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Denis Wallez
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Attended International Buddhist College
Lives in Rhône (France)
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Denis Wallez

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If you're on Facebook, well… is there too!

Sincerely, I didn't think this would happen; but I guess the war on words of google is just wearing me down… to a point where it becomes obvious I have better things to do than fighting back.

The reshares that behave completely differently between the 'classic' g+ interface (i.e. text of reshare, then original text, then link or picture) and the 'new' g+ interface (i.e. text of reshare, then link or picture, then greyed almost-invisible text from original post collapsed to a single line) are just making it too obviously painful that writing anything here is pointless nowadays.

Even the old principle of sharing my Public posts into the "Buddhism and Meditation" community is bordering on content-suicide these days, since my textual contribution (i.e. the content) basically disappears, only to transform a mere illustration into the main content!

If the only way to share text, is to create multiple posts and copy-paste between them, rather than using the 'share' button, it doesn't take much to understand that google couldn't care less about text.

I won't even talk about recent changes in text formatting, now automatically suppressing any white space at the beginning of a paragraph, and therefore killing a classical use of indentation at the beginning of a new paragraph! Now, to make paragraphs appear, you now need to jump a line… or hope/pray that the last line of the previous paragraph has the good taste of finishing long before filling the width of the text area (which you don't control).

The events are still nowhere to be seen in the 'new' g+, constituting a loss of opportunities for hangouts on air (remember those?), or for announcing events, e.g. retreats at!

So yes, I'll continue posting here, for now… but, from this day,  also has a Facebook page: see below! With a calendar of events!
Even +koan.無 has one ( it's not particularly active now, but this might seriously change if links are the only content that can be posted and shared on g+, for then it's also easy to post and share them on FB!

For me to do so, after several hundreds of original posts over 5 years to create content on g+ exclusively, will illustrate how tired I am of this war on words and of the general contempt google shows toward the few still trying to use g+ as a platform for something else than mere link-littering!

I get it: a link with a good title is all google needs to know what's of interest to people, and therefore to better target search results and adverts… Why care about providing a reasonable platform for exchanges, when links are enough to graph 'interests'?

deborah rabbit white's profile photoAdam Black's profile photoDenis Wallez's profile photo
It's not flat: it cannot function as a terrace. But there's a terrace in the garden anyway... No need for another one on the roof.
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Program of retreats extended to Christmas 2016!
Detailed descriptions to be added soon.

in English:
en français :

To stay up to date with events, you might want to register to 's newsletter (e.g. from the retreats page).
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As I explained in my post on Vesak (, I pick the UN date… for its implicit distance from 'local' authorities, and its promotion of a 'shared' world we deal with together.
But the head of the UN sees the counter-perspective, that the UN can be inspired by Buddhism! ;-)
In current times of hateful rhetoric aimed at dividing communities and violent conflicts, the Buddhist teachings of compassion and non-violence can help the international community tackle pressing challenges, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said in his message on the Day of Vesak.
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Le site de est désormais bilingue: anglais / français !
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Lutter contre les discriminations est important, et le sexisme a assez duré.
De ce point de vue, la langue française elle-même véhicule un sexisme relativement récent mais désormais bien ancré.

Le site de suit donc les préconisations du Haut Conseil pour l'Égalité entre les femmes et les hommes (HCE|fh), que l'on peut trouver dans le document utile ! L'attention de ceux intéressés pourra notamment se porter sur les pages 8, 9 et 13.
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Cheap outrage? Or insight followed by some act?

The "work for exposure" is the exploitation of those with hope to bring something original, via empty promises

It thrives on bankrupting those who have the courage to try, and on perpetually finding the next person to bankrupt (often by dismissing the previous provider as "too weak to succeed"… hardly some positive, grateful exposure!).

Sainsbury's would not even help with the exposure (which doesn't naturally happen for some work in a private canteen), would not actually promote the artist… but was happy to pay for the ad to be in a newspaper! How grand!

Artists are correct to mock Sainsbury's, and to hurt the brand as badly as they can so the lesson is learnt. But it's not just artists who react.

