About John Willemsens

Dutch, b.1934, advayavadin.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 39

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 39] In weeks 27 to 31 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 32 we again honestly took stock of and responsibility for our personal situation at this time (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 cultivated and developed our very best attitude and commitment to fulfil our improved objective (fourth step), in week 36 we implemented our improved modus operandi as best as possible (fifth step), in week 37 we concentrated on mustering our very best effort and commitment to fulfil our improved objective (sixth step), in week 38 we again made our best possible evaluation of our efforts to date, including the measure of our compliance with the 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, of god and nature; 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. Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 38

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 38] In weeks 27 to 31 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 32 we again honestly took stock of and responsibility for our personal situation at this time (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 cultivated and developed our very best attitude and commitment to fulfil our improved objective (fourth step), in week 36 we implemented our improved modus operandi as best as possible (fifth step), in week 37 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 (ASP), this week we shall again make our best possible evaluation of our efforts to date, including the measure of our compliance with the precepts. This task is based on the 7th 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 the current 13-week cycle: we shall then continue to develop our very best meditation towards Samadhi and our awareness of Nirvana. Feel free to share this post.

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 took stock of and responsibility for our personal situation at this time (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 cultivated and developed our very best attitude and commitment to fulfil our improved objective, in week 36 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 carry out 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. Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 36

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 36] As already stated, the purpose of the autonomous Advayavada Study Plan (ASP) 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 weeks 27 to 31 we reappraised the preliminary subjects, in week 32 we again took stock of and responsibility for our personal situation at this time (first step on the Noble Eightfold Path), in week 33 we again took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course bearing in mind that commendable undertakings are those which are in agreement with wondrous overall existence and take us forward at the fundamental level of our life (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 cultivated and developed our very best attitude and commitment to carry out our ever better way of life (fourth step), and, to continue with this quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan (ASP), this week we shall implement our improved modus operandi as best as possible. This task is based on the 5th step on the Noble 8fold Path: samma-ajiva (in Pali) or samyag-ajiva (in Sanskrit); in Advayavada Buddhism’s usage: our very best implementation, realization or putting into practice; in Dutch: onze beste uitvoering (vijfde stap op het edele achtvoudige pad). Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 35

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 35] The purpose of the autonomous Advayavada Study Plan (ASP) 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 weeks 27 to 31 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 32 we again honestly took stock of and responsibility for our personal situation at this time (first step on the Noble Eightfold Path), in week 33 we again took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course bearing in mind that commendable undertakings are those which are in agreement with wondrous overall existence and take us forward at the fundamental level of our life (second step), in week 34 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 (ASP), this week we shall further cultivate and develop our very best attitude and commitment to carry out our ever better way of life. 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). Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 34

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 34] In weeks 27 to 31 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 32 we again honestly took stock of and responsibility for our personal situation at this time (first step on the Noble Eightfold Path), in week 33 we again took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course bearing in mind that commendable undertakings are those which are in agreement with wondrous overall existence and take us forward at the fundamental level of our life (second step), and to continue with this quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan (ASP), this week we shall again put our decision and improved objective in writing as precisely as possible; 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, and putting our ideas into words, or better, writing them down, makes an important difference, “for in this way they become objective and criticizable” (Popper). 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). Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 33

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 33] As stated, 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. In week 32 we again honestly took stock of and responsibility for 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, bearing in mind that truly commendable deeds are those which are in agreement with wondrous overall existence and take us forward at the fundamental level of existence. 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). Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 32

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 32] 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. When the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path is followed conscientiously, it becomes nothing less than the main karmic factor in one’s life, i.e. in one’s fleeting share in the universal interdependent origination process (cf. madhyamaka-pratityasamutpada). The 13-week Advayavada Study Plan (ASP) is repeated four times a year for this lofty purpose: in weeks 27 to 31 we therefore again treated the preliminary subjects and, to continue with the current third quarter of 2017, in week 32 we shall again honestly take stock of, and responsibility for, our personal situation at this time with respect to whatever we are presently doing or are concerned with, or about, such as our health, relationships, work, study, our place in society, etc. This task is based on the 1st step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-ditthi (Pali) or samyag-dristi (Sanskrit), in Advayavada Buddhism: our very best comprehension or insight; in Dutch: ons beste inzicht (de eerste stap op het edele achtvoudige pad). Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 31

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 31] In Secular Buddhism generally, firmly bearing in mind the impermanence of everything and the selflessness and emptiness of all things, the focus is on the correct interpretation and realization of the historical Buddha’s so-called ‘four noble truths’: 1) the truth of the ubiquity of existential suffering in the world, 2) the truth that ignorant craving and attachment are the actual and immediate causes of such suffering, 3) the truth that this suffering shall cease altogether when we deal with and overcome its causes, and 4) the truth 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.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 30

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 30] Non-liberated human beings are essentially prone to existential suffering (see week 29) 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 changeability of everything (see week 27) and the selflessness and emptiness of all things (see week 28). This thirst, craving or clinging, which is the second noble truth of Buddhism, blinds them to the wonders of overall existence and can moreover easily take on a more unwholesome form: already as sensuous desire, ill-will, 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. Feel free to share this post.