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Denis Wallez
«Intentions do matter.»
«Intentions do matter.»


If you use the g+ app over mobile data, with a bad connection, you can greatly enjoy the obviousness of how little content there's left on the platform.

Due to bandwidth limitations, no images... And without images, you see clearly how abysmally poor the text (or should I say: lack of text) is.

This platform is such a gigantic waste of time
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Craving for Awakening, and the poisoned arrow

It is a staple criticism of Buddhism that craving for Awakening is still craving, and since Buddhism teaches that craving ought to be abandoned, craving for Awakening is inconsistent with the Dhamma.
This, of course, is missing the point of a path, of a process: if one craving (for Awakening) allows to abandon many cravings, it might make sense as a useful step on the way to abandoning all cravings. And sure, Awakening will require abandoning the craving for Awakening, in due time… and as a matter of fact, the Dhamma confirms so. It remains that, as an expedient means, one craving is temporarily a worthy goal, if one start from a position of many cravings.

Interestingly, though, one might also suggest re-reading the Sunakkhatta sutta (MN 105).
In it, the Buddha discusses monks with the thought « Craving is said by the Contemplative to be an arrow. The poison of ignorance spreads its toxin through desire, passion, & ill will. I have abandoned the arrow. I have expelled the poison of ignorance. I am rightly intent on Unbinding. »
In it, craving / intent is not necessarily the issue! The ignorance, biasing the craving towards unskillful objects, is the issue.
Similarly, the twelve-fold chain of Dependent Origination (dvādasanidānāni) start from 'ignorance'. Craving (taṇhā) is in the chain leading to "ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, sadness and distress", yet it's in 8th position; it denotes an ignorant way to relate to experiences (later leading to a particular appropriation / identity). Without ignorance, unskillful craving doesn't arise; the craving leading to dukkha doesn't arise.

And if one has some sense of humour, even tainted and ignorant craving is great! Because it leads to suffering… thus indirectly is a supporting condition for faith [in the Dhamma ] (upon recognising that the Dhamma describes how dukkha comes to be), which in turn will support joy, rapture, tranquillity, happiness, concentration, the knowledge and vision of things as they really are, disenchantment, dispassion, emancipation, and the knowledge of the destruction (of the cankers)… according to the upanisā sutta (SN 12.23).
So yes, craving for Awakening commonly is tainted by ignorance (suffice to say that, prior to Awakening, people are making a lot of erroneous assumptions about what Awakening is and what the experience of it is) but that's OK. It is one craving that still allows to abandon many, and is skilful / useful along the way.
Just be clear that replacing one craving by one another isn't constructive; the trade-off is only wholesome if at least 2 cravings are given up ;-) Choose them wisely: if you can abandon greed and aversion, or abandon the craving for existence and for non-existence, you're close to the goal!

#Buddhism #Dharma
image: monk at the Thiksey Archery Festival (source unknown)
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 ‘+1’ might feel good, but they do not actually help with the basic necessities:
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Understanding Nibbana within daily life

The word Nibbana means "cool." Back when it was just an ordinary word which people used in their homes it also meant "cool." When it is used as Dhamma language, in a religious context, it still means "cool," but refers to cool from the fires of defilement (kilesa), while in the common people's usage it means cool from physical fires.
When seeing a fire go out or something hot cooling down, look for the meaning of Nibbana.
When bathing or drinking ice water, when a breeze blows or rain falls, take notice of the meaning of Nibbana.
When a fever subsides, a swelling goes down, or a headache goes away, recognize the meaning of Nibbana as being found in those things.
When perspiring, sleeping comfortably, or eating one's fill, see the meaning of Nibbana.
When seeing an animal with all its fierceness and danger tamed out, see the meaning of Nibbana.
All of these are lessons to help us understand the nature of Nibbana in every moment. The mind will regularly incline towards contentment with Nibbana and this helps the mind to flow more easily along the path of Nibbana.
— Buddhadasa bhikkhu: Nibbana for everyone

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Experienced phenomena 'constantly' change. Yet, the change can be fast or extremely slow… so slow it might be hard to notice!

Experienced phenomena 'constantly' change: at times the 'external' conditions supporting the experience change… at other times, it's mostly the experience itself that changes, because 'internal' expectations changed (from taking the phenomenon for granted or getting bored, to becoming impatient).

Experienced phenomena are impermanent. Things can 'improve', or 'worsen'… according to ourselves, others, both, none ! Losses can allow for new opportunities, gains can become prisons (some high-paying, top jobs certainly feel that way).

In Theravada countries, anicca vata sankhara — "Impermanent, alas, are all compounds!" — is used after a loved one died.

In general, sankhara may refer to all phenomena, really, but often it refers more specifically to the ideas/representations we have of phenomena (both a result of interacting with them, and an influence on how we'll interact with them!). The sense of loss when someone dies encompasses not only what was but also what (was imagined as what) could have been; the sense of loss (or relief?) is also more linked to our perceived relationship to that person than to who this person truly was, how this person perceived oneself, etc.
Prejudices, preferences, partial blindness, expectations, abusive generalisations —in short, ignorance— pollute 'compounds': the untamed mind often sees only what it desires to see!

The 'alas' is an expedient means, an expression of empathy toward a confused experiencer suffering in that instant… yet, impermanence doesn't call for sadness: sadness only arises from the disappointment born when you expect permanence… No expectation of permanence, no clinging, no surprise and no disappointment!
« Since in this very life a tathagata is not to be regarded as existing in reality, is it proper for you to assert: "as I understand the doctrine taught by the Exalted One, insofar as a bhikkhu has destroyed the intoxicants/passions, he is broken up and perishes when body is broken up, he exists not after death"? »
— Yamaka sutta (SN 22.85)
Impermanence calls for not taking for granted that experiences will continue as they currently exist. It might call for appreciation in the moment, it might call for not getting disheartened, it might call for appreciating some changes… i.e. it calls for discernment, not for fear of the change/unknown!
Impermanence calls for engagement, for "right effort", for giving rise to the wholesome, cultivating the wholesome, abandoning the unwholesome, and ceasing the unwholesome.

« Three kinds of feelings, monks, are impermanent, compounded, dependently arisen, liable to destruction, to evanescence, to fading away, to cessation: pleasant feeling, painful feeling, and neutral feeling. »
— anicca sutta (SN 36.9)

You cannot step twice into the same river. 'New' is no longer new, expectations arise, generalisations are drawn.
A mind gets used to things (pleasant or unpleasant is irrelevant): there's a strong tendency for the untamed mind to conclude that how it perceives phenomena corresponds to how they inherently are, there's a strong tendency for the untamed mind to conclude that subjective experiences are objective.
But then the experienced reality doesn't comply with your expectations, and expectations themselves evolve… in a perpetual attempt (and stressful fight) to force subjectivity to match objectivity, in a perpetual dissatisfaction.
Part of a more constructive approach is to refrain from creating 'certainties', from defining, from projecting ideals; at the very least, "unless it's necessary". It might turn out it rarely is… necessary.
When faced with a choice between perpetually engaging with reality as it is, or perpetually engaging with biased, disappointing fictions, which one will the wise elect?
It might seem scary to deal with reality without certainties… but to deal with reality based on misrepresentations is worse: the latter indeed guarantees that you'll hit the wall! At least, with mindful presence, you stand a chance ;-)

#Buddhism #Dharma
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 ‘+1’ might feel good, but they do not actually help with the basic necessities:
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How Will You See the Guru?
by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

« The relationship with a guru can never be simple. We human beings have a habit of hope and fear, and we each come saddled with our different cultures and characters. As long as we are bound by these distinctions, we are deluded, and as long as we are deluded, our relationships are complicated.

Through the veil of your everyday deluded perceptions, the outer guru may seem like an ordinary person. He shares your taste for pizza with anchovies but also drinks strong coffee, which you don’t like at all. He appears to get cranky when you don’t get it right. He’s a human being. But he wasn’t born in your neighborhood, so he’s exotic and interesting. The more exotic the better, especially if you’re a naive and gullible disciple easily impressed by colours, shapes, and races. The best is when his skin is a completely different shade. Then again, if it’s too exotic it doesn’t work.


While many err on the side of expecting too much of a guru — like constant worldly emotional support and advice — others reject a human guru altogether. It’s as if they are afraid to relate to a living being. They say things like “I am my own guru,” using the convenient and educated-sounding excuse that everything, including the guru, is the nature of mind. But after some questioning, it becomes clear that they don’t have even a faint understanding of what “nature of mind” means. »


Buddhist Quote for the day
Buddhist Quote for the day
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How about some non-biodegradable piece of crap to advertise our virtues? ;-)
The worst aspects of capitalism are often fueled by mere acquiescence borne of a completely earnest desire to be pleasant, polite, and kind.

We should feel more free to say things like:

"No I don't want that stupid fucking rubber wristband that was manufactured in China for two pennies and that you bought for fifty pennies that's going to choke some fish to death after I wear it for five minutes and then sit in a landfill somewhere forever after that in exchange for my donation. Just take this money, actually make some progress on a cure for breast cancer, and stop contracting people to manufacture pollutant crap that they want to profit from without any actual concern for their fellow man or their environment. And by the way, thank you for caring enough about this cause to give your time to try to get the rest of us to care."

Oh, and we should also stop being so mindless as to believe getting some non-biodegradable piece of crap to advertise our virtues is doing anything to help the causes they supposedly further.

Living by the principles we think we espouse is actually and often more harsh and anti-social than anyone told us it would be.
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Collecting books is not as hard as reading the lines.
Reading lines is not as hard as digesting the words.
Digesting words is not as hard as recalling the stories.
Recalling stories is not as hard as applying the moral in life.

image: large gilt-copper Sakyamuni (Tibet, 14th/15th c.)
h/t +Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple 佛光山西來寺
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Feelings are a mirror of our thoughts… thus, if our thoughts are distorted, our feelings are unreliable.
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