For those who find the behaviour of Sainsbury's management outrageous or 'unwholesome', I'd however promote asking yourselves if you're not behaving exactly the same way, by looking for 'authors' to volunteer their skills without you contributing anything, every time you look for images, videos, news, books, etc. for free on the internet… Most people don't even try to find and provide an 'attribution' when they reuse an image, i.e. the 'exposure' is a farce! It's just personal appropriation without regard for the authors.

For those interested in Buddhism, I'd also promote "looking into the mirror"… and asking yourselves if you're not behaving exactly the same way by looking for a 'teacher' to volunteer their skills [e.g. on the internet] (a 'teacher' or a 'community', a 'temple', etc.) without you contributing to their "four requisites" (shelter, clothes, food, medicine).

Cheap outrage is just that: cheap! Supporting the sangha takes more than exposure; extremely few buddhists in the West realise that, even when they 'identify' as buddhists!
Yes, it's always possible to look for the next provider of free images, articles, reflections, quotes, videos, whatever… but "I want more free stuff" is self-centred craving, it's not what the understanding of inter-dependency is about. or

h/t +Jürgen Hubert 
From a private share.

From the "fuck you, pay me" files.
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Naga R Dhoopati's profile photoTerry Lightfoot's profile photoDenis Wallez's profile photoSarge Misfit's profile photo
Perhaps, but it does seem to be something to check out.
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The necessity of being able to say 'no', for freedom to exist
and the ineptitude of defining freedom as "absence of constraint"
(food for thought)
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+Denis Wallez I agree in the main. I think in the long term what you've said will very likely happen. The difficulty I see would be in the transition to that state, particularly with respect to shelter - which in many countries in the West is where the highest proportion of household income is going. Low cost, durable, safe, environmentally friendly housing is near impossible to find and the demand keeps rising, particularly when much of the land is owned by a tiny proportion of the population. Exploitation is almost inevitable.The basic income would have to continually match the whims of those who benefit from the current rentier economy in order to remain effective in the short term while the new economy grows.
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Denis Wallez

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Week-end de retraite: Introduction au Bouddhisme
9–10 juillet 2016

Le Bouddhisme est un ensemble de traditions, promulgant de nombreux enseignements tant moraux et philosophiques que psychologiques. Ce week-end d'initiation offre un survol rapide des grandes évolutions historiques de ces traditions, et présente l'unité soutendant cette diversité. La cohérence d'une approche en apparence contradictoire (liant règles et liberté, rejet de la révélation et écoute des maîtres, engagement dans le monde et méditation silencieuse), comme outil pour sortir des caricatures en noir & blanc, y est abordée.
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Happy Vesak

This year, Vesak is a lot more united (20th, 21st or 22nd of May) than last year (May 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 25th, June 1st or 2nd, cf. … although the wolframAlpha link no longer is satisfactory since Wolfram has replaced the lunar computation with mere externally sourced holiday data… and getting it wrong!).

Like I did last year, I'll pick the UN holiday ( as the day to wish you a happy vesak, as I feel it represents best the idea of unity, which is called for in this situation rather than a focus on a specific country, hierarchy or authority.

For those interested in using this day to deepen their understanding of the Dharma, may I suggest a related resource I recently found at (even if the celebration is on the 22nd, due to clinging to national preferences)?

May I bring your attention in particular on the "all media" > "academic books" section ( Some of you might find something of interest there.

This site is struggling right now, I suspect it's just not dimensioned to handle the load of requests it receives today, but I expect it to work better soon and to keep useful resources online for a quite while after the conference.

For those interested in using this day to reflect on embodying the Dharma in our current context, may I suggest checking out some of my recent posts focused on the economy (,,,,,, or even the Pope's last admonition against economic wrong views (, an admonition the Buddha would probably have agreed with, if we're to consider his advice to householders and discourses on "right livelihood".

Please also visit,
• to check on upcoming retreats (,
• to vote on some topics for future retreats ( —we're about to program September–December),
• to subscribe to our newsletter (to stay informed of future events),
• to "walk the talk" and cultivate generosity on such an auspicious day (!

