Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Denis Wallez
«Intentions do matter.»
«Intentions do matter.»


Post has attachment
« May all sentient beings be free from unsatisfactoriness;
May all sentient beings be free from lust, aversion and ignorance »

What is lust?

That which is
passion (rago),
infatuation (sarago),
fawning (anunayo),
compliance (anurodho),
delighting in (nandi),
taking passionate delight in (nandi-rago),
infatuation of mind (cittassa sarago),
longing (iccha),
languishing (muccha),
devouring (ajjhosanaṃ),
greed (gedho),
omnivorous greed (paligedho),
cleaving to (sango),
a slough (panko),
seduction (eja),
trickery (maya),
genitrix (janika),
progenitrix (sanjanani),
seamstress (sibbani),
she who ensnares (jalini),
the river (sarita),
she who is poisonous (visattika),
the thread (suttaṃ),
diffusion (visata),
she who toils (ayuhani),
the consort (dutiya),
hankering (panidhi),
she who leads to renewed existence (bhavanetti).
the jungle (vanaṃ),
the undergrowth (vanatho),
intimacy (santhavo),
unctuous affection (sineho),
affection (apekkha),
connexion (patibandhu),
craving (asa),
wanting (asimsana),
cupidity (asimsitattaṃ),
craving for visual forms (rupasa, etc.),
craving for sounds,
craving for odours,
craving for tastes,
craving for the tangible,
craving for getting,
craving for wealth,
craving for children,
craving for life,
mumbling (jappa),
mumbling on,
mumbling over,
self-indulgence (loluppaṃ),
agitation (puncikata),
longing for the agreeable (sadhu kamyata),
incestuous passion (adhammarago),
lawless lust (visamalobho),
appetite (nikanti),
hungering for (nikamana),
entreating (patthana),
envying (pihana),
imploring (sampatthana),
thirst for sensual indulgence (kamatanha),
thirst for existence (bhavatanha),
thirst for non-existence (vibhavatanha),
thirst for form,
thirst for formlessness,
thirst for annihilation,
thirst for visible forms,
thirst for sounds,
thirst for smells,
thirst for tastes,
thirst for the tangible,
thirst for mental states (dhammatanha),
a flood (ogho),
a yoke (yogo),
trammels (gantho),
attachment (upadanaṃ),
obstruction (avaranaṃ),
hindrance (nivaranaṃ),
counterfeiting (chadanaṃ),
bondage (bandhanaṃ),
depravity (upakkileso),
faltering (anusayo),
pervading (pariyutthanaṃ),
a creeper (lata),
avarice (vevicchaṃ),
root of pain,
source of pain (dukkhanidanaṃ),
production of pain (dukkhappabhavo),
Mara's trap (marapaso),
Mara's fish-hook (marabalisaṃ),
Mara's domain (maravisayo),
thirst for delight (nanditanha),
the fishing-net of thirst (jalamtanha),
the leash of thirst (gaddulatanha),
the ocean (samuddo),
covetousness (abhijjha),
the lust that is the root of evil
— this is what is called lust.

#Buddhism #Dharma
image: a carved white alabaster figure of a monk (Thai, 19th c.)
Add a comment...

Post has shared content
Don't say you weren't warned

15,000 scientists signed this letter warning you yet again: it's time to stop fucking around and get serious.

World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice

Twenty-five years ago, the Union of Concerned Scientists and more than 1700 independent scientists, including the majority of living Nobel laureates in the sciences, penned the 1992 “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity". These concerned professionals called on humankind to curtail environmental destruction and cautioned that “a great change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided.” In their manifesto, they showed that humans were on a collision course with the natural world. They expressed concern about current, impending, or potential damage on planet Earth involving ozone depletion, freshwater availability, marine life depletion, ocean dead zones, forest loss, biodiversity destruction, climate change, and continued human population growth. They proclaimed that fundamental changes were urgently needed to avoid the consequences our present course would bring.

