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


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When one replaces pastoral care (helping the living to constructively "move on" beyond traumas) by mere rituals and duties / social obligations… and when one replaces community services by cheaper smaller "private" ceremonies… then you get a company making profits thanks to a robot "reading" sutras (from 4 buddhist sects), for cheaper…

If it made the living feel good (e.g. for having done their duty, even if that's shallow) or if it helped them live a better life (e.g. after reflecting on death), then why not? But if it only makes them feel guilty for not having performed their duties with generosity, or for not having shown proper appreciation for the contributions of the deceased to their lives, then is it wholesome? If it disrespects the memory of the dead by commoditising their passing, turning it in a non-event, a formality to get rid of, the cheapest way to brush death under the carpet ASAP, then is it wholesome?

Partly, Buddhist priests in Japan only have themselves to blame for this state of affairs, as they turned Buddhism into funerary business a long time ago… yet not all priests made it so, and the baby is thrown with the bath water.

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food for thought, just ignore the title…

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There is a happiness that doesn't exclude suffering.

I am glad I shared much information on google+ since 2011, about Buddhism… I am glad I supported people online via communities, via discussion threads, via private messages… I am glad I could offer the opportunity for people to go on affordable retreats at… I am glad I resisted so far the traps of hierarchies, titles, exotic Dharma names, and sectarian prejudices…

and yet, to quote Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel, « there is a happiness that doesn't exclude suffering. Rejection and aversion destroy true happiness. »

so I'm sad too, that so few people took up the opportunity to practice in the extraordinary environment that constituted, an unbeatable value-for-money proposition… it is now too late to do so. It seems the very affordability has been an issue actually, as people convinced themselves that it couldn't be of value if it was so cheap : in a society where mercantilism is the norm, generosity looks suspicious or too-good-to-be-true. Other lessons are to be drawn too. All in, though, and even if it's a useful learning experience, it's also sad when a Dharma centre has to close, in particular (in my opinion) if it's one of the few non-sectarian centres.

I'll continue teaching to 'direct' students (via emails, audio / video calls, visits…).
I'll continue sharing information on the internet.
However, I'll find another way for retreats.
And if you have ideas as to how I could be of service, please let me know!

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« All that is conditioned is impermanent »
(French version: is no longer able to operate in its current form. When the causes disappear, the consequences disappear…

It seems that too many people are content reading an article or two about meditation, and then talking about it without ever actually practicing (let alone deepening the practice). The collaboration with the magazine Regard Bouddhiste did not help, when it is fashionable to judge "too complicated" any article a little more detailed than superficial recipes for well-being or pretty photos. The anti-sectarian posture did not help, at a time when only caricatures and certainties reassure, when people seek "Zen retreat" or "Tibetan Buddhism" without really knowing what one or the other , and when what attracts are celebrities rather than content… Every person who came left satisfied, both about the material conditions and the content, but too few came to keep running any longer; too many people showed interest but eventually decided they would come "later". It is now too late.

The following retreats are canceled (and their French versions):
Zen and martial arts ... or how to go beyond fear?
26th–27th August 2017
Peaceful Relationships
25th–26th November 2017
Zen Retreat (bilingual)
26th–30th December 2017
Developing mindfulness in everyday life
20th–21st January 2018

The project (helping our fellow sentient beings to appreciate the life they are given, not to suffer unnecessarily, to overcome conflicts…) underlying is not dead; but it will be necessary to find another form, another place, other methods.

Individual guidance for 'direct' students, remotely (video calls, emails ...) or on site, is maintained.

Individual visits / retreats are still possible, for a few months.