#Buddhism   #Dharma   #engagedBuddhism  
Illustration: bronze figure of Shakyamuni (Chinese, Ming dynasty)
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Happy Vesak to you +Denis Wallez :)
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On leaving classical koans without explanations

Recently, I came across a "Zen story" which probably hoped to be an explained koan:
A Zen student said to his teacher "Master, I have an ungovernable temper. Help me get rid of it."
"You have something very strange," said the teacher. "Show it to me."
"Right now I cannot show it to you."
"Why not?"
"It arises suddenly."
"Then it cannot be your own true nature," said the teacher, "if it were, you would be able to show it to me at any time. Why are you allowing something that is not yours to trouble your life?"

Thereafter whenever the student felt his temper rising he remembered his teacher’s words and checked his anger. In time, he developed a calm and peaceful temperament.

This definitely appears to me as a modification of a dialogue between Huike and his teacher Bodhidharma… and a classical koan:
Huike said "Your disciple's mind has no peace yet. I beg you, Master, please put it to rest."
Bodhidharma said "Bring me your mind, and I will put it to rest."
Huike said "I have searched for my mind, but I cannot find it."
Bodhidharma said "I have completely put it to rest for you."

Traditionally, koans don't come with explanations: their whole purpose is to create doubt in the midst of certainties (including 'Buddhist' certainties and dogma)! They raise questions —usually in the form of 'contradictions' (for the ignorant mind still trapped in ignorance and notably in dualism). And Korean have a saying: « Great doubt, great awakening. Small doubt, small awakening. No doubt, … »

Revising koans to make them understandable (immediately upon reading them) misses the point!

Moreover, even though there exist 'classical' answers, koans do not come with only one answer. So any explication reduces the vast possibilities, pretending there's only one non-subjective answer, forgetting that the student has to embody the answer in their individual, subjective circumstances, forgetting that wisdom requires navigating between the two truths, not merely sticking to non-dualism!

When someone recently asked for confirmation that « There is only one answer to that old koan, isn't it... », I could only reply: « Certainly not, a koan with only one answer is not a koan: it's just dogma! »

Amazingly, this was the 無/mu koan (which inspired my domain name This koan explicitly exists in two versions to ensure students don't cling to an extreme!

The first version rejected directly the claim that there's only one answer:
A monk asked "Does a dog have a Buddha-nature or not?"
The master said "Not [Mu]!"
The monk said "Above to all the Buddhas, below to the crawling bugs, all have Buddha-nature. Why is it that the dog has not?" [dogmatic certainty, delusion that there's only one answer…]
The master said "Because he has the nature of karmic delusions".

A koan is a tool to help you enquire into the nature of reality, it doesn't presume the answer. If you think there's only one answer, you're grasping at the koan the wrong way. It's an open question, not a rhetorical question (with some implied / implicit answer), it's a true question: answer unknown? Look! Look!

The second version of the 無 koan is to ensure you don't take the previous answer (no!) —from the same Zen master— out of context:
A monk asked Master Joshu "Does a dog have Buddha Nature?"
Joshu replied "Yes." [Wait! What? Why?]
And then the monk said "Since it has, how did it get into that bag of skin?"
Joshu said "Because knowingly, he purposefully offends."

At the end of the day, explanations will usually damage the richness of a "public case".

For example, in the original koan between Bodhidharma and Huike, the point is not about "anger" (not to be reified) but about "mind" (not to be reified): if you cannot find the mind, don't identify with it!

The initial koan might be more cryptic than the revised version, but it is also wider, for it doesn't need to taint the mind with a particular emotion: the mind is not to be found, not to be pinned down, whatever its object!

