The purpose of this autonomous and open-ended 13-week Advayavada Study Plan (ASP), which can conveniently be repeated four times in a calendar year, 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, or affected by, such as our health and state of mind, relationships and responsibilities, work, study, as well as our physical and social environment and circumstances, etc.
In weeks 1 to 5 we again treated the preliminary subjects; in week 6 we again honestly reviewed and took stock of, and responsibility for, our personal situation and expectations at this time (first step on the Noble Eightfold Path); in week 7 we again took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course, bearing in mind that truly commendable initiatives are those which are in agreement with wondrous overall existence and take us forward at the fundamental level of our lives (second step); in week 8, in order to lay a strong foundation for achieving our goal, we again privately committed our decision and improved objective to paper as precisely as possible (third step); and in week 9 we further cultivated and developed our very best attitude and commitment to be able to improve our way of life as we aspire, in our personal quest to become a true part of the wondrous whole (fourth step); in week 10, we implemented our improved modus operandi as best as possible (fifth step); and in week 11 we again concentrated on mustering our very best effort and commitment to fulfil our improved objective (sixth step).
Now, to continue with this first quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan, during this week, week 12, we shall again make our best possible evaluation of our efforts to date, including the measure of our compliance with the familiar five basic precepts (not to kill, not to steal, sexual restraint, not to lie, and refraining from alcohol and drugs). This task is based on the seventh step on the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path: right mindfulness, samma-sati (in Pali) or samyak-smriti (in Sanskrit); in Advayavada Buddhism’s personalized usage: our very best observation or self-reflection and correction; in Dutch: onze beste aandacht (de zevende stap op het edele achtvoudige pad).
During next week, week 13, we shall take the last step in the current 13-week cycle: we shall then continue to develop our very best meditation towards the sublime state of Samadhi and our awareness of Nirvana.
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