Advayavada Buddhism

ON COURSE WITH NATURE.

Archive for the tag “Ten Fetters”

Advayavada Study Plan – week 24

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 24] In weeks 14 to 18 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 19 we again honestly took stock of and responsibility for our personal situation at this time (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), in week 22 we further cultivated and developed our very best attitude and commitment to fulfil our improved objective, in week 23 we implemented our improved modus operandi as best as possible 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 gain ever better insight by advancing properly along the Path, we shall at the same time be ridding ourselves of the so-called ten fetters (dasa-samyojana) that restrict us to samsaric life, which are traditionally: 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 existence.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 11

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 11 of 13] In weeks 1 to 5 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 6 we again honestly took stock of, and responsibility for, our personal situation (first step on the Noble Eightfold Path), in week 7 we again took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course (second step) 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; in week 8 we again put our decision and improved objective privately in writing as precisely as possible (third step), in week 9 we further developed our very best disposition or attitude to carry out our improved objective (fourth step), in week 10 we again implemented our well considered, improved way of doing things as best as possible (fifth step) and, to continue with this quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan, in week 11 we shall again concentrate on mustering our very best effort and commitment to fulfil our improved objective towards becoming ultimately a true part of the whole, as is the purpose of Advayavada Buddhism. 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 gain insight by advancing properly along the Path, we shall at the same time be ridding ourselves of the so-called ten fetters (dasa-samyojana) that restrict us to samsaric life, which are traditionally: 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.

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 37

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 37] In weeks 27 to 31 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 32 we again honestly reviewed and took stock of our personal situation (first step on the Noble Eightfold Path), in week 33 we again took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course (second step), in week 34 we again put our decision and improved objective in writing as precisely as possible (third step), in week 35 we further developed our very best attitude to carry out our improved objective (fourth step), in week 36 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 Buddha’s Middle Way responding to his promise of Nirvana, we shall continue to rid ourselves of the so-called ten fetters (dasa-samyojana) that restrict us 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. (from advayavada.org/#plan)

Advayavada Study Plan – week 24

[week 24] In week 23 we implemented our improved way of doing things (fifth step on the Noble Eightfold Path), and, to continue with this quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan, in week 24 we shall 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 Buddha’s Middle Way responding to his promise of Nirvana, we shall continue to rid ourselves of the so-called ten fetters (dasa-samyojana) that restrict us 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. (from advayavada.org/#plan)

Advayavada Study Plan – week 11

[week 11] In week 10 we implemented our improved way of doing things (fifth step on the Noble Eightfold Path), and, to continue with this quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan, in week 11 we shall 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 Buddha’s Middle Way responding to his promise of Nirvana, we shall be ridding ourselves of the so-called ten fetters (dasa-samyojana) that restrict us 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. (from advayavada.org/#plan)

Advayavada Study Plan – week 37

Dear friends,

The purpose of Advayavada Buddhism is to become a true part of the whole.

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.

The Advayavada Study Plan (ASP) is repeated four times a year. In weeks 27 to 31 we treated the preliminary subjects, in week 32 we honestly reviewed and took stock of our personal situation (first step), in week 33 we took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course (second step), in week 34 we put our decision and purpose in writing (third step), in week 35 we further developed our very best attitude (fourth step), in week 36 we implemented our improved modus operandi (fifth step), and, to continue with the current third quarter, in week 37 we shall 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 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 Buddha’s Middle Way responding to his promise of Nirvana, we shall rid ourselves of the so-called ten fetters (dasa-samyojana) that restrict us 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 fundamental ignorance (avidya, avijja).

Kind regards,
John Willemsens,
Advayavada Foundation.
advayavada.org/#plan

Advayavada Study Plan – week 24

Dear friends,

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 were, this quarter, the subjects of weeks 14 to 18) 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 improve my understanding of the practice of meditation (dhyana in Sanskrit, jhana in Pali) whose purpose is to attain a deeper concentration of the mind (Samadhi in Sanskrit and Pali), but without becoming preoccupied, however, with a factually non-existent self (svabhava-shunyata, lit. self-nature emptiness, is a central notion in Madhyamaka philosophy) – what’s your specific objective this quarter?

