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

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Impermanence

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: koan.mu/donate.htm
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How Will You See the Guru?
by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

excerpt:
« 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. »

LOL

#Buddhism
Buddhist Quote for the day
Buddhist Quote for the day
buddquotefortheday.blogspot.com
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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.

#Buddhism
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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No mud, no lotus

Practice 'patience'… Then catch yourself in a moment of impatience, and investigate!
You might discover e.g. that your patience is conditioned by freshness and energy, e.g. that being tired makes you a lot less likely to manifest patience.
Then, you have at least two directions to work on:
• how to cultivate circumstances that support freshness and energy?
• how to strengthen patience (i.e. ground it in complementary aspects) so it may be manifested even when tired?

"Insight" is found through enquiry, not only into Dhamma concepts and theories, but also into practical experiences.


"It's the way things are" or "That's who I am" perpetuate blindness and ignorance. Enquiry offers no warranty of 'solution', of 'insight', of anything… but without enquiry, change is merely manifesting usual tendencies (which, as it happens, do not lead to a satisfactory life, for most people: "that's who I am, perpetually dissatisfied, complaining, blaming, finger-pointing, and longing for more (fill-in-blank)" ?).

#Buddhism #mindfulness
image: gilt-bronze figure of Buddha (15th c.)
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: koan.mu/donate.htm
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