The authors of the 1992 declaration feared that humanity was pushing Earth's ecosystems beyond their capacities to support the web of life. They described how we are fast approaching many of the limits of what the ­biosphere can tolerate ­without ­substantial and irreversible harm. The scientists pleaded that we stabilize the human population, describing how our large numbers—swelled by another 2 billion people since 1992, a 35 percent increase—exert stresses on Earth that can overwhelm other efforts to realize a sustainable future. They implored that we cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and phase out fossil fuels, reduce deforestation, and reverse the trend of collapsing biodiversity.

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of their call, we look back at their warning and evaluate the human response by exploring available time-series data. Since 1992, with the exception of stabilizing the stratospheric ozone layer, humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse. Especially troubling is the current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change due to rising GHGs from burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and agricultural production—particularly from farming ruminants for meat consumption. Moreover, we have unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly 540 million years, wherein many current life forms could be annihilated or at least committed to extinction by the end of this century.

Humanity is now being given a second notice, as illustrated by these alarming trends. We are jeopardizing our future by not reining in our intense but geographically and demographically uneven material consumption and by not perceiving continued rapid population growth as a primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats. By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivize renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperilled biosphere.

As most political leaders respond to pressure, scientists, media influencers, and lay citizens must insist that their governments take immediate action as a moral imperative to current and future generations of human and other life. With a groundswell of organized grassroots efforts, dogged opposition can be overcome and political leaders compelled to do the right thing. It is also time to re-examine and change our individual behaviors, including limiting our own reproduction (ideally to replacement level at most) and drastically diminishing our per capita ­consumption of fossil fuels, meat, and other resources.

The rapid global decline in ozone-depleting substances shows that we can make positive change when we act decisively. We have also made advancements in reducing extreme poverty and hunger. Other notable progress include the rapid decline in fertility rates in many regions attributable to investments in girls’ and women's education, the promising decline in the rate of deforestation in some regions, and the rapid growth in the renewable-energy sector. We have learned much since 1992, but the advancement of urgently needed changes in environmental policy, human behavior, and global inequities is still far from sufficient.

Sustainability transitions come about in diverse ways, and all require civil-society pressure and evidence-based advocacy, political leadership, and a solid understanding of policy instruments, markets, and other drivers. Examples of diverse and effective steps humanity can take to transition to sustainability include the following (not in order of importance or urgency):

(a) prioritizing the enactment of connected well-funded and well-managed reserves for a significant proportion of the world's terrestrial, marine, freshwater, and aerial habitats;

(b) maintaining nature's ecosystem services by halting the conversion of forests, grasslands, and other native habitats;

(c) restoring native plant communities at large scales, particularly forest landscapes;

(d) rewilding regions with native species, especially apex predators, to restore ecological processes and dynamics;

(e) developing and adopting adequate policy instruments to remedy defaunation, the poaching crisis, and the exploitation and trade of threatened species;

(f) reducing food waste through education and better infrastructure;

(g) promoting dietary shifts towards mostly plant-based foods;

(h) further reducing fertility rates by ensuring that women and men have access to education and voluntary family-planning services, especially where such resources are still lacking;

(i) increasing outdoor nature education for children, as well as the overall engagement of society in the appreciation of nature;

(j) divesting of monetary investments and purchases to encourage positive environmental change;

(k) devising and promoting new green technologies and massively adopting renewable energy sources while phasing out subsidies to energy production through fossil fuels;

(l) revising our economy to reduce wealth inequality and ensure that prices, taxation, and incentive systems take into account the real costs which consumption patterns impose on our environment; and

(m) estimating a scientifically defensible, sustainable human population size for the long term while rallying nations and leaders to support that vital goal.

To prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual. This prescription was well articulated by the world's leading scientists 25 years ago, but in most respects, we have not heeded their warning. Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.


We have been overwhelmed with the support for our article and thank the more than 15,000 signatories from all ends of the Earth (see supplemental file S2 for list of signatories). As far as we know, this is the most scientists to ever co-sign and formally support a published journal article. In this paper, we have captured the environmental trends over the last 25 years, showed realistic concern, and suggested a few examples of possible remedies. Now, as an Alliance of World Scientists (­ and with the public at large, it is important to continue this work to ­document challenges, as well as improved ­situations, and to develop clear, trackable, and practical solutions while communicating trends and needs to world leaders. Working together while respecting the diversity of people and opinions and the need for social justice around the world, we can make great progress for the sake of humanity and the planet on which we depend.