In Japanese Buddhism, they indeed went on to label this trait of 'mind', as 無心 / mu-shin (in English: no-mind)… which ended up in a Hollywood movie!
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Thank you. A very nice post to contemplate.... or to not contemplate once the meaning is absorbed. ; )
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I Love Incense!
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  • International Buddhist College
    M.A. in Buddhist Studies (award for academic excellence), 2012 - 2015
    Theravāda Buddhism, History of Indian Buddhism, Mahāyāna Buddhism, Buddhism and Society, Lamrim Chenmo, Buddhism In Japan, Theravāda Abhidhamma, Chinese Buddhist Thought, Bodhisattva Ideal, Buddhist Psychotherapy, Survey of the Doctrines of the Abhidharma Schools — independent research on "Japanese Buddhism in the Tale of Genji".
  • Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments
    Certificates in Securities & in Derivatives + annual CPD certificates, 2007 - 2012
    FSA-approved Financial Advisor + individual charter (2009–2012)
  • Armée de l'air
    Certificat d'Aptitude Militaire, 2000
    Sergent (R)
  • École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications de Bretagne
    M.Sc. in Telecommunications (ingénieur Grande École), 1993 - 1996
    Computer science (major in «Parallel and Distributed Computing»), maths, physics, economics, foreign languages (fluent: English, Spanish) + options (Japanese language, art history).
  • Lycée du Parc, Lyon
    Math'Sup' & Math'spé' M, 1991 - 1993
    major in mathematics; minor in physics — ∫ x.dx = 3/2
  • Lycée Lumière, Lyon
    Baccalauréat C, 1991
    majors in mathematics & physics; minor in biology
Basic Information
«Intentions do matter.»
For the time being, my g+ posts are voluntarily limited to Buddhism (as an Eastern mix of philosophy and psychology, not so much as a religion). However, in relation to Buddhism, nothing is considered off-limits!
My primary take on Buddhism is «Might as well be happy, since we're here!» The secondary take addresses how we can cease dissatisfaction in practical terms (considering that mundane life is not an obstacle to the dharma).

Given my other interests and experiences, I might however comment —sometimes at length— on others' posts regarding investment banking, economics, economic policies, politics; computer science, networks; philosophy, psychology;  typography, photography, sculpture; aikido, iaido; music; argentinian tango dancing…

To search through my content, it can be helpful to use the search box at koan.. My energy currently is directed toward opening the bricks-and-mortar manifestation of this endeavour, called dharma house: a face-to-face setup hopefully better suited for an active participation than the passive, TV-like, social media 'streams'.

Some popular original posts included:

The most commented-upon post is: Vegetarianism and lay buddhists
The second most commented-upon post is: Porn

The popular «meditation» series is now accessible via

The «karmic continuation» series is: 1. Capitalism, 2. Dualistic views, 3. "The end justifies the means", 4. Arms race, 5. News (Newtown, MA)

The «Christianity and Zen Buddhism» series: part 1 with annexpart 2part 3 and part 4

I am not a big fan of clinging, and so I quite naturally reject "clinging to traditional translations because they're classical." This includes the usual translation of the four noble truths (classic presentation): cf. the four tasks of the noble one, cf. life is pleasurable and ordinary minds can't get enough of it, cf. "on clinging to a particular translation of the 'four noble truths'."
Buddhist teacher, philosopher and counsellor
Listening & responding with compassion, loving-kindness, sympathetic joy and equanimity… Cutting through veils of ignorance (notably ignorance of logic and of causality)
    teacher, philosopher and counsellor, 2016 - present
    The bricks-and-mortar continuation of koan.無! Founded in 2016, it enables deeper and further ways to practice. []
  • koan.無
    teacher, philosopher and counsellor, 2011 - present
    Many different labels (teacher, ajahn, 師傅, गुरु, 先生, sir…), only one function: transmission of knowledge and tools, to support further enquiry! Learning never stops. []
  • various banks
    investment banker, 1996 - 2012
    Quant'; Head of "R&D"; Head of "model risk"; Trader; Product development lead… but also mentor, coach, trainer, teacher, volunteer, first aider…
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Rhône (France)
Lyon - Plouzané (France) - Budapest (Hungary) - Paris (France) - Bruxelles (Belgium) - London (United Kingdom) - Chennai (India)
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