About John Willemsens

Dutch, b.1934, advayavadin.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 29

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 29] Dukkha (Pali) or duhkha (Sanskrit) means suffering, sorrow, dissatisfaction, frustration, anxiety, or stress; it is the first of the four noble truths 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 27), the selflessness and emptiness of all things (see week 28), and evolution or, in human terms, progress (see next week). In Advayavada Buddhism, dukkha or duhkha does not include emotional grief nor physical pain, and is, above all, not seen as a permanent 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 unremitting persistency of human distress, alienation and conflict is undeniably due to the very many everywhere in the world not knowing or not understanding or simply disbelieving the actual, i.e. impermanent and finite, nature of individual existence. Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 28

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 28] 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) is repeated four times a year for this lofty purpose and the second preliminary subject of this quarter is again anatta (Pali) or anatman (Sanskrit), which 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 in fact all things without exception are produced by interdependent origination every single thing is consequently 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 27), the ubiquity of existential suffering, and evolution or, in human terms, progress. Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 27

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 27] 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) is repeated four times a year for this lofty purpose and the first preliminary subject of this new 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 week 28), 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 everchanging knotlet of biopsychosocial (bps) events in which we are personally embedded. Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 26

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 26] 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 (fourth step), in week 23 we implemented our improved modus operandi as best as possible (fifth step), in week 24 we concentrated on mustering our very best effort and commitment to fulfil our improved objective (sixth step), in week 25 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). Feel free to share this post.

*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.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 25

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 25] 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 (fourth step), in week 23 we implemented our improved modus operandi as best as possible (fifth step), in week 24 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 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 23

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 23] 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 ever better way of life 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. 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: our goal is 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.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 22

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 22] 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 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), 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 fulfil 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).

Advayavada Study Plan – week 21

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 21] 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 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).

Advayavada Study Plan – week 20

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 20 = week 7 of 13, second quarter] As already stated, in Advayavada Buddhism, the Path 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. Last week 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 commendable undertakings are 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 2nd step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-sankappa (Pali) or samyak-samkalpa (Sanskrit), in Advayavada Buddhism’s personalized usage: our very best resolution or determination; in Dutch: onze beste beslissing (de tweede stap op het edele achtvoudige pad).