Advayavada Study Plan – week 16

Dear friends,

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

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.

Advayavada Buddhism does not tell you what to do or believe, but how 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 ASP is repeated four times a year.

As stated earlier, my personal objective this quarter is to further develop my good relations with fellow Buddhists in my country – no doubt you have your own specific objective.

To continue this weekly series, this week (16) we again study the ubiquity of existential suffering as thoroughly as possible.

This task is based on the concept of dukkha (Pali) or duhkha (Sanskrit). Dukkha or duhkha means undergoing suffering, sorrow; dissatisfaction; frustration, stress; pervasive unsatisfactoriness; gnawing unease; the existential distress non-liberated human beings are prone to. It is one 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 or physical pain and is not 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 rather a suffering in the sense of a basic frustration, even suffocation, caused by the feeling that ‘reality does not conform to our innermost desires’ (David Loy).

Kind regards,
John Willemsens,
Advayavada Foundation.