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 (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 cultivated and developed our very best attitude and commitment to fulfil our improved objective (fourth step), in week 36 we implemented our improved modus operandi as best as possible (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 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 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 12

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 12 of 13] 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 (first step on the Noble Eightfold Path), in week 7 we again took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course (second step) bearing in mind that truly commendable undertakings are only those which are in agreement with wondrous overall existence and take us forward at the fundamental level of our life; in week 8 we again put our decision and improved objective privately in writing as precisely as possible (third step), in week 9 we further developed our very best disposition or attitude to carry out our improved objective (fourth step), in week 10 we implemented our well considered, improved way of doing things as best as possible (fifth step), in week 11 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, in week 12 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 this 13-week cycle: we shall then continue to develop our very best meditation towards Samadhi and our awareness of Nirvana.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 51

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 51] In weeks 40 to 44 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 45 we again honestly took stock of, and responsibility for, 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 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), 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 precepts. This task is based on the seventh 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.

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 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 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 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 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 this 13-week cycle: we shall then continue to develop our very best meditation towards Samadhi and our awareness of Nirvana. (from advayavada.org/#plan)

Advayavada Study Plan – week 25

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 25] In week 19 we reviewed and took stock of our personal situation and circumstances, in week 20 we took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course, in week 21 we put our decision and objective in writing as precisely as possible, in week 22 we further developed our very best attitude to carry out our improved personal objective, in week 23 we implemented our improved way of doing things as best as possible, in week 24 we 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, in week 25 we shall again make our best possible evaluation of our efforts to date. 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 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. (from advayavada.org/#plan)

Advayavada Study Plan – weeks 12 and 13

[weeks 12 & 13] In week 11 we concentrated on mustering our very best effort and commitment to fulfil our improved objective (sixth step on the Noble Eightfold Path), and, to conclude this quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan, in week 12 we shall again make our best possible evaluation of our efforts to date and in week 13 we shall continue to develop and deepen our very best meditation towards samadhi*. These tasks are based on the seventh and eighth step on the Noble Eightfold Path: respectively samma-sati and samma-samadhi (in Pali) or samyak-smriti and samyak-samadhi (in Sanskrit); in Advayavada Buddhism’s personalized usage: our very best observation or reflection and self-correction, and our very best meditation or concentration towards samadhi; in Dutch: onze beste aandacht en onze beste bezinning (de zevende en achtste stap op het edele achtvoudige pad).
*Samadhi (Pali and Sanskrit): total or 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. (from advayavada.org/#plan)

Advayavada Study Plan – week 38

Dear friends,

The purpose of Advayavada Buddhism is to become a true part of the whole.

In Advayavada Buddhism, the Path is understood as an ongoing and fully autonomous, non-prescriptive, investigative and creative process of progressive insight, reflecting in human terms wondrous overall existence becoming over time in its manifest direction. When followed conscientiously, it becomes nothing less than the main karmic factor in one’s share in the universal interdependent origination process (madhyamaka-pratityasamutpada). It is composed stepwise of (1) our very best (samma in Pali and samyak in Sanskrit) comprehension or insight, followed by (2) our very best resolution or determination, (3) our very best enunciation or definition (of our intention), (4) our very best disposition or attitude, (5) our very best implementation or realization, (6) our very best effort or commitment, (7) our very best observation, reflection or evaluation and self-correction, and (8) our very best meditation or concentration towards an increasingly real experience of oneness with the universe, which brings us to (1) a yet better comprehension or insight, and so forth.

The Advayavada Study Plan (ASP) is repeated four times a year. In weeks 27 to 31 we treated the preliminary subjects, in week 32 we honestly reviewed and took stock of our personal situation (first step), in week 33 we took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course (second step), in week 34 we put our decision and purpose in writing (third step), in week 35 we further developed our very best attitude (fourth step), in week 36 we implemented our improved modus operandi (fifth step), in week 37 we concentrated on mustering our very best effort and commitment (sixth step), and, to continue with the current third quarter, in week 38 we shall again make our best possible evaluation of our efforts to date.

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 usage: our very best observation or reflection and self-correction; in Dutch, onze beste aandacht (de zevende stap op het edele achtvoudige pad). At the same time, we make sure that the five Buddhist precepts which are applicable under all circumstances (not to kill, not to steal, sexual restraint, not to lie, and refraining from alcohol and drugs) are fully respected.

