Advayavada Buddhism

ON COURSE WITH NATURE.

Archive for the month “April, 2019”

Advayavada Study Plan – week 18

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 18] In Secular Buddhism generally, firmly bearing in mind the impermanence and changeability of everything (see week 14) and the selflessness and emptiness (and, therefore, finitude) of all things (see week 15), the focus is on the correct interpretation and realization of the historical Buddha’s so-called ‘four noble truths’ or ‘four truths for the noble’: 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, which, in Advayavada Buddhism, is understood dynamically, 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, this evolution or progress being, then, the fourth sign or mark or basic fact of being. 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 samadhi, which brings us to (1) a yet better comprehension or insight, and so forth. Feel free to share this post.

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Edwin Curley on 2nd May 2019

London Spinoza Circle

At our meeting on Thursday 2nd May, 3.00 – 5.00pm we are very pleased to have Prof. curleyEdwin Curley (University of Michigan) who will speak on:

Making Sense of Spinoza’s Metaphysics

Birkbeck, University of London, Dreyfus Room, 26 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ

Abstract

In this talk I shall revisit number of central themes in Spinoza’s metaphysics including the principle of charity, the difficulties associated with predicative interpretations of the mode-substance relation, the reason for adopting an interpretation that emphasises the laws of nature, and the roots of Spinoza’s theory of laws in Cartesian philosophy of science. My presentation will draw on two recent papers, ‘Spinoza’s Metaphysics Revisited’ and ‘Laws of Nature in Spinoza’.

A presentation of the paper ‘Spinoza’s Metaphysics Revisited’ is available here.

All welcome and no registration is required.

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Advayavada Study Plan – week 17

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 17] Non-liberated human beings are essentially prone to existential suffering (see week 16) because they wrongly strive after and try to hold on to things, concepts and situations which they believe to be permanent, but are not. Their mistaken view of things is produced by a thirst, craving or clinging (tanha in Pali, trishna in Sanskrit) which is in turn caused by their fundamental ignorance (avijja in Pali, avidya in Sanskrit) or disbelief of the true nature of existence, particularly the impermanence and changeability of everything (see week 14) and the selflessness and emptiness (and, therefore, finitude) of all things (see week 15). This thirst, craving or clinging, which is the second noble truth (or second truth for the noble) of Buddhism, blinds them to the actual wonders and blessings of overall existence and can moreover easily take on a more unwholesome form: already as sensuous desire, ill-will (vyapada), laziness, impatience or distrust will it seriously hinder the individual’s efforts to better his or her circumstances, as well as contaminate the efforts of others to improve theirs. To avoid all this, Advayavada Buddhism, on its part, invites us all to instead intelligently make the very best of our own lives by attuning as best as possible with actual wondrous overall existence advancing over time now in its manifest direction, and we do this by conscientiously following our personalized Noble Eightfold Path (see coming week 18). Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 16

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 16] The third preliminary subject of the ASP is dukkha (Pali) or duhkha (Sanskrit) which means suffering, sorrow, dissatisfaction, frustration, anxiety, or stress; it is the first of the four noble truths (or four truths for the noble) of Buddhism and also the third of the three or, in Advayavada Buddhism, four signs or marks or basic facts of being, the other three being the impermanence or changeability of everything (see week 14), the selflessness and emptiness of all things (see week 15), and evolution or, in human terms, progress (see coming weeks 17 and 18). In Advayavada Buddhism, dukkha or duhkha does not include, in the context of the four truths, emotional grief nor physical pain, and is, above all, not seen as a permanent or inevitable feature of reality; it is chiefly understood as the existential distress and distrust of life non-liberated human beings are prone to and which are essentially caused by the unhealthy and socially infectious feeling that reality does not conform to their petty desires and mistaken expectations. The ubiquity and unremitting persistency of human distress, alienation and conflict is undeniably especially due to the very many everywhere in the world not being taught or not comprehending or simply disbelieving and denying the basically impermanent and finite nature of their individual existence. Advayavada Buddhism, on its part, invites us all to instead intelligently make the very best of our own lives by attuning as best as possible with actual wondrous overall existence advancing over time now in its manifest direction. We do this by conscientiously following the Noble Eightfold Path. Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 15

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 15] As already asserted, 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. The 13-week Advayavada Study Plan (ASP), which is based on the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path, is repeated four times a year for this lofty purpose and the second preliminary subject of this second quarter is again anatta (Pali) or anatman (Sanskrit), which literally means no-self and is traditionally considered the second of the three (in Advayavada Buddhism, four) signs or marks or basic facts of being. The Buddhist anatta or anatmata doctrine teaches that no soul, spirit or self exists in the person in the sense of a permanent, eternal, integral, and independent substance. In Mahayana Buddhism, the nissvabhava doctrine teaches further that as all things without exception are, in fact, produced by interdependent origination, every single thing is therefore empty (shunya) of self-nature (svabhava); svabhava-shunyata (lit. self-nature emptiness) is a central notion in Madhyamaka philosophy: in Advayavada Buddhism, the selflessness of all existents is one of the four signs or marks or basic facts of being, the other three being the impermanence or changeability of everything (see week 14), the ubiquity of existential suffering (see next week), and evolution or, in human terms, progress. Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 14

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 14] 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. The 13-week Advayavada Study Plan (ASP), which is based on the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path, is repeated four times a year for this lofty purpose and the first preliminary subject of this second quarter is again anicca (Pali) or anitya (Sanskrit), which means impermanent, changeable, unstable, transitory, and is traditionally considered the first of the three (in Advayavada Buddhism, four) signs or marks or basic facts of being. The Buddhist aniccata or anityata doctrine teaches that impermanence or changeability is the most fundamental property of everything existing. It lies at the very heart of the interdependent origination and emptiness of all things (see next week), and growth and evolution, progress, and liberation would not be possible without it. Karma is, in Advayavada Buddhism, this incessant universal process of interdependent origination of all things as it is undergone and experienced by sentient beings, our individual share of it being the unique and everchanging knotlet of biopsychosocial (bps) events in which we are personally embedded. Feel free to share this post.

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