Spanish, Portuguese, and French versions of this article can be found in file S1.


I have removed references above, to make the plea easier to read. You can find them here, along with the supplemental files:

Add a comment...

Post has shared content
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
The #AskMeAnything of the year…

As a light-hearted way to thank the few people still interested in what I write and share w.r.t. Buddhism on g+, this post is where you can Ask Me Anything.
And, yes, I'll consider job offers too ;-)

Image entirely unrelated to the post.
Unless you ask me about Miroku (Japanese for "Maitreya Buddha"), by Huan Yulong (porcelain, 2010)… then it would be related… but I know nothing about it!

Previous editions (even though I wouldn't necessarily reply the same way today to the same questions… impermanence, impermanence!):
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Freeing yourself from guilt, blame and shame

A key facet of self-less-ness is non-special-ness: you're not special, your suffering is not special… it's just what happens when the 'right' conditions are combined.
You're not powerless: you can amend present conditions, you can plant wholesome seeds for future conditions, so this is not a variation on the passive « shit happens ». But be clear you're not special, it's not special; in fact, it's because it's not special that you're not powerless, that you don't need magic or special powers to intervene!

And this wholesome view of non-special-ness has important consequences… one of which being that when you wish « all beings » to be « free from unsatisfactoriness », the 'all' includes 'you' too!
So if you'd see it wise (and true friendship) to offer non-judgemental space and warmth to a struggling friend, rather than rushed condemnation, you should see it wise to offer the same to yourself when you struggle.
And "true friendship" makes much sense in Buddhism, from the "four immeasurables" (incl. "empathetic joy") to the "sangha" to "admirable friendship" (kalyanamittata, a cause for the development of skilful qualities, a prerequisite for awakening, or even the whole of holy life!).

#Buddhism #Dharma
Previous post on special-ness:
On "admirable friendship" (kalyanamittata), see
Buddhism has no specific guideline on supporting teachers, it simply asks for you to consider causality: if you want this living tradition to survive, how are you participating, in practical terms, to make this happen? Nice words, exposure or social media ‘likes’ might feel good, but they do not actually help with the basic necessities:
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
July — … — November 2017

The second part of 2017 has proven even more challenging than the first six months, for a variety of reasons, hence my activity online has mostly been around curation as well as moderating and answering numerous questions in the "Buddhism Q&A" and "Buddhism and Meditation" communities —rather than creating personal posts.
Nonetheless, 9 original contributions still appeared, on top of shares, links and minor posts:

Worldly winds (everybody lies)
Clinging to Buddhist teachings, vs. Seeing reality as it is?
Ethics are a compass for ourselves (understanding Aung San Suu Kyi's silence)
Avalokiteśvara the Carer, vs. the Buddha’s message on personal responsibility and autonomy
meditative hygiene (more rigor, less hype for mindfulness & meditation)
Integrity (uncomfortably dealing with an imperfect world)
• « When you see a dying animal that is suffering a lot, is it ok to go against the precept and kill out of compassion to eliminate his suffering ? »
Pre-digested wisdom
Life comes with bad weather (aka. the first noble truth)

Managing communities, answering questions, curating relevant content, and still writing original content (22 contributions so far in 2017… in spite of the chaos) is only possible with your help.
Buddhism has no specific guideline on supporting teachers, it simply asks for you to consider causality: if you want this living tradition to survive, how are you participating, in practical terms, to make this happen? Nice words, exposure or social media ‘likes’ might feel good, but they do not actually help with the basic necessities. Most teachers are gradually locking their content behind fixed-price paywalls / subscriptions.
At the moment, 8 people regularly support my work. If you appreciate my contributions, please join them! Every little helps:
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Distortions of the mind

Sensing no change in the changing,
Sensing pleasure in suffering,
Assuming a self where there's no self,
Sensing the un-lovely as lovely