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To put it simply, from the lowest, crudest phenomena to the highest, most exalted, supreme thing, whatever meanings may be given to it, all are bases for clinging.
Here, we will not cling to any of them.
The highest Dhamma, the highest truth, that we must realize for the sake of complete non-clinging is thusness ( tathatā ). Phenomena are naturally “simply thus,”“just like that,”“merely such.”When all these things are seen as simply thus —just like that —there will not be any clinging, either to the positive or to the negative.
We do not realize thusness by waiting around for it to appear. There is a sequence of insights and realizations that culminate in realizing thusness.
That is, we begin with experiencing and seeing impermanence or inconstancy ( aniccaṃ ), which is the initial lesson of the fourth and final section, contemplating impermanence and the impermanent, non-lasting nature of conditioned things ( aniccatā ). Aniccatā, the state or fact of not lasting, refers to the perpetual change and flux of things because they are conditioned by causes and conditions ( hetu-paccaya ), carry on according to these causes and conditions, and must change as these causes and conditions change. Seeing impermanence is the start of seeing thusness.
Looking further into the matter, we see that we must live with all these impermanent things. Having to endure impermanent, uncertain things is called dukkhatā (suffering-ness, unsatisfactoriness), which literally means “difficult to bear,”inconstant things are hard to endure. This is seeing thusness on a deeper level.
Next, we see that impermanent, conditioned things that are always changing and difficult to endure cannot be found to have a real, substantial self ( attā ). This insight is “not-self”that such things cannot establish themselves independently as lasting selves. Seeing the fact of being not-self ( anattatā ) is to see thusness even more deeply.
All three of these characteristics together are seen as “just like this,”thus, and naturally such. The term for this is a little strange, dhammaṭṭhitatā, (lit. standing in Dhamma or nature), the natural standing, ordinariness, or naturalness of these facts.
Further, one contemplates why things are this way. One realizes that this is simply the natural, ordinary way of things (that we overlook because of ignorance and craving).
At the same time, all dhammas are subject to natural law, such as the law of dependent co-arising that controls everything. This is called insight into the lawfulness of all nature ( dhammaniyāmatā ). When insight deepens in this sequence, we realize conditionality ( idappaccayatā ), the fundamental principle of dependent co-arising. Seeing conditionality is to see dependent co-arising.
When we clearly see that there is only the stream of dependent co-arising, we see that there cannot be a self in any of this, which is to realize emptiness ( suññatā ). This is the highest Dhamma and it must be realized if true liberation is to happen.
Emptiness is a most difficult to understand word; please investigate, reflect, explore, observe, and strive until you are able to realize emptiness. Do not fool around with it. Thoroughly realizing this most important Dhamma brings the supreme fruits of Buddhism. Whether Mahāyāna or Theravāda Buddhism, realizing emptiness is the shared essential core of all Buddhism. Its realization is the end, the fulfillment, of Buddhism.

Emptiness is not nothingness or nihilism.

Everything is what it is but nothing has anything that can truly be called self. All things are void of self. The universe is full of all kinds of things and all of them are void of self. In this body, in this life, and in this flow of mental experience, all kinds of things happen and every one of them is void of self. This is the meaning of seeing emptiness.
When the sequence of insight and realization deepens to the degree of seeing the emptiness of all things, then suchness ( tathatā ) is fully realized.

That is all there is.

Conditioned or unconditioned, positive or negative, all are characterized by emptiness, everything is empty of selfhood.
Seeing thusness, or suchness, is the culmination. Mind will be disinterested, no longer under the influence of positive and negative. Phenomena and noumena have no meaning for this mind.
This kind of mind is described as “having unconcoctability.” This atammayatā (unconcoctability) is a wonderful word.
Realizing thusness leads to penetrating unconcoctability. Literally, atammayatā means “the state of not being affected by anything.” Nothing can produce, affect, or concoct this mind. Mind that has fully penetrated this is the highest mind because it dwells in unconcoctability.
Some of you may see this as bland or tasteless, to which I will not respond. I hope some of you will understand what it is to be unconcoctable. The deepening of realization starts with the insights of impermance, unsatisfactoriness, and not-self; continues with seeing the naturalness of these facts, the lawfulness of all nature, and conditionality; and fulfills itself in emptiness, thusness, and unconcoctability.
Altogether there are three groups of three insights amounting to nine insights or Dhamma Eyes. What a fine way to see life!
Please remember these nine eyes and discuss them among your Dhamma friends regularly.

These nine eyes are the most direct shortcut to penetrate to the heart of Buddhism, which is the end of Buddhism.

Under the Bodhi Tree ~ Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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food for thought

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Worldly winds

People hide. They're trapped by the "eight worldly winds" ( and
To hide, they lie… including tho themselves (

To tell the truth is not easy, for words have destructive power, and telling the truth doesn't imply being insensitive: the Buddha mentioned 5 factors for a statement to be faultless, "spoken at the right time, spoken in truth, spoken affectionately, spoken beneficially, spoken with a mind of good-will." Truthfulness is a valid concern, but it's not the only one!

But, ultimately, telling the truth takes courage… more courage than most people are willing to invest maybe: invest for the sake of what exactly?
• Of empowering others —even though this also requires us to accept their freedom to act in a way we might prefer they wouldn't. Buddhism has a version of the Golden Rule: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful (Udānavarga 5.18). Empowering others is a moral duty if you feel hurt when your potential is limited by the context. Empowering others is a form of danā, of generosity (as explained against complicit silence in
• Of engaging constructively and creatively with "reality as it is" —we can only work on what we're aware of, so "accepting reality as it is" is a prerequisite to reform (it's not passive submission to the unacceptable: it's seeing the unacceptable as such, and seeing the available opportunities to engage with it).

One of the difficulties though is that "the truth" is too often seen as static, but it changes from moment-to-moment: our thoughts are not monolithic, and conflicting (subconscious) thoughts do not all come to the surface at the same time… It's possible to be kind, then angry, then calmer… Which is the truth? All, and none. It's impermanent, it's changing. A good question is: is it changing in a wholesome direction? What can I do about it? Well, apparently, this article suggests that spreading information and supporting curiosity (our own and others') remain key.

#Buddhism #Dharma

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