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 specific objective this quarter is to further explain the tenets of the non-dual and life-affirming philosophy and way of life we call Advayavada Buddhism to my fellow Buddhists in my country and elsewhere – what’s yours?)
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 on the Path at any time (see weeks 27 to 31).
To remind you, in week 32 we reviewed and took stock of our personal situation and circumstances, in week 33 we took an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course, in week 34 we put our decision and objective in writing as precisely as possible, in week 35 we further developed our very best attitude to carry out our improved personal objective, in week 36 we implemented our improved modus operandi as best as possible, in week 37 we continued to muster our very best effort to fulfil our improved objective, and in week 38 we made our best possible evaluation of our efforts until then.
This week (39) we shall continue to develop our very best meditation towards samadhi.
This task is based on the 8th step on the Noble Eightfold Path: 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.
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.
Other translations of the 8th step are: right rapture (Arnold, Eliot, Malalasekera), right samadhi (Bahm, Dharmapala), right concentration (Bodhi, Burt, Ch’en, Conze, Dhammananda, Fernando, Gethin, Grimm, Guenther, Harvey, Horner, Karunadasa, Khemo, Narada, Nyanatiloka, Rahula, Saddhatissa, St Ruth, Takakusu, Warder), appropriate concentration (Batchelor), right meditation (David-Neel, Humphreys, Keown, Stroup), right meditating (Melamed), right illumination (Dharmapala), right awareness (Kornfield), right tranquility (Narasu), right contemplation (Rhys Davids, Watts); absolute concentration of purpose (Edwardes); correct concentration (Kloppenborg, Scheepers)
The Advayavada Study Plan (ASP) is repeated in full in the fourth quarter starting next week (40).