Vipallasa sutta (AN 4.49)
#Buddhism #Dharma
image: the Buddha (schist, Gandhara, circa 3rd c., recently auctioned)
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Life comes with bad weather
(aka. the first noble truth)

For most modern people (apart from some tele-evangelists and politicians), it doesn't exactly come to their mind that if there's bad weather, it has to be some sort of cosmic / karmic / divine punishment against them specifically.
Not only they don't take it personally (even though they may have directly contributed towards it in fact! —e.g. via negligently contributing towards global warming, or electing corrupt politicians), but also they consider that, even if the bad weather is 'local' rather 'global', the said locality should not immediately be interpreted as centred on their person (or 'their' group).


Now, why is it, then, that pains, diseases, conflicts and other unpleasant events in one's life aren't apprehended with the same attitude?
Why not consider one's back pain in the same way one would consider an occurrence of bad weather?

Bad weather might occur. And, sure enough, bad weather might create constraints, block roads, call for an umbrella or warm clothes… i.e. it might require a wise engagement, a wise response… it's not necessarily ignored! But it's not to be interpreted with a narrow, self-centred attitude either —and maybe you realise that you're wet but OK, but there's still an extra, ethically appropriate response called for (e.g. to help neighbours or refugees in a lot more trouble than yourself).

In the same way, the Buddha experienced back pain towards the end of his life. [The Theravada commentary explains as purely 'physical' causality, not karmic: a perfectly predictable consequence from years of meditation and of wandering… with no need for some personal, intentional and morally wrong, past event as an explanation… thus refraining from an 'false attribution' logical fallacy, and from the 'fundamental attribution error' discussed in sociology ( ]. And this back pain might have created constraints, limited his movements… but the Buddha did not interpreted it with a narrow, self-centred attitude: selflessness and freedom from individual preferences made him engage with it without taking it personally, without making himself miserable, without 'appropriating' it as 'his' (not appropriating any of the 5 aggregates as one's 'own' is a key to selflessness, remember?)… He didn't let the constraints sway his intention to teach, to reach out, to help; he simply worked with them. That's "freedom from suffering": not letting suffering decide your life for you, set your intentions for you, dictate your 'take' on the situation at hand.

The corresponding attitude is an immeasurable: equanimity. Equanimity co-develops with selflessness… with not-taking-personally what's merely a 'predictable' or 'normal' causal unfolding… with a restraint from appropriating an experience as 'mine' / as necessarily related to 'me' specifically.

Weather forecast illustrates quite well our capacity to foresee how karma will unfold. We have some understanding, we can identify some causal factors, we can discern some patterns and some feedback loops; we can somehow 'predict' the near future… but not too far… and the further we predict, we less reliable the forecast becomes, to a point where it's of minimal use, if any.

The Buddha taught not only that kamma is 'understandable' in some sense —and we can e.g. draw 'precepts' from such a knowledge, or e.g. make ethical choices— but also that it's 'imponderable' —the results of kamma are not to be speculated about. Whoever speculates about them would go mad & experience vexation (AN 4.77).

Why would you imagine our limitations when discerning what caused the present weather (which exact factors? in which exact proportions?) and our limitations when forecasting the weather… magically do not apply when discerning our kamma (individual and/or collective), or when forecasting karmic unfolding?

Don't take any difficulty encountered so personally! Yes, you may have contributed to its arising, but flagellation and guilt at this point won't help anyway… So, take the difficulty as an episode of bad weather. Any consequence of your contribution is quite obviously already unfolding! So the relevant question is: « what now? » There's no point in lamenting about the past, your energy is better used engaging the present ('amending' now, maybe based on lessons drawn from the past, rather than 'rewriting' the past so you may feel better).
Engage with the associated constraints; keep a eye out for sentient beings around who might be in trouble; don't let the difficulty dictate your intention or your final destination (patience, perseverance and wisdom are parami(ta), remember?).

Life comes with bad weather (too wet, too dry, too cold, too hot… and changing the weather might kill the local ecosystem, that had evolved to fit the previous climate, even when the new weather may prove perfectly able to support another ecosystem!).
Engage constructively with the bad weather and its consequences, i.e. with "reality as it is": you might prevent some issues, you might repair some damages, you're not powerless… just don't take it personally, at the risk of deluding yourself into misery (and/or of perpetually tying yourself down with mental fabrications about your karma)!
As Subhuti would say:
My hut is roofed, comfortable, free of drafts;
my mind, well-centered, set free.
I remain ardent.
So, rain-deva, go ahead & rain.

#Buddhism #Dharma
For fun and somehow related: Andhakavinda sutta (SN 6.13); Uposatha sutta (Ud 5.5); and Dhaniya sutta (Sn 1.2)
Related earlier post: Debating "The wrongs other people do to us are the direct result of our past actions."
Image: Tenno-ji Daibutsu, Gokokusan Tenno-ji Temple, Yanaka, Tokyo, Japan © +Lili Florea (
Buddhism has no specific guideline on supporting teachers, it simply asks for you to consider causality: if you want this living tradition to survive, how are you participating, in practical terms, to make this happen? Nice words, exposure or social media ‘likes’ might feel good, but they do not actually help with the basic necessities:
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Pre-digested wisdom

In Buddhism, there exist "views" which are considered "valid" (in conventional terms —like pudgala person— or ultimate terms —like some 'atomic' intentions, e.g. dosa hatred or karuṇā compassion) and "wholesome": what captures reality "appropriately" is seen as empowering, enabling improvement.

These views might be appropriate in one context but not another, hence they're not as "fixed" as most people expect them to be: since the world is impermanent, whatever appropriately empowers sentient beings also changes in accordance with the circumstances, moment to moment. Still, some "views" tend to be constructive in many situations, enough for them to be considered "truths", "rules" or "precepts". This doesn't support the idea of turning a blind eye on the exceptions, but this still provides some relatively reliable compass e.g. towards the cessation of stress.

Yet, one might have legitimate concerns when such views are merely parroted and repeated ad nauseam.

Pre-digested wisdom is like pre-digested pizza: even if there's no doubt it was pizza at some point, once digested it has lost a lot of its nutritional value. Even if one might find residual value in vomit, that'd hardly be a recommended diet.

Endlessly quoting e.g. the dhammapada again and again is not educational; it might fulfil some need to manifest a clingy kind of 'faith' but it won't replace an enquiry into the situation at hand. A decent carer or a decent teacher adapts to the receiver's needs; this was one of the key traits of the Buddha, he adapted his teachings to each audience (hence we have thousands of texts, not just a few pages repeated over and over for four decades). Buddhist practice cannot be reduced to merely quoting either, not even from a broader corpus of texts.

Mindfulness, being present, attending, is of limited value… compared to mind training… which itself is of limited value compared to knowing the mind!

Being aware of a liking for beautiful green eyes can be useful, sure… but how does it compare to being able to refrain from impulsive responses, whenever green eyes come into the vicinity?
And how would this compare to understanding how the mind works, how it came to prefer green eyes over brown eyes, how this preference biases other judgements (e.g. in finding a mate, in hiring a subordinate, in drunken behaviours…), and most importantly how "green eyes" might suddenly appear a lot less sexy if gouged out of their sockets (thus realising it's really not about green eyes in and of themselves)?

Mindfulness as taught again and again for beginners, online and in apps, is akin to mediocre samatha: there's little mind training, and virtually no knowledge.
Conditioned calm might be nice to experience, but is not Liberation, is not attaining 'beyond' (the conditioned).
Being "neutral" toward phenomena may be either indifference or equanimity, and these are hardly the same: they're "close enemies" in fact! The Kīṭāgiri sutta (MN 70) states « there is the case where, for (…) someone feeling a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling of this sort, unskillful qualities grow and skilful qualities decrease. But there is the case where, for someone feeling a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling of that sort, unskillful qualities decrease and skilful qualities grow. »

Yes, Buddhism is about relinquishing all "views" (and not just picking "right" views)… but it's hardly against engaging within the world with wise discernment, or against "knowing" (beyond concepts, experientially, in relation to perceiving context-dependent "suchness" — the tathātā at the root of Tathāgata ! « Whatever is seen, heard, sensed and cognised, attained, searched into, pondered over by the mind—all that, is fully understood by the Tathagata. That is why he is called the Tathagata. » (AN 4.23)). Upon awakening, the Mahasaccaka sutta describes the "three knowledges" which the Buddha attained upon awakening (his past lives, the workings of kamma and rebirth, and the four noble truths).
"Knowledge" in Buddhism is thus not contradictory with "relinquishing views"; in fact, "views" are distortions to knowledge, they under-estimate, the over-estimate, they abusively generalise, they miss exceptions and relevant details… Thus, "knowledge" is only possible when getting disenchanted with simplistic, prejudiced, one-sided, partial "views"!
So naïve, limited, narrow mindfulness is not all there is; in fact, correctly attending to the present circumstances ought to include 'remembering' which lessons would provide appropriate support in this situation! Relinquishing the notion of fixed 'entities', one still sees forms and phenomena… as processes… integrating past, present and future (lessons, attention, and a sense of responsibility vis-à-vis consequences of one's response) in a continuity, a causal chain unfolding.

Life is your teacher ( and you learn "life lessons" along the path, while the sutras contradict one another ( You learn, you get to know and not to parrot. Sutras could be compared to a language: you can learn a few words and describe everything with just these words, a car is a 'thing', a flower is a 'thing', a fish is a 'thing'… or you can learn a wider, richer vocabulary, but you still have to pick the right word to describe what you want, because using the word 'fish' for a car still won't help… so vocabulary and appropriateness are both needed (not clinging to a very small numbers of "truths" clumsily pushed onto every phenomenon that occurs).

Teachers, in the forms of specific persons, might be useful… to help you ask questions, to make you look deeper, to unsettle your certainties (or, in Zen parlance: to pull the rug, make you fall, rush to help you back on your feet, then pull the rug again… until you know how to stand by yourself, regardless of a shaky ground)… not to give you pre-digested truths to cling to, attached with fake promises of "the most effective method", "the faster path to awakening", etc. (, or —even worse— of "spiritual benefits —without leaving your comfort zone"
Buddhism is a path of "leaving home"… as in leaving certainties, preconceptions, the comfort of "being" right, the cocoon of pre-digested wisdom and ancient training rules (, It relies on enquiry, questions, doubts, and the falling away of many deep convictions (born from trauma, born from identification, born from societal programming)…
No pre-recorded tape, or app (whether 'gamified' or not), will really help you out of your comfort zone; it's a self-selection issue, your ego will pick sources that are predictably not-so-threatening to its survival (and predictably maximising profits thanks to long subscriptions. Hundreds of hours of contents? Perfect excuse to justify auto-renewal, but how many views will fall? Hundreds of hours of distraction following the peaceful voice and visualisations offered, away from attending one's own circumstances? Perfect excuse to justify auto-renewal, but how many ignorant perceptions will fall?).
If you're interested in going further than feel-good guided meditations, in constructively engaging with life as it is (in your context), in 'realising' (making real) and 'embodying' (manifesting) the teachings, find a teacher who can pull the rug under your feet. He or she might be online, at a distance (in Tibetan Buddhism, it was often suggested to choose a guru from another valley… thus forcing an alternance between periods of guidance and periods of personal experimentation and enquiry), but pre-recorded makes it a lot less context-dependent, hence a lot less effective. "Appropriate" guidance requires wise discernment of the specificities at hand: a doctor should neither presume what the prescription will be before even seeing the patient, nor automatically give whatever the untrained patient thinks he 'should' get.

#Buddhism #Dharma
Individual guidance is available (
Buddhism has no specific guideline on supporting teachers, it simply asks for you to consider causality: if you want this living tradition to survive, how are you participating, in practical terms, to make this happen? Nice words, exposure or social media ‘likes’ might feel good, but they do not actually help with the basic necessities:
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Add a comment...
Wait while more posts are being loaded