Advayavada Buddhism

ON COURSE WITH NATURE.

Archive for the month “May, 2016”

Shosan’s Five Points in Buddhist Practice

Suzuki Shosan, the samurai who became a zen monk in the 1600s in Japan, said that there were five points in Buddhist practice.

He listed five reasons why we should engage in the Dharma. I think these five points are relevant for us today.

Shosan’s Five Points for Buddhist Practice:

1) Usefulness in society

2) Upholding the precepts

3) Separating the self from personal views and experiencing oneness.

4) Freeing the mind from attachment to objects

5) Destruction of evil passions.

I’ll examine these one at a time.

Usefulness in society

Conquering your delusions and transforming yourself helps everyone. If we demonstrate that delusions can be overcome then we are setting an example for others. Not only that, but as we strengthen our compassion, we are helping others and trying to build a more compassionate society.

Upholding the Precepts

The precepts help us control any tendency to twist and distort…

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For People of Great Capacity

Mind Without Walls

“When you throw a stick at a dog, the dog chases the stick.

When you throw a stick at a lion, the lion chases you.”

-Padmasambhava

Left brain and right brain, logic and imagination, intellect and intuition, relative and absolute, tonal and nagual.  Without one you are a fool, without the other you are like the dead.  As our meditation practice shrinks the amygdala and strengthens the prefrontal cortex it becomes more difficult to tell whether this piece of meat in our heads is a cause or an effect.  As our meditation practice grows these questions become meaningless.  The split, un-unified nature of our being is like the ladder that we use to climb the steps of self-knowledge, eventually transcending what we falsely took to be knowledge, knower and self altogether.

Persons of great capacity may suffer the most or the least, but they have one thing in common – the intuition that there…

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Advayavada Study Plan – week 22

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 22] The purpose of the autonomous Advayavada Study Plan is that we study and debate the meaning and implications of the weekly subject 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. In week 19 we again honestly reviewed and took stock of our personal situation (first step on the Noble Eightfold Path), in week 20 we again took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course (second step), in week 21 we again put our decision and improved objective in writing as precisely as possible (third step), and, to continue with this quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan, in week 22 we shall further cultivate and develop our very best attitude to carry out our improved personal objective. This task is based on the fourth step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-kammanta (in Pali) or samyak-karmanta (in Sanskrit); in Advayavada Buddhism’s fully personalized usage: our very best disposition or attitude; in Dutch: onze beste instelling (de vierde stap op het edele achtvoudige pad). To follow this Advayavada Study Plan conscientiously is of course already proof of a serious and positive attitude. (from advayavada.org/#plan)

The cloud of forgetting (Dayamati)

Out of a living silence

And so I urge you, go after experience rather than knowledge. On account of pride, knowledge may often deceive you, but this gentle, loving affection will not deceive you. Knowledge tends to breed conceit, but love builds. Knowledge is full of labor, but love, full of rest.—(The Book of Privy Counseling, Chapter 23)

About thirty years ago, in 1986 or so, I attended a day-long workshop on Buddhist and Christian contemplative practices. During the day various Buddhists led meditations based on vipassanā exercises, Theravādin mettābhāvanā and Tibetan gtong-len practices, and an Anglican contemplative nun led a meditation based on the fourteenth-century guide to contemplative prayer called The Cloud of Unknowing. The author of The Cloud is unknown, but it is commonly believed that the same anonymous author wrote The Book of Privy Counseling that is quoted above. The session based on The Cloud of Unknowing turned out to have…

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Advayavada Study Plan – week 21

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 21] 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 attuning as best as possible with wondrous overall existence advancing over time now in its manifest direction. In weeks 14 to 18 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 19 we again honestly reviewed and took stock of our personal situation (first step on the Noble Eightfold Path), in week 20 we again took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course (second step), and to continue with this quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan, this week we shall again put our decision and improved objective in writing as precisely as possible. This task is based on the third step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-vacha (in Pali) or samyag-vac (in Sanskrit); in Advayavada Buddhism’s fully personalized usage: our very best enunciation or definition of our intention; in Dutch: onze beste uitleg (de derde stap op het edele achtvoudige pad). (from advayavada.org/#plan)

Paradox in the Diamond Sutra

No one claims the Diamond Sutra is an easy text to understand.

It’s said to be so full of meaning that it can point us directly to Enlightenment, so of course it’s not an easy text. It would be crazy for someone to pick this text as their first class to teach at their local Buddhist temple. *ahem*

Anyway, it’s tough. That’s what I’m trying to say. A lot of the passages are have to be read multiple times to be understood and it’s so repetitive that that can be overwhelming too.

But I want to talk about what I think is the hardest part to grasp for most people. That’s the use of paradoxical statements. I’m going to present one example, but bear in mind that the Buddha uses this kind of statement several times in the sutra.

“What do you think, Subhuti? Does a bodhisattva create a serene…

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The mind: it’s all about which way you look

Advayavada Study Plan – week 20

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 20] In week 19 we again honestly reviewed and took stock of our personal situation at this time, and to continue with this quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan (ASP), this week we shall again take an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course. This task is based on the 2nd step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-sankappa (Pali) or samyak-samkalpa (Sanskrit), in Advayavada Buddhism: our very best resolution or determination; in Dutch: onze beste beslissing (de tweede stap op het edele achtvoudige pad). In Advayavada Buddhism, the Noble Eightfold Path 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 and proceed on the Path at any time. (from advayavada.org/#plan)

Zen and the Art of Living Deeply

Zen Flash

Source: Zen & the Art of Living Deeply | Creative by Nature

With kind permission of

creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com

“With traditional arts in Asia much emphasis is put on long-term practice and effort, so as to reach continuously higher levels of skill development. There is a deeper character training happening as well, to reduce the ego’s voice, let go of fears, cultivate mindfulness, increase gratitude and live more fully in the present moment.” ~Christopher Chase

tea ceremony ichi go

Cultivating a Beginner’s Mind

Beginner’s Mind is a phrase from Japanese Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki’s book, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. He uses it to describe an approach to life that is empty of preconceptions and fearful thinking, yet very mindful.
 
“In Japan we have the phrase shoshin (初 心), which means “beginner’s mind.” The goal of practice is always to keep our beginner’s mind… This [means] an empty mind…

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Words are not truth

Zen Flash

Words are not truth. Truth is like the moon, and words are like my finger. I can point to the moon with my finger, but my finger is not the moon.

~ Chan Master Huineng ~
photo by Long Chin-san

Source: Zen, Tao, Chan

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