Advayavada Buddhism

ON COURSE WITH NATURE.

Archive for the month “December, 2016”

Shunyata: Creation without God

Engage!

I’ve written before about defining shunyata, or ’emptiness’ as “the possibility of existence.”  The great philosophical and scientific question is, why does anything exist at all? The Buddhist answer is shunyata or “emptiness,” the possibility (space, potentiality) of something coming into existence. Even Dzogchen Ponlop once said that emptiness is “room”; Chogyam Trunpa called it “spaciousness.”

Yeah? So what? That’s always been my response to conundrum of emptiness. Even if you figure out what it is, or what it means, what difference does it make?

But I realize now that shunyata became an essential proposition for Buddhist philosophers because they had to explain how the universe began, how the universe was created without a creator-god. If there was no creator-god, then how did it get here?

Their answer: shunyata, emptiness, the possibility of existence. Emptiness as ‘the possibility of existence’ is an essential condition for creation-without-god.

That’s why in…

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Verses on Faith in Mind (Seng-ts’an)

Creative by Nature

“The Great Way is not difficult for those not attached to preferences. When neither like nor dislike arises, all is clear and undisguised. If you wish to know the truth, then hold to no opinions for or against anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind..”

10408066_849888291705531_6250928082129244220_nThe following is Richard Clarke’s translation of the Hsin Hsin Ming (Verses on Faith in Mind) by Seng-ts’an, the 3rd patriarch of Zen….

The Great Way is not difficult for those not attached to preferences. When neither like nor dislike arises, all is clear and undisguised. Separate by the smallest amount, however, and you are as far from it as heaven is from earth.

If you wish to know the truth, then hold to no opinions for or against anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the dis-ease of the mind.

When…

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Advayavada Study Plan – week 52

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 52] In weeks 40 to 44 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 45 we again honestly took stock of, and responsibility for, our personal situation (first step on the Noble Eightfold Path), in week 46 we again took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course (second step), in week 47 we again put our decision and improved objective in writing as precisely as possible (third step), in week 48 we further developed our very best attitude to carry out our improved objective (fourth step), in week 49 we implemented our improved way of doing things (fifth step), in week 50 we concentrated on mustering our very best effort and commitment to fulfil our improved objective (sixth step), in week 51 we again made our best possible evaluation of our efforts to date, including the measure of our compliance with the five precepts (seventh step), and, to conclude this quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan, this week we shall continue to develop and deepen our very best meditation towards Samadhi* and our awareness of Nirvana. This task is based on the last step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-samadhi (in Pali) or samyak-samadhi (in Sanskrit); in Advayavada Buddhism’s personalized 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): perfect concentration (of the mind, enstasy); total absorption in the object of meditation; the merging of subject and object; realization of the sameness of the part and the whole, of the identity of body and mind, of form and emptiness, of samsara and nirvana, of the immediate and the ultimate; perfect attunement with wondrous overall existence advancing in its manifest direction; oceanic feeling; wonder, awe, rapture; essential purity; deep love and compassion; awareness of our common ground and the innocence of sex. Happy New Year everybody!

Ready for a New Way of Thinking?

Creative by Nature

“We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.”  ~Albert Einstein

cool-einstein-2222

If you turn on the news, the human species seems to be at a crisis point. Poverty, racism, political division, ecological destruction, social instability and other seemingly “unsolvable” problems appear to be getting worse.

Yet, the wise among us have repeatedly offered very simple solutions to these difficulties. The Dalai Lama believes that we just need to prioritize love and wisdom. That our problems are caused by closed hearts and minds, and can be solved as we open them. Could it be that simple? He said that:

“If there is love, there is hope to have real families, real brotherhood, real equanimity, real peace. If the love within your mind is lost, if you continue to see other beings as enemies, then no matter how much knowledge or education you have, no matter how much material progress is made, only suffering and confusion will ensue.”

The Dalai Lama’s…

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Saving Ourselves

The path of Buddhism is called the Dharma. It is a method for saving ourselves.