In week 14 we observed and studied the impermanence or changeability of all things, in week 15 we studied the selflessness and finitude of all things, in week 16 we observed the ubiquity of existential suffering in the world, in week 17 we continued to deepen our understanding that ignorant craving and attachment are the immediate causes of existential suffering, and in week 18 we surveyed the Noble Eightfold Path that eliminates the immediate causes of existential suffering, thus concluding the preliminary subjects.

In week 19 we honestly reviewed and took stock of our personal situation (first step), in week 20 we took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course (second step), in week 21 we again put our decision and objective in writing (third step), in week 22 we further developed our very best attitude to carry out our improved objective (fourth step), in week 23 we implemented our improved way of doing things (fifth step), and, to continue this 13-week action plan, in week 24 we shall 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 usage: our very best effort and commitment; in Dutch: onze beste inspanning (de zesde stap op het edele achtvoudige pad). And importantly, as we advance properly along the Buddha’s Middle Way responding to his promise of Nirvana, we shall rid ourselves of the so-called ten fetters (dasa-samyojana) that restrict us 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.

Other translations of the sixth step are: right thought (Arnold), right effort (Bodhi, Burt, Ch’en, Conze, David-Neel, Dhammananda, Eliot, Fernando, Gethin, Grimm, Harvey, Humphreys, Keown, Khemo, Kornfield, Malalasekera, Narada, Narasu, Nyanatiloka, Rahula, Rhys Davids, Saddhatissa, St Ruth, Stroup, Thich Nhat Hanh), appropriate effort (Batchelor), right exertion (Dharmapala, Guenther), right endeavour (Bahm, Dharmapala, Horner, Takakusu), right application (Watts); proper effort in the proper direction (Edwardes); correct exertion (Kloppenborg), right striving (Melamed), correct striving (Scheepers), right exercise (Warder).

Nirvana is, in Advayavada Buddhism, the total extinction of our existential suffering as a result of our complete reconciliation and harmonization with reality as it truly is beyond our commonly limited and biased personal experience of it; the unremitting persistency of human distress, alienation and conflict is undeniably due to the very many not knowing or not understanding or simply disbelieving the true nature of existence.

Feel free to share these ASP instalments.

Kind regards,
John Willemsens,
Advayavada Foundation.
@advayavada

Advayavada Study Plan – week 11

Dear friends,

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 were the subjects of weeks 1 to 5, 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 observe and interpret as closely as possible the workings in my own life of pratityasamutpada, i.e. the process of universal relativity or interdependent origination, understood as in Madhyamaka, where ‘all causes are effects and all effects are causes’, and karma, understood as the everchanging knotlet of biopsychosocial events in which I am personally embedded – what’s yours?)

In week 6 we reviewed and took stock of our personal situation and circumstances, in week 7 we took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course, in week 8 we put our decision and objective in writing as precisely as possible, in week 9 we further developed our very best attitude to carry out our improved personal objective, in week 10 we implemented our improved way of doing things as best as possible and, to continue our current 13-week plan of action, in week 11 we shall concentrate on mustering our very best effort and commitment to fulfil our improved objective.

This task is based on the 6th step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-vayama (in Pali) or samyag-vyayama (in Sanskrit); in Advayavada Buddhism’s usage: our very best effort and commitment; in Dutch: onze beste inspanning (de zesde stap op het edele achtvoudige pad). And importantly, as we advance properly along the Buddha’s Middle Way responding to his promise of Nirvana, we shall rid ourselves of the so-called ten fetters (dasa-samyojana) that restrict us 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.

Nirvana is, in Advayavada Buddhism, the total extinction of our existential suffering as a result of our complete reconciliation and harmonization with reality as it truly is beyond our commonly limited and biased personal experience of it; the unremitting persistency of human distress, alienation and conflict is essentially due to the very many not knowing or not understanding or simply disbelieving the true nature of existence.

