Advayavada Study Plan – week 15

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 15] 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), which is based on the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path, is repeated four times a year for this lofty purpose and the second preliminary subject of this second quarter is again anatta (Pali) or anatman (Sanskrit), which literally 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 all things without exception are, in fact, produced by interdependent origination, every single thing is therefore 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 14), the ubiquity of existential suffering (see next week), and evolution or, in human terms, progress. Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 14

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 14] 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), which is based on the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path, is repeated four times a year for this lofty purpose and the first preliminary subject of this second 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 next week), and growth 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 unique and everchanging knotlet of biopsychosocial (bps) events in which we are personally embedded. Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 13

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 13] 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 1 to 5 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 6 we again honestly reviewed and took stock of our personal situation (first step on the Noble Eightfold Path), in week 7 we again took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course (second step), in week 8 we again privately put our decision and improved objective in writing 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 (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 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, 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 12

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 12] 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 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 (second step), in week 8 we again privately put our decision and improved objective in writing 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 (fifth step), in week 11 we again concentrated on mustering our very best effort and commitment to fulfil our improved objective, and, to continue with this 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 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). Next week is the last step in this 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 11

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 11] 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 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 (second step), in week 8 we again privately put our decision and improved objective in writing 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 (fifth step), and, to continue with this fourth 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 continue to rid 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 10

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 10] 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 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 wondrous overall existence and take us forward at the fundamental level of our life (second step), in week 8 we again privately commited our decision and improved objective to paper as precisely as possible (third step), in week 9 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 way of life 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 personalized 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 9

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 9] 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) 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 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 wondrous overall existence and take us forward at its fundamental level (second step), in week 8 we again privately commited our decision and improved objective to paper as precisely as possible (third step), and, to continue with this quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan, 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 8

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 8] 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. We do this by means of the Noble Eightfold Path. 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 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. (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 deeds 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, this week, in order to lay a strong foundation for achieving our goal, we shall again privately commit our decision and improved objective to paper as precisely as possible. 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 7

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 7] As stated before, 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 Path is followed conscientiously and methodically, it becomes a strong neuroplastic factor and hence one of the main karmic factors in one’s life. 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, 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 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: 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 6

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 6] 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 Noble Eightfold Path at any time. When the Path is followed conscientiously, it becomes a strong neuroplastic factor and hence nothing less than one of the main karmic factors in one’s life, i.e. in one’s fleeting share in the universal interdependent origination process (madhyamaka-pratityasamutpada). The 13-week Advayavada Study Plan (ASP) is repeated four times a year for this lofty purpose: in weeks 1 to 5 we therefore again treated the preliminary subjects and, to continue with the current first quarter of 2019, this week 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 begrip of inzicht (de eerste stap op het edele achtvoudige pad). Feel free to share this post.