Advayavada Study Plan – week 13

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 13] As already explained, in Advayavada Buddhism the Path reflects the Whole: it 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, by means of our personalized Noble Eightfold Path, with wondrous overall existence advancing over time now in its manifest direction. The purpose of this ongoing 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 1 to 5 we again treated the preliminary subjects; in week 6 we again honestly took stock of, and responsibility for, our personal situation 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 commendable undertakings are those which are in agreement with and reflect wondrous overall existence and take us forward at the fundamental level of our life (second step); in week 8, in order to lay a strong foundation for achieving our goal, we again privately verbalized our feelings and intentions and committed our decision and improved objective to paper as precisely as possible (third step); in week 9 we further developed our very best attitude to carry out our improved objective (fourth step); in week 10 we implemented our improved way of doing things to the very best of our ability (fifth step); in week 11 we concentrated on mustering our very best effort and commitment to fulfil our improved objective (sixth step); in week 12 we again made 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 (seventh step), and, to conclude this first quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan, the coming seven days 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. Please take care of yourself and others in these challenging times!

*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 emptiness and interdependence (all-conditionality), of Samsara and Nirvana, of phenomena and the Absolute, 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 52

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 52] 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 purpose of the autonomous Advayavada Study Plan (ASP), which is based on the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path, 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. In weeks 40 to 44 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 45 we again honestly reviewed and took stock of 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 privately 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), in week 50 we concentrated on mustering our very best effort and commitment to fulfil our improved objective (sixth step), in week 51 we again made our best possible evaluation of our efforts to date, including the measure of our compliance with the five basic precepts (seventh step), and, to conclude this fourth quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan, the coming seven days 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 emptiness and interdependence (all-conditionality), of Samsara and Nirvana, of phenomena and the Absolute, 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 39

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 39] 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 purpose of the autonomous Advayavada Study Plan (ASP), which is based on the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path, 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. 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 privately 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), 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 five basic precepts (not to kill, not to steal, sexual restraint, not to lie, and refraining from alcohol and drugs) (seventh step), and, to conclude this third 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 emptiness and interdependence (all-conditionality), of Samsara and Nirvana, of phenomena and the Absolute, 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.org/#plan

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 bearing in mind that commendable undertakings are those which are in agreement with and reflect wondrous overall existence and take us forward at the fundamental level of our life (second step), in week 34 we again privately 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), 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 third quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan, this week 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 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). In week 39 we shall take 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 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 third 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 at the same time 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 of the true nature of reality. Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 26

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 26] 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 purpose of the autonomous Advayavada Study Plan (ASP), which is based on the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path, 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. In weeks 14 to 18 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 19 we again honestly reviewed and took stock of our personal situation (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 privately put our decision and improved objective in writing as precisely as possible (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), 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 five basic precepts (not to kill, not to steal, sexual restraint, not to lie, and refraining from alcohol and drugs) (seventh step), and, to conclude this second 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 emptiness and interdependence (all-conditionality), of samsara and nirvana, of phenomena and the Absolute, 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 30

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, this quarter, are the subjects of weeks 27 to 31) 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 help improve the didactic presence of Advayavada Buddhism on the social media; what is your specific objective this quarter?

In week 27 we observed and studied the impermanence or changeability of all things, in week 28 we studied the selflessness and finitude of all things, in week 29 we studied the ubiquity of existential suffering in the world, and, to continue this 13-week action plan, in week 30 we shall continue to deepen our understanding that ignorant craving and attachment are the immediate causes of existential suffering (the second noble truth of Buddhism) and that this suffering shall cease altogether when we deal with and overcome its causes (the third noble truth); in Dutch: het hechten is de directe oorzaak van het lijden en door ons te onthechten verlossen wij ons daarvan (de tweede en de derde edele waarheid).

According to Advayavada Buddhism, it is indisputable that the Buddha did not believe in Brahman (God, transcendent and immutable Absolute) nor in the atta or atman (soul, immortal self, in Pali and Sanskrit) and taught that man ultimately suffers because he does not understand and accept that all things in life are instead utterly changeable and transitory; if the Buddha had ever expressed belief in Brahman and the atta or atman (as e.g. in Advaita-Vedanta), such a crucial fact would have been unequivocally recorded in History.

Man is prone to existential suffering (dukkha, duhkha) quite simply because he wrongly strives after and tries to hold on to things, concepts and situations which he believes to be permanent, but are not. His mistaken view of things is produced by a thirst, craving or clinging (called tanha in Pali and trishna in Sanskrit) which is in turn caused by his fundamental ignorance (avijja, avidya) of the true nature of reality, and this thirst, craving or clinging 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 affect the efforts of others to improve theirs.

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.

Please note that these ASP instalments in this format will cease in week 31.

Kind regards,
John Willemsens,
Advayavada Foundation.
@advayavada

Advayavada Study Plan – week 29

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, this quarter, are the subjects of weeks 27 to 31) 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 new quarter is to help improve the didactic presence of Advayavada Buddhism on the social media; what is your specific objective this quarter?

In week 27 we observed and studied the impermanence or changeability of all things, in week 28 we studied the selflessness and finitude of all things, and, to continue this 13-week action plan, in week 29 we again study as thoroughly as possible the ubiquity of existential suffering in the world; in Dutch: het existentieel lijden (het derde kenmerk van het bestaan en de eerste edele waarheid).

This task is based on the concept of dukkha (in Pali) or duhkha (in Sanskrit). Dukkha or duhkha means suffering, sorrow; dissatisfaction; frustration, stress; pervasive unsatisfactoriness; gnawing unease; the existential distress and distrust of life non-liberated human beings are prone to. It is the third of the three (in Advayavada Buddhism, four) signs or marks or basic facts of being and the first of the four noble truths of Buddhism.

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 ‘only admitted and entertained as a possible contingency in life as it is generally lived’ (B.C. Law). It is then rather an existential suffering in the sense of a basic frustration, even suffocation, caused by the unhealthy and socially infectious feeling that ‘reality does not conform to our innermost desires’ (David Loy).

Nirvana is, in Advayavada Buddhism, the total extinction of our existential suffering as a result, instead, 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, in short, dukkha or duhkha, is undeniably due to the very many everywhere not knowing or not understanding or simply disbelieving the true nature of existence.

Please note that these ASP instalments in this format will cease in week 31.

Kind regards,
John Willemsens,
Advayavada Foundation.
@advayavada

Advayavada Study Plan – week 28

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, this quarter, are the subjects of weeks 27 to 31) 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 new quarter is to help improve the didactic presence of Advayavada Buddhism on the social media; what is your specific objective this quarter?

In week 27 we observed and studied the impermanence or changeability of all things, and to continue this new 13-week action plan, in week 28 we shall again study the selflessness and finitude of all things as thoroughly as possible; in Dutch: de vergankelijkheid van alles (het tweede kenmerk van het bestaan)

This task is based on the Buddhist anatta (Pali) or anatmata (Sanskrit) doctrine. It is the second of the three (in Advayavada Buddhism, four) signs or marks or basic facts of being. Anatta or anatman means that no imperishable self exists in the person in the sense of a permanent, eternal, integral, and independent substance; human beings currently live for about 4,000 weeks, during which wondrous life itself takes care of a lot for us: the lion’s share of our body’s activities is e.g. under the control of our peripheral nervous system, which includes the autonomic nervous system comprised by a sympathetic and a parasympathetic system, which e.g. jointly run our heart beat and the flow of blood through our blood vessels and much more.

In Mahayana Buddhism, the nissvabhava (Sanskrit) doctrine teaches further that in fact all things without exception are empty (shunya) of self-nature (svabhava), i.e. devoid of self-sufficient, independent existence or lasting substance; svabhava-shunyata (lit. self-nature emptiness) is a central notion in Madhyamaka philosophy. It teaches that indeed everything without exception arises, abides, changes and extinguishes in accordance with madhyamaka-pratityasamutpada, i.e. the process of universal relativity or interdependent origination, meaning here that ‘all causes are effects and all effects are causes’.

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 everywhere not knowing or not understanding or simply disbelieving the true nature of existence.

Please note that these ASP instalments in this format will cease in week 31.

Kind regards,
John Willemsens,
Advayavada Foundation.
@advayavada

Advayavada Study Plan – week 27

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, this quarter, are the subjects of weeks 27 to 31) 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 new quarter is to help improve the didactic presence of Advayavada Buddhism on the social media; what is your specific objective this quarter?

To commence this new 13-week plan of action, in week 27 we again observe and study the impermanence or changeability of all things as thoroughly as we can; in Dutch: de veranderlijkheid van alles (het eerste kenmerk van het bestaan).

This task is based on the Buddhist aniccata (Pali) or anityata (Sanskrit) doctrine. Anicca or anitya means impermanent, changeable, unstable, transitory, and is the first of the three (in Advayavada Buddhism, four) signs or marks or basic facts of being: that which arises, dwells, and passes away. Impermanence or changeability is the most fundamental property of everything existing: it lies at the heart of the interdependent origination and emptiness of all things, and progress and liberation would not be possible without it; in Advayavada Buddhism, karma is the universal process of interdependent origination (madhyamaka-pratityasamutpada) as it is experienced at the sentient level and our individual share of it is the everchanging knotlet of biopsychosocial (bps) events in which we are personally embedded.

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 everywhere not knowing or not understanding or simply disbelieving the true nature of existence.

Please feel free to share these ASP instalments.

Kind regards,
John Willemsens,
Advayavada Foundation.
@advayavada