I don’t mean that as a trite platitude. The Dharma will save you. Not save your soul from damnation. As Buddhists we don’t believe in that. The Dharma will save you from yourself. It will save you from your own greed and delusion. It will save you from that feeling that you are hopeless or broken or weak.

The Dharma is direct and precise. It can lead us to a state of realization that is beyond the state of delusion in which we spend most of our time. Practicing the Dharma is nothing less than the highest human aspiration. We are trying to attain Enlightenment and transcend our egoic self.
We use mind training to work on our poisons, these are the things that hold up back from our potential. Greed, hatred, and delusion are…

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Advayavada Study Plan – week 51

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 51] In weeks 40 to 44 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 45 we again honestly took stock of, and responsibility for, our personal situation (first step on the Noble Eightfold Path), in week 46 we again took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course (second step), in week 47 we again put our decision and improved objective in writing as precisely as possible (third step), in week 48 we further developed our very best attitude to carry out our improved objective (fourth step), in week 49 we implemented our improved way of doing things (fifth step), in week 50 we concentrated on mustering our very best effort and commitment to fulfil our improved objective (sixth step), and, to continue with this quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan, this week we shall again make our best possible evaluation of our efforts to date, including the measure of our compliance with the five precepts. This task is based on the seventh step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-sati (in Pali) or samyak-smriti (in Sanskrit); in Advayavada Buddhism’s personalized usage: our very best observation or reflection and self-correction; in Dutch: onze beste aandacht (de zevende stap op het edele achtvoudige pad). Next week is the last step in this 13-week cycle: we shall then continue to develop our very best meditation towards Samadhi and our awareness of Nirvana.

This and all (Alan Watts)

Advayavada Study Plan – week 50

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 50] In weeks 40 to 44 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 45 we again honestly took stock of, and responsibility for, our personal situation (first step on the Noble Eightfold Path), in week 46 we again took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course (second step), in week 47 we again put our decision and improved objective in writing as precisely as possible (third step), in week 48 we further developed our very best attitude to carry out our improved objective (fourth step), in week 49 we implemented our improved way of doing things (fifth step), and, to continue with this quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan, this week we shall again concentrate on mustering our very best effort and commitment to fulfil our improved objective. This task is based on the sixth step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-vayama (in Pali) or samyag-vyayama (in Sanskrit); in Advayavada Buddhism’s personalized usage: our very best effort and commitment; in Dutch: onze beste inspanning (de zesde stap op het edele achtvoudige pad). Importantly, as we advance properly along the Path, we shall at the same time rid ourselves of the so-called ten fetters (dasa-samyojana) that restrict one to samsaric life: 1) belief in the self, 2) scepticism regarding the Path, 3) attachment to rituals, 4) partiality for certain things, 5) prejudice against certain things, 6) clinging to physical life, 7) hope of a hereafter, 8) conceit and pride, 9) intolerance and irritability, and 10) the last remnants of our ignorance of the true nature of reality.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 49

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 49] In weeks 40 to 44 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 45 we again honestly took stock of, and responsibility for, our personal situation (first step on the Noble Eightfold Path), in week 46 we again took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course (second step), in week 47 we again put our decision and improved objective in writing as precisely as possible (third step), in week 48 we further developed our very best attitude to carry out our improved objective (fourth step), and, to continue with this quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan, this week we shall implement our improved way of doing things as best as possible, bearing in mind that truly commendable undertakings are only those which are in agreement with wondrous overall existence and take us forward at the fundamental level of our life. This task is based on the fifth step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-ajiva (in Pali) or samyag-ajiva (in Sanskrit); in Advayavada Buddhism’s personalized usage: our very best implementation, realization or putting into practice; in Dutch: onze beste uitvoering (de vijfde stap op het edele achtvoudige pad).

The depth of silence

Zen Flash

“Let silence take you to the core of life.”

~Rumi

Tao & Zen

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