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


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When to meditate

Classic advice on when to meditate ranges from “first thing in the morning” to “at the end of the day”, but ultimately it fails most people because it is assumed that establishing a routine is supportive, and that routine equates relatively fixed times.

This is more pronounced for beginners, as they'll easily read that “you may need some time to build a habit. You can try these different times, but I recommend trying one time for a week straight to see how it works. In order to find the best time to meditate, it is going to take some consistency.” While a routine is important, it is not about fixed time! Understand that if time might be promoted as a “trigger”, then other phenomena might too… more constructive phenomena in the grand scheme of things, and if you're to build a habit, a routine, then it might as well be as constructive in the long run as possible.

continue at…

#Buddhism #Dharma #meditation
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:
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If you have an interest in reading Pāḷi by yourself (for the ritual chanting, or for enjoyment of autonomously checking translations when they sound weird, or for the ability to access whatever is not translated yet —e.g. most commentaries, and sub-commentaries— or out of curiosity in another way of thinking and discoursing, and/or in the history of Buddhism, etc.),

if you're free for an intensive course, over the period 2nd January–20 January 2018, and I mean "intensive" as in 9am–1.30pm every day (live, UK time) except Sunday + 1–3 hours of homework every day (and if you plan to skip this or be 'flexible' / lazy about it, forget the course, b/c you won't get much learning done)…

if you have the means ( £750 / £790, except for monastics with 50% off)…

this is the best course (online) you can start Pāḷi with: you are indeed able to read Pāḷi (slowly and with dictionary) at the end of it.
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War over the Buddha's Relics at Sanchi (1st century BCE/CE).

« The Buddha died in Kushinagara, the capital of the Mallas, who initially tried to keep all the relics of the Buddha for themselves. A war erupted in which the chiefs of seven other clans waged war against the Mallas of Kushinara for the possession of the Buddha's relics. In the center of the architrave, the siege of Kushinara is in progress; to right and left, the victorious chiefs are departing in chariots and on elephants, with the relics borne on the heads of the latter. »
— via
in response to the incredulity of a poster about relics in China…
as if relics didn't spread / travel.

photo © Anandajoti bhikkhu (
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« 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.)
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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:

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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!):
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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:
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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:
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