartWater

People really, really want Buddhism to be about ethics, even though it isn’t. Why?

Anyone who has read more than a couple Buddhist books knows:

  1. Consensus “Buddhist ethics” does not contradict leftish secular morality on any issue.
  2. Consensus “Buddhist ethics” contradictstraditional Buddhist morality on most issues.

From this, one ought to conclude that “Buddhist ethics” is not Buddhist at all. It just is leftish secular morality. Calling it “Buddhist” does not make it so. Why pretend?

Although most Consensus Buddhists know the two facts above, I have never come across anyone pointing out what should be the obvious conclusion. It took me more than a decade to notice it myself. Why?

View original post 7,688 more words

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: