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.

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.

Seks met leerlingen is taboe. (Rob Hogendoorn)

Hoe somber en negatief moet het beeld van boeddhisme van veel mensen wel niet zijn dat zovelen voetstoots aannemen dat seks van boeddhistische leraren met volgelingen ‘moet kunnen’ of ‘nu eenmaal kan gebeuren’.
Waarom is het niet gewoon taboe? Dat valt onder meer hieruit te verklaren: veel boeddhisten kunnen zich het standpunt ‘seks met leerlingen is taboe’ niet permitteren omdat hun eigen geestelijk leiders seks met leerlingen hadden of hebben.
Ruim 43 procent van de leden van de Boeddhistische Unie Nederland (BUN), bijvoorbeeld, heeft een geestelijk leider die in opspraak kwam wegen seksueel misbruik. De overige 57 procent zit erbij en kijkt ernaar.
Trouwe bezoekers van BUN-ledenvergaderingen hebben al decennialang weet van seksueel misbruik door leraren zoals Mettavihari, Dhammawiranatha, Sangharakshita, Chögyam Trungpa, Ösel Tendzin, Sogyal Lakar, Dennis Merzel, ‘Lama Kelsang Chöpel’, Namkha Rinpoche, Nico Tydeman, enz.
De BUN is het formele contactorgaan van de Nederlandse overheid met de boeddhistische gemeenschap. Volgens de regering heeft de BUN een primaire verantwoordelijkheid in het voorkomen van seksueel misbruik. Tegelijk blijven BUN-leden wegkijken van seksueel misbruik in eigen kring of stoppen het in de doofpot. Zo stellen zij samen de norm: seks van leraren met volgelingen ‘moet kunnen’, ‘kan gebeuren.’
Dit is meteen ook de reden waarom de BUN geen verklaring uitgeeft waarin staat dat binnen de boeddhistische gemeenschap in Nederland voor seks van leraren met volgelingen geen plaats is. En dus is die plaats er wel. ~ Rob Hogendoorn, op Facebook, 25.6.17.

Boeddhisten weten heel goed wat hoort. (Rob Hogendoorn)

Boeddhisten weten heel goed wat hoort, en wat niet. Velen van hen kiezen er echter stelselmatig voor dit inzicht wél buiten de boeddhistische gemeenschap toe te passen, maar niet daarbinnen.
Onze samenleving en cultuur heeft een schat aan ervaring in de omgang met macht en misbruik van macht vergaard. Nederlands boeddhistische bekeerlingen zijn hiermee net zo goed bekend zijn als niet-boeddhisten. Ze maken van dat inzicht en die ervaring echter geen gebruik, omdat ze zichzelf in de waan brengen dat boeddhistische leraren geen macht vergaren en daarvan geen misbruik maken. Niets is minder waar, en seksueel en ander misbruik is in die houding voorgeprogrammeerd.
Veel boeddhisten internaliseren, vaak decennialang, onder het mom van ‘liefdevolle vriendelijkheid’, ‘wijsheid’, ‘mededogen’, ‘onthechting’ en ‘meditatie’ vooral onverschilligheid.
Het is dan ook geen toeval dat onder Nederlands boeddhisten persoonlijke moed en moreel leiderschap dun gezaaid zijn. Vrijwel niemand leert hen de kloosterregels (‘vinaya’) en de ethiek en moraal waarop deze rusten, en vrijwel niemand past deze ook daadwerkelijk toe.
Dat dit wel degelijk mogelijk is en heel effectief is, bewezen enkele volgelingen van Dhammawiranatha (Pierre Krul) binnen Boeddhayana. Toen uitkwam dat Dhammawiranatha zich schuldig maakte aan seksueel misbruik, dwongen zijn eigen volgelingen hem de pij af te leggen, en wel op de in de ‘vinaya’ voorgeschreven wijze.
De volgelingen van Nico Tydeman, daarentegen, trapten met open ogen in de val. Tydeman legde de verantwoording voor zijn aanblijven als leraar bij zijn volgelingen— precies degenen hij decennialang heeft ingeprent dat ‘niet-weten’ en ‘niet-oordelen’ deugden zijn en dat trouw aan je leraar—welk leed hij of zij anderen ook aandoet—het grootste goed is. Kwam dat even goed uit! Zijn de net door hem verheven sensei’s misschien beloond voor hun trouw?
De trouwste volgelingen van Mettavihari legden de ‘vinaya’ naast zich neer omdat deze overbodig zou zijn. Zij lieten Mettavihari decennialang ten onrechte ‘monnik’ spelen. Terwijl hen het seksueel misbruik van vele tientallen slachtoffers moet worden aangerekend, houden zij zelf nog steeds krampachtig vast aan het zo felbegeerde, dankzij Mettavihari verkregen leraarschap.
Zodra boeddhisten zich bínnen de boeddhistische gemeenschap als even goede burgers gaan gedragen als daarbúiten en aan boeddhisten even hoge eisen stellen als aan niet-boeddhisten—precies zoals ze op hun werk, hun opleiding, binnen hun familie, hun sportvereniging dagelijks doen—is al veel gewonnen. Verantwoord burgerschap, óók ten opzichte van boeddhisten, en een deugdelijke beheersing en toepassing van de grondslagen van de ‘vinaya’: meer wordt van hen niet gevraagd. ~ Rob Hogendoorn, op Facebook, 22.6.17.

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.