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Denis Wallez
Works at koan.mu
Attended International Buddhist College
Lives in Rhône-Alpes
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Denis Wallez

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Rational kindness

Regularly, people question whether compassion and loving-kindness truly are important (in the grand scheme of "seeing things as they are", or of living without biases, prejudices, preferences...) or not so much.

There's first a mistake of opposing equanimity to compassion.
Compassion is not pity (they're "close enemy" in fact: confusing one for the other might switch wholesome intention into unwholesome). One arises naturally from seeing clearly, the other arises from attachments, righteousness, views on how the world 'should' be. Equanimity weakens pity, but strengthens compassion. The more you see the appropriateness of the cessation of dukkha (for each being, in each context) and do so without biases, prejudices, preferences, ignorance, the more equanimity supports compassion and loving-kindness.

The second mistake is to think that compassion and loving-kindness are somehow 'special' wishes, which are not subject to conventional thought, rational thought.
Buddhism is not flower power. One has to be awfully formatted by consumerism and capitalism to assume that rationality only supports naive selfish interest. Wise selfish interest supports collaboration, which implies exchanging the currency of collaboration: the care of others.
To think that rationality implies a naively narrow selfishness is like the error of assuming that Darwinism is the law of the strongest (dinosaurs?) while it really is the law of the fit (which implies that the environment, natural but also social, cannot be a 'separate' concern). Fitness allows for a lot more collaboration than competition in strength does, and collaboration allows for a legitimate existence of the weaker (somehow providing a service to the stronger, cf. e.g. symbiotic existences of the pilot fish and the shark: a common interest can exist, self-centredness isn't the ultimate determinant of success).

Below are some rational elements worth exploring.

#Buddhism
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Seems so obvious to me that I sometimes have a hard time accepting that it is not in fact obvious for some people.
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June

   Still busy searching for a suitable place to create the dharma house… so 16 posts in June, but a limited 4 new personal contributions:
Basic ethics
  gplus.wallez.name/1AKoZUebqfx
How far may guilt unfold?
  gplus.wallez.name/eEynUc3qsUa
Food
  gplus.wallez.name/MU166VDg7oY
• Japanese aspects of Amida's Pure Land, before Pure Land Buddhism
  gplus.wallez.name/17XSXFrhXLT

   In June, this original content as well as the interactions and moderation in g+ communities, the contributions in comment threads and all the requested one-to-one guidances, were financially supported by 14 people (i.e. 6 less than a year ago —notably 1 generous supporter who alone  covered approximately a quarter of all  donations, until April, and thus had greatly helped make this page available to all without condition). Nowadays, 285 people (i.e. 61 more than a year ago) ask for notifications when original content is posted.
   The new "tip jar" functionality on youtube is not yet proposed for my location. Moreover, I'm not convinced we should move all content to video, just to benefit from tipping: written form has virtues too!
   Please contribute towards the concrete production of content you enjoy and share, via koan.mu/donate.htm


#Buddhism   #TableOfContents   #FundRaising  
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Well put.
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Yogacara buddhism consistent with Darwinism?
Reality as inter-dependent streams of consciousness?

via +Gideon Rosenblatt 
 
On Reality and the Truth of Your Conscious Perception Thereof
This talk should be watched with the following passage from Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence firmly in mind:

Normal human adults have a range of remarkable cognitive talents that are not simply a function of possessing a sufficient amount of general neural processing power or even a sufficient amount of general intelligence: specialized neural circuitry is also needed. This observation suggests the idea of possible but non-realized cognitive talents, talents that no actual human possesses even though other intelligent systems—ones with no more computing power than the human brain—that did have those talents would gain enormously in their ability to accomplish a wide range of strategically relevant tasks. were we to gain some new set of modules giving an advantage comparable to that of being able to form complex linguistic representations, we would become superintelligent.

And keep considering this passage when the talk delves into the perception of the beetle and contrasts that to the perception of us humans. 

In many ways this is a subtle talk that tries to delve into subtle but very profound points. Personally I swayed throughout the talk, with him then against him, agreeing then disagreeing. But this is understandable because Donald advocates abandonment of the concrete reality that I believe exists, and instead suggests consciousness as a primary causal entity in a deeper underlying reality; this may make some of you dismiss the talk as unworthy but trust me and give Donald 20 minutes of your time to try and sway you. At the end I’d tentatively stepped up onto the fence with one foot certainly dangling on his side, and mainly by considering the plausibility of the above passage from Superintelligence. 

The potential and importance of our ability to eventually create new cognitive modules (either for ourselves or our machine descendents) that are able to perceive the world in a more realistic way, able to strip away the previous illusory interface we take for granted and so peer deeper and more truly at the underlying reality that we inhabit. At times like this it seems as if our development and growth has only just begun and we have so very much farther to go. 

This metaphor paints superintelligent agents with superperception as comparable to us, as we are comparable to the beetle, and questions how different and how grand reality must appear from such an omnipresent viewpoint. There are also one or two places in the talk that paint the following passage from Superintelligence in an entirely different light:

We could thus imagine, as an extreme case, a technologically highly advanced society, containing many complex structures, some of them far more intricate and intelligent than anything that exists on the planet today—a society which nevertheless lacks any type of being that is conscious or whose welfare has moral significance. In a sense, this would be an uninhabited society. It would be a society of economic miracles and technological awesomeness, with nobody there to benefit. A Disneyland without children. 

I’m referring of course to the experiments on the evolution of fitness, always at the expense of accurate and truthful representations and perceptions of reality, and indeed driving to extinction accurate perceptions of reality. For if we are to a being with superperception as a beetle is to us, then is our cherished reality only a tiny bit better than a Disneyland without children in any case?

Donald Hoffman’s page at the University of California, Irvine http://www.cogsci.uci.edu/~ddhoff/ has a great list of related resources and media to access, from talks to accessible publications like this recent one http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00577/full that delves into more academic detail the topics and themes covered in this talk. 

Key parts of the talk:

➜ Listen very carefully to what is said between 16:00 and 18:00

There is something that exists when you don’t look at it, but it is not spacetime and physical objects.

Perception is not about seeing truth, it’s about having kids. 

#consciousness   #reality   #perception  
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+Denis Wallez The mind wants to make sense to our existence in evolution where there is no collective mind in knowledge to defining our culture has any origins to the invention of god and an intelligent design behind this universe of infinity...
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Saññāvedayitanirodha - The Attainment of Cessation

Sāriputta to Ānanda :

"Here, friend , by completely transcending the base of neither-perception-nor-nonperception, I entered and dwelled in the cessation of perception and feeling. Yet, friend, it did not occur to me, ‘I am attaining the cessation of perception and feeling,’ or ‘I have attained the cessation of perception and feeling,’ or ‘I have emerged from the cessation of perception and feeling."

"It must be because I-making, mine-making, and the underlying tendency to conceit have been thoroughly uprooted in your mind for a long time that such thoughts did not occur to you."

From SN 28: 1– 9
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Food
(food for thought)

   If you're interested, even remotely, into spirituality and/or Buddhism, then you ought to enquire about your food.
   Food is so fundamental a need (even among the "four requisites" for monastics) that it is at the very root of many causal chains, but also the consequence of many intentions and actions, not all of which are ethically equivalent.
   Ethical questions in relation to food are many: from animal welfare to human welfare (conditions for workers, impact on health of consumers…), from feeding the poor vs. refusing to (in the name of protecting future profits, or some fantasy fight against communism, or some Biblical reference while conveniently forgetting its many calls to solidarity and sharing…), from waste management to environmental destruction.

   If you're interested, even remotely, into spirituality and/or Buddhism, then you ought to enquire about your food… because you're unlikely to give rise to a healthy mind in inter-dependence with a poisoned brain! You're unlikely to help others if you don't reflect on how they, and you,  participate in a poisonous status quo.


   "Food, Inc" is a 93' documentary. In this age of instant gratification and fast entertainment, an hour and a half is a long time… but this is for your education, and this might have noticeable consequences on your engagement with the world, so I'd suggest to take the time, or make the time. Make it your evening program!

   This is not about vegetarianism. I'd still suggest that being mindful of waste would be a wholesome first step of practice, rather than vegetarianism (gplus.wallez.name/TGBUJMuqewF). As far as I understood, Pope Francis very recently took a similar position against the "culture of waste".

   This is not about agreeing with the conclusions / positions of the documentary, either. Ethical questions are complex and cannot be so many summarised and reduced to such a short program.

   But it's about starting an enquiry, or feeding a reflection. It's about raising awareness about consequences, causality, both in how some food yield to consequences, and how some views / priorities (not just greed by major companies but also by average Joe making choices) yield to particular types of food… i.e. awareness in inter-dependence, and responsibility.

   As per the kalama sutta (gplus.wallez.name/PUQ2AeReGEM), don't just appropriate the conclusions of others… but, please, do enquire! Do reflect! Do think! Do observe, do draw conclusions, and do respond appropriately!


#engagedBuddhism  
93 minutes | For most Americans, the ideal meal is fast, cheap, and tasty. Food, Inc. examines the costs of putting value and convenience over nutrition and environmental impact. Director Robert Kenner...
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Thank you so much for sharing this.
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« Intentions do matter »

   Recently, someone asked « How do you apply "intentions matter" in the case of a catastrophic outcome due to a poor judgement with good intentions? To what extent do they matter in a practical way? »


   Part of the pun of « Intentions do matter » is simply to point that intentions have physical consequences (in acts, possibly via speech first), i.e. intentions are 'causes' and should therefore be engaged with seriously, in particular if one wants to treat various causes of suffering rather than merely the symptoms.
   But one has to be careful about a classic cognitive error: saying that some phenomenon is a cause for some other phenomenon does not  imply that it's the only cause, or that the causal unfolding is independent from the context at hand.


   Good intentions are what makes you want to iterate and fix things, an attitude which is extremely 'practical'.

   Mistakes happen, it's human. But people who just want to look good (the "reputation" angle of the "8 worldly winds") abandon the situation once the reputation has been damaged… while people who had actual good intentions iterate, try again differently, etc. Often the next iteration starts with an apology and an explanation of one's previous, flawed thought process: victims of errors can often forgive errors made in good faith, people know that humans aren't gods and can make mistakes.

   So intentions do matter, since repeated attempts are more likely to succeed than a one-off (this is true whether the intention is wholesome or not… "Practice makes perfect").
   As a side note, karma relates to habits, views, repetitions, 'tendencies'… One-offs are not karmic. Once you intend to repeat (maybe because you liked the outcome of the first time), then there's appropriation, there's grasping, there's karma… So wholesome karma is directly linked to repeated  attempts to live wholesomely; it's not about doing good from time to time, to self-servingly calm one's conscience when anguish rises.


   But a key point to remember is that good intentions alone aren't enough to guaranty a good outcome.

   Partly karma (consequences of previous intentions still unfolding: the past doesn't vanish just because of one good intention now)…
   Partly the fact that intentions do not exist in a vacuum (interaction with a context might cause lack of fitness between intention and situation at hand: a classic example is when a right intention turns into righteousness)…
   And partly the simple fact that intentions are usually aggregates: we don't have just one  intention, we have many at the same time (e.g. doing good and  looking good).

   When things go 'wrong', we tend to pretend that we only had one  ('good') intention, and that its purity should have guaranteed a desired outcome… but it's not reality. The mind is an aggregate: many streams inter-acting. Moreover, no matter how 'good' or 'wholesome' a desired outcome is imagined to be, clinging to an outcome is still samsaric clinging,  a source of frustration when the desired outcome doesn't materialise as expected (or even as soon as expected).

   One example of how multiple intentions can interact appears specifically when we do mistakes we could have avoided: there was an intention to help but there also was e.g. an intention to do so quickly, or to do so without putting too much effort / attention / mindfulness (maybe due to an erroneous view that "it's easy" or simply that one "has other things to do" —mixing expectations and anticipations with the here&now!)… i.e. trying to help at minimum cost (the minimum cost might be high already, but it's still the minimum).
   The intention to save one's resources ("emotional energy" to start with, but also time, money, etc.) is usually called 'greed' and, therefore, a greedy intention often interacts with a more generous intention.  We want to be generous "but not too much"… It's 'normal', it's "things as they are", it's who we are (greedy, unawakened, selfish self-centric me,me,me) but this illustrates how multiple intentions interact. And it's not about judging this situation, it's about engaging constructively with it to move beyond (for example by questioning our prejudices, our preconceptions, our priorities, our views…).
   Good intention associated with not wanting to spend too much resources might lead to negligence, to not paying attention enough, which in turn might lead to errors and bad outcomes. At that point, coming up with a narrative about the good intention is obviously not telling the whole story, and it's not gonna help anyone. But that's where iterating matters, where perseverance and patience matter, where goodness matters: we learnt that the situation is not as easy as we thought, and we were reminded that we should give full attention to what we do (e.g. "here and now" while helping, not helping here and now but thinking of resources elsewhere or in the future)… With this lesson in mind, and compassion for our ignorant self, we can iterate and do better next time, maybe even solve what we initially wanted to solve!


   As a side note, « no matter how 'good' or 'wholesome' a desired outcome is imagined to be, clinging to an outcome is still  samsaric clinging, a source of frustration when the desired outcome doesn't materialise as expected (or even as soon as expected) » is a reason why bodhisattvas return/live "in samsara": even being fully dedicated to help all sentient beings can prove frustrating (as one clings to a prejudiced outcome, which might e.g. not turn up as soon as one would hope… or as one clings to a generic version of "save all beings" and becomes frustrated by the endless need to decline this for each specific being in their specific situation with their specific defilements —classic case of "compassion fatigue")!
   Good intentions do matter, but they don't shield one from frustration.
   Patience and perseverance are perfected qualities (paramitas)… Acting out of seeing clearly, rather than out of righteousness, is key. When your intention aligns with what's constructive / wholesome in the context at hand,  there's less weight given to the anticipation of a particular outcome and more weight given to simply doing what needs doing. By re-centering from future imagined 'outcome' to current factual 'need', one reduces the frustration (reduce, not avoid).
   If some element of the context (possibly some persistent unfolding from the past) interferes and prevents the "right view" from leading to a constructive response immediately, then equanimity, patience and perseverance are your best allies. Equanimity helps in not seeing oneself as a failure, or an intention as faulty, "in hindsight", due to the difficulty met: keep looking clearly (without biases, preferences, prejudices, self-centredness…), see what's blocking the situation, and engage again, as constructively as needed!


#Buddhism   #Dharma  
   With my deepest thanks to the person who asked the questions this post starts with.
   Unattributed illustration of a bodhisattva
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helpful. still too much material to digest YET nice try.....
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« Des déclinaisons à l’infini  (dont celle du journal qui, comme les autres, surfe la vague!) qui font le bonheur des éditeurs, mais risquent, à terme, de décrédibiliser le sujet. »
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Best-sellers, applis, cours... La pleine conscience est partout. Cet art de vivre l’instant présent rassure. Ses fondements scientifiques aussi.
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Bah, it's a video so... looks like I won't be watching it. :/ I am pretty video averse (mostly because I feel they waste my time when I could read through a transcript much faster). Though I have read on other sources how awareness is the hip thing today. I just hope it doesn't end up diluting the power of it as everybody feels so "aware" due to their five minute haste meditation. A more awakened society would do us much good... such as perhaps saving humanity from the impending hell of climate warning. 
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Discernment… sometimes appropriate, sometimes not; sometimes relevant, sometimes not… hence the need for Wisdom, not just discernment!
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Some Japanese aspects of Amida's Pure Land, before Pure Land Buddhism

   In 847, Ennin (793–864) returned to Japan after nearly a decade in China. Although he was aiming for Mount T’ien-t’ai, Ennin never could reach it, due to bureaucratic difficulties, and instead spent some time in Wutaishan (mostly dedicated to a cult of Manjusri) and in Chang’an (studying notably under Faquan, proposing a different form of tantric tradition). Ennin returned to Japan with 584 volumes (221 tantric), 59 mandala, paintings, artefacts, and most importantly the associated knowledge. He was appointed abbot of Enryakuji in 854, adding new meditations techniques from Wutaishan and tantric rituals (notably the “Eight-syllables rite for Manjusri” and the “Ritual of abundant light” which became the Tendai rite for protection of Ruler and State). This mixing of influences participated in distinguishing Japanese Tendai from Chinese T’ien-t’ai.

   Ennin can also be credited for promoting Amidism in Japan, based on a meditation technique mentioned by Chigi (the T’ien-t’ai patriarch): the constantly walking samadhi  (circumambulating an image of Amitabha without rest, for 90 days —or 7 days in another form,— while visualising the image and intoning the name). This explains how Amida became popular in Japan as early as the Heian period, centuries before the actual rise of Pure Land Buddhism.


   The increasing popularity of bodhisattvas and buddhas as ‘saviours’ during the Heian period, and of the notion of a paradise where beings are not subject to downward rebirth, wasn’t as much a moderation of the karmic causality as it was the introduction of the only ‘realistic’ hope (during the Latter Days of Dharma) for salvation.
   Some aspects of Amidism during the Heian period were sociologically interesting, because they reveal adaptations of Buddhism towards what people want  to believe. Buddhism had been introduced for several centuries already, and its main tenets were reasonably understood, but it is during the Heian period that it reached lower stratas of society and became popular. The general population did not necessarily have the education to understand, let alone accept, the most difficult points of the Dharma.


   The buddha Amida shouldn’t a priori be called for a funeral. The name should be called while alive by the person intending to be reborn in his Pure Land, due to the 18th bodhisattva vow of Hōzō Bosatsu (who later became Amida) according to the sutra of Infinite Life (Muryōjukyō); there’s little point in theory to call Amida for the benefit of another.
   However, “calling Amida’s Name”, “commending someone to Amida’s mercy”  or “chanting the Name of Amida”  was common in Heian Japan… and might still happen at a funeral much later.
   The reason is that the ‘deceased’ might only appear  deceased —due to a spirit / defiled mental stream?— while still having their last subtle breaths. The spirit is trying to get any support for the dying (to concentrate on the nembutsu) stopped, by confusing the mourners into thinking that the time to call Amida has passed. [One might note that later reforms in Shin Buddhism made the concentration on the nembutsu as one's last thought —orientating one's rebirth— less of a 'requirement', but during the Heian period this was considered necessary for Amida to take you into Pure Land]


   It was common for lovers to wish to be reborn “on the same lotus”  in Amida’s paradise, or for parents to wish to meet again a beloved child in Pure Land.
   It was known that this was a worldly wish rather than Buddhist doctrine: when brought together again in another life, people do not recognise each other. In the Tale of Genji, a mother might thus say to her sick daughter “it feels like ages since we last met, although it is really only two or three days, I know that it is foolish of me, but you know, this may be the last time you and I are together, and what good will it do us to meet again only in a future life?”
   Although it was known to be a worldly wish, the theme of rebirth on the same lotus remained and is found e.g. in “The Love Suicides at Sonezaki”, a play by Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653–1725), first performed in 1703… long after the Pure Land teachings had been mastered in Japan! Popular beliefs do not always align with the deeper doctrinal perspectives.


   It was common to "take the precepts" when one felt death coming. 
   According to the Kanmuryōju-kyō (sutra on the Contemplation on Buddha Amitayus, one of the three sutras of Pure Land Buddhism), a single day and night observing the Precepts (suited to one’s condition, lay or monastic, male or female) can lead to rebirth in paradise, “in the middle form of the middle grade,” a notion relatively distant from the increasingly-popular nembutsu notion.
   As spirits may make someone look dead, sometimes a person might enter the monastic orders after death: “it is too late for her in this life, but please tell [the monks] they are to cut her hair, so that she may at least have the Buddha’s mercy on the dark road before her”. The “dark road” is an expression from the Lotus sutra. It was understood that this might not help: “it would not light her way to the world beyond just to cut her hair, though, if she is gone, and she would only be more painful to look at, so I am not sure that I recommend it”.


   The "middle form of the middle grade" refers to the nine possible stations in Amida's Pure Land. Such a belief allows for positive or negative karma to be relevant without cancelling the core belief that the paradise itself is due to Amida’s compassion and offered to most beings.
   Repeatedly, the rebirth in Amida’s paradise is evoked as the “birth on a lotus”.  The soul is reborn in Amida’s paradise enthroned on a lotus flower from the lake before Amida and his palace.
   Most 'souls' reaching Amida’s paradise were born not onto open lotus flower but into closed buds, and they had to wait a longer and shorter time for their flowers to open.
   While in a closed bud, they could only distantly hear the music before Amida’s throne. In worldly experience, this might be alluded to the following way: “overhearing the noise of horses and carriages, the ladies here and there felt as though they now knew what it must be like inside the still-unopened lotus flower”.


#Buddhism   #history
Photo: mount Fuji. 
Previous posts related to Pure Land:
gplus.wallez.name/RsHm5UXMqPc
gplus.wallez.name/eA2zWm3LTTz
gplus.wallez.name/GV9CwowZUdm
gplus.wallez.name/ipstgVyyiVj
• gplus.wallez.name/KAjUWUfyyrL
On a link between Amida and Zen: cf. +Bup Sahn's post  plus.google.com/+BupSahnJammin042/posts/8CRHWYgT6xX and associated comments, so as not to associate Amida exclusively with Pure Land Buddhism.
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Our brains are like plastic. We can alter neurochemistry to change beliefs, thoughts processes, emotions, etc. You are the architect of your brain. You also have the power to act against dangerous impulses such as addiction.
Did you know you can rewire your brain? Neuroscientific research breakthroughs are revealing fascinating new truths about the malleability of our brains and, thus, the malleability of ourselves as well.
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The Buddhist teachings suggest we have a mind that is luminous and precious (like a diamond) and that our happiness depends on us cultivating this jewel within.

Drawing on the Buddha’s sutras, I show how finding this jewel of our mind requires effort, patience and a willingness to go against the flow of what society calls happiness.

See more at: http://www.enthusiasticbuddhist.com/ 

#buddhism  
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   +Abdul Wahab, not sure what this does in this thread… but here it is succinctly: violence is unwholesome (ethically wrong, not constructive in any way towards peace or towards the cessation of suffering for all beings).

   This being said, heightening the stakes of some religious war hardly would help.
   To present Muslims as "always oppressed" wouldn't help either. It would just lead to tit-for-tat debates and "whataboutism" (i.e. Muslims ask "what about Myanmar?" and others ask e.g. "what about ISIS?"… All end up confusing specific local situations with generic religious labels: this helps no one, and doesn't help to find solutions either).
   It is not about Muslims blindly taking the defence of Muslims and Buddhists blindly pretending that Buddhists cannot be wrong… If you pay attention, you'll realise that most buddhists in the world have condemned the violence in Myanmar.

   May I suggest that you follow +Justin Whitaker who regularly posts well-informed updates on the conflict, typically looking at local specifics, instead of using wide generic labels.
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Education
  • International Buddhist College
    M.A. in Buddhist Studies, 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)
  • French Air Force
    Certificat d'Aptitude Militaire, 2000
    Sergent (R)
  • École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications de Bretagne
    M.Sc. in Telecommunications (ingénieur), 1993 - 1996
    Computer science (major in «Parallel and Distributed Computing»), maths, physics, economics, foreign languages (fluent: English, Spanish) — options (Japanese & 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
Gender
Male
Relationship
Married
Story
Tagline
«Intentions do matter.»
Introduction
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…


As a dharma teacher, I do not sell exclusive content, or access, to the lucky few… so I live on donations and crowd-funding. So if you appreciate my work and see value in it (for yourself or for others), please consider supporting me by monthly or one-off donations (via Paypal). This is important: many teachers and temples vanished in the past and many more vanish today, when everyone uses easy cop-outs and counts on supposed 'others' to let the teachers live.


Popular original posts (based on +1's) included:

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

The popular «meditation» series is now accessible via koan.mu/meditation.htm

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, …


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'."

Finally, if you wonder about who granted me my 'authority' as a teacher, or as a priest, or where I learnt, or who certified or confirmed whatever attainment… I don't tell! However, my reasons are openly communicated; so you're free to make your own choices.
Work
Occupation
Buddhist teacher
Skills
Listening & responding with compassion, loving-kindness, sympathetic joy and equanimity… Cutting through veils of ignorance (notably ignorance of logic and of causality)
Employment
  • koan.mu
    teacher, 2012 - 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…
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Rhône-Alpes
Previously
Amiens - Lyon - Plouzané (France) - Budapest (Hungary) - Paris (France) - Bruxelles (Belgium) - London (United Kingdom) - Chennai (India)
Contact Information
Work
Email