Other translations of the 6th step are: right thought (Arnold), right effort (Bodhi, Burt, Ch’en, Conze, David-Neel, Dhammananda, Eliot, Fernando, Gethin, Grimm, Harvey, Humphreys, Keown, Khemo, Kornfield, Malalasekera, Narada, Narasu, Nyanatiloka, Rahula, Rhys Davids, Saddhatissa, St Ruth, Stroup), appropriate effort (Batchelor), right exertion (Dharmapala, Guenther), right endeavour (Bahm, Dharmapala, Horner, Takakusu), right application (Watts); proper effort in the proper direction (Edwardes); correct exertion (Kloppenborg), right striving (Melamed), correct striving (Scheepers), right exercise (Warder).

Kind regards,
John Willemsens,
Advayavada Foundation.
@advayavada

Rejection of Material Attachments (Alan Fox)

Both Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) and [the legendary and obscure ‘proto-daoist’] Yangzi seem to be as concerned with the quality of life as they are with its length. Thoreau further believes that the simple life is conducive not only to individual health, but also ultimately to social stability: “I am convinced, that if all men were to live as simply as I then did, thieving and robbery would be unknown. These take place only in communities where some have got more than is sufficient while others have not enough.”

That is, it is to a certain extent our emphasis on, and imbalanced distribution of, material goods that cultivates negative moral values. This concern is consistent with the Yangist and Daoist traditions. As A.C. Graham points out [in his Disputers of the Tao, Philosophical Argument in Ancient China, Chicago 1989]: “In the present-day version of the Lao-tzu there are many passages expressing this idea of prizing life and despising material things.” Besides the resemblance to, among others, chapter 3 of the Daodejing, where Laozi suggests that “not valuing what is hard to come by will prevent the people from considering thievery”, what is significant here is a utopic conception of primal simplicity. On the individual level, this kind of simplicity, for Thoreau as well as for Yangzi, constitutes a kind of efficiency, which conserves vital resources and ensures the maximum enjoyment or sense of fulfilment of life. On a social level, it leads to social stability and lack of friction and conflict in general social intercourse. In the broadest, most comprehensively ecological sense, we can also say that this kind of conservationism is also conducive to a healthy natural environment. Individuals, societies, and whole ecologies work better when they are allowed to operate in the most simple and efficient manner, according to this model.

In this regard, Thoreau and Yangist thought both seem inconsistent with adherence to formalities that involve affected manners and empty courtesies. On the other hand, such behaviour constitutes an unrecoverable waste of human and natural resources. But further, it also represents hypocritical distractions from the more subtle but truly important concerns of life. Thoreau says: “I delight to come to my bearings, not to walk in procession with pomp and parade, in a conspicuous place, but to walk even with the Builder of the universe, if I may, not in this restless, nervous, bustling, trivial Nineteenth Century, but stand or sit thoughtfully while it goes by. What are men celebrating? They are all on a committee of arrangements, and hourly expect a speech from somebody.”

This is generally reminiscent of the very common critiques of Confucian rites and manners (li) found in the writings of the Mohists and some of the Daoists. In some of these accounts, superficial virtues are accused of crowding out more substantial and authentic ones. For example, chapter 5 of the Daodejing emphasizes that the imposition of moral standards tends to impede the natural course of events, and specifically repudiates the cardinal Confucian virtue of ren (often translated as humaneness, benevolence or perfect social integration) as artificial and arbitrary. And Thoreau says of the truly good person that “his goodness must not be a partial and transitory act, but a constant superfluity, which costs him nothing and of which he is unconscious”. That is, it is better to be good than to act good. Thus, the artificial, ‘manufactured’ quality of ceremony is rejected by the ideal person as inhibiting one’s intrinsically determined evolution and development. (Adapted from Rejection of Material Attachments, in Guarding what is Essential: Critiques of Material Culture in Thoreau and Yang Zhu, by Alan Fox, in Philosophy East and West, Honolulu, July 2008)

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