Kind regards,
John Willemsens,
Advayavada Foundation.
advayavada.org/#plan

Advayavada Study Plan – weeks 25 + 26

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 were, this quarter, the subjects of weeks 14 to 18) 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 improve my understanding of the practice of meditation (dhyana in Sanskrit, jhana in Pali) whose purpose is to attain a deeper concentration of the mind (Samadhi in Sanskrit and Pali), but without becoming preoccupied, however, with a factually non-existent self (svabhava-shunyata, lit. self-nature emptiness, is a central notion in Madhyamaka philosophy) – what’s your specific objective this quarter?

In week 14 we observed and studied the impermanence or changeability of all things, in week 15 we studied the selflessness and finitude of all things, in week 16 we observed the ubiquity of existential suffering in the world, in week 17 we continued to deepen our understanding that ignorant craving and attachment are the immediate causes of existential suffering, and in week 18 we surveyed the Noble Eightfold Path that eliminates the immediate causes of existential suffering, thus concluding the preliminary subjects.

In week 19 we honestly reviewed and took stock of our personal situation (first step), in week 20 we took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course (second step), in week 21 we again put our decision and objective in writing (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), and, to conclude this 13-week action plan, in week 25 we shall again make our best possible evaluation of our efforts to date and in week 26 we shall continue to develop and deepen our very best meditation towards samadhi*.

These tasks are based on the seventh and eighth step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-sati (in Pali) or samyak-smriti (in Sanskrit); in Advayavada Buddhism’s usage: our very best observation or reflection and self-correction; in Dutch: onze beste aandacht (de zevende stap op het edele achtvoudige pad), and samma-samadhi (in Pali) or samyak-samadhi (in Sanskrit); in Advayavada Buddhism’s usage: our very best meditation or concentration towards samadhi; in Dutch: onze beste bezinning (de achtste stap op het edele achtvoudige pad).

*Samadhi (Pali and Sanskrit): total or perfect concentration (of the mind, cf. enstasy); non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object; total absorption in the object of meditation; transcendence of the relationship between mind and object; merging of subject and object; to contemplate the world without any perception of objects; suspension of judgement; turiyatita; satori; bodhi; rigpa; realization of the sameness of the part and the whole, of the identity of form and emptiness, of samsara and nirvana, of the immediate and the ultimate; mystic oneness; perfect dynamic attunement with wondrous overall existence; oceanic feeling; wonder, awe, rapture; essential purity; deep love and compassion; awareness of our common ground and the innocence of sex.

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.

Weeks 25 and 26 have been combined in one instalment due to holidays; please feel free to share it as usual.

Kind regards,
John Willemsens,
Advayavada Foundation.
@advayavada

Advayavada Study Pan – week 12

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 were the subjects of weeks 1 to 5, 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 observe and interpret as closely as possible the workings in my own life of pratityasamutpada, i.e. the process of universal relativity or interdependent origination, understood as in Madhyamaka, where ‘all causes are effects and all effects are causes’, and karma, understood as the everchanging knotlet of biopsychosocial events in which I am personally embedded – what’s yours?)

In week 6 we reviewed and took stock of our personal situation and circumstances, in week 7 we took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course, in week 8 we put our decision and objective in writing as precisely as possible, in week 9 we further developed our very best attitude to carry out our improved personal objective, in week 10 we implemented our improved way of doing things as best as possible, in week 11 we concentrated on mustering our very best effort and commitment to fulfil our improved objective and, to continue our current 13-week plan of action, in week 12 we again make our best possible evaluation of our efforts to date.

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 usage: our very best observation or reflection and self-correction; in Dutch: onze beste aandacht (de zevende stap op het edele achtvoudige pad). Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh says that Right Mindfulness is at the heart of the Buddha’s teaching: “When Right Mindfulness is present, the Four Noble Truths and the other seven elements of the Eightfold Path are also present.” 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.

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 essentially due to the very many not knowing or not understanding or simply disbelieving the true nature of existence.

Other translations of the 7th step are: right loneliness (Arnold), right alertness (Burt), right mindfulness (Bahm, Bodhi, Ch’en, Conze, Dhammananda, Dharmapala, Eliot, Fernando, Gethin, Harvey, Horner, Karunadasa, Keown, Malalasekera, Narada, Rahula, Rhys Davids, Saddhatissa, St Ruth, Takakusu), appropriate mindfulness (Batchelor), right attention (David-Neel), right recollectedness (Grimm, Watts), right inspection (Guenther), right recollection (Humphreys, Stroup), right attentiveness (Khemo, Nyanatiloka), right concentration (Kornfield), right thought (Narasu), right remembering (Melamed), right remembrance, right memory, right awareness; full understanding of action and thought (Edwardes); correct attention (Kloppenborg, Scheepers), right self-possession (Warder).

Feel free to share these ASP instalments.

Kind regards,
John Willemsens,
Advayavada Foundation.
@advayavada.