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

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Expedient means is lecturing where appropriate, cajoling when necessary, supporting where needed. One size does not fit all. Paying attention is required!

<<In the great town of Vaisai, there was an elder called Vimalakirti, who had made offerings to countless Buddhas and had deeply planted all good roots, thereby, achieving the patient endurance of the uncreate. His unhindered power of speech enabled him to roam everywhere using his supernatural powers to teach others. He had achieved absolute control over good and evil influences (dharani) thereby, realizing fearlessness. So he overcame all passions and demons, entered all profound Dharma-doors to enlightenment, excelled in Wisdom perfection (prajna-paramita) and was well versed in all expedient methods (upaya) of teaching, thereby, fulfilling all great Bodhisattva vows. He knew very well the mental propensities of living beings and could distinguish their various (spiritual) roots. For a long time, he had trodden the Buddha-path and his mind was spotless. Since he understood Mahayana, all his actions were based on right thinking. While dwelling in the Buddha’s awe-inspiring majesty, his mind was extensive like the great ocean. He was praised by all Buddhas and revered by Indra, Brahma and worldly kings.

As he was set on saving men, he expediently stayed at Vaisali for this purpose.

He used his unlimited wealth to aid the poor;

he kept all the rules of morality and discipline to correct those breaking the precepts;

he used his great patience to teach those giving rise to anger and hate;

he taught zeal and devotion to those who were remiss;
he used serenity to check stirring thoughts;

and employed decisive wisdom to defeat ignorance.

Although wearing white clothes (of the laity) he observed all the rules of the Sangha.

Although a layman, he was free from all attachments to the three worlds (of desire, form and beyond form).

Although he was married and had children, he was diligent in his practice of pure living.

Although a householder, he delighted in keeping from domestic establishments.

Although he ate and drank (like others), he delighted in tasting the flavour of moderation.

When entering a gambling house, he always tried to teach and deliver people there.

He received heretics but never strayed from the right faith.

Though he knew worldly classics, he always took joy in the Buddha Dharma.

He was revered by all who met him.

He upheld the right Dharma and taught it to old and young people.

Although occasionally he realized some profit in his worldly activities, he was not happy about these earnings.

While walking in the street, he never failed to convert others (to the Dharma).

When he entered a government office, he always protected others (from injustice).

When joining a symposium, he led others to the Mahayana.

When visiting a school he enlightened the students.

When entering a house of prostitution, he revealed the sin of sexual intercourse.

When going to a tavern, he stuck to his determination (to abstain from drinking).

When amongst elders he was the most revered for he taught them the exalted Dharma.

When amongst upasakas, he was the most respected for he taught them how to wipe out all desires and attachments.

When amongst those of the ruling class, he was the most revered, for he taught them forbearance.

When amongst Brahmins, he was the most revered, for he taught them how to conquer pride and prejudice.

When amongst government officials he was the most revered, for he taught them correct law.

When amongst princes, he was the most revered, for he taught them loyalty and filial piety.

When in the inner palaces, he was the most revered, for he converted all maids of honour there.

When amongst common people, he was the most revered, for he urged them to cultivate all meritorious virtues.

When amongst Brahma-devas, he was the most revered, for he urged the gods to realize the Buddha wisdom.

When amongst Sakras and Indras, he was the most revered, for he revealed to them the impermanence (of all things).

When amongst lokapalas, he was the most revered, for he protected all living beings.

Thus, Vimalakirti used countless expedient methods (upaya) to teach for the benefit of living beings.>>

Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra
Lu Kuan Yu translation

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De l'éthique, ou de la bouillie pour les chats…

Lecture légère du samedi soir :
Disons que Lévinas est le penseur cohérent et inventif d'une donnée qu'aucun exercice académique de voilement ou d'abstraction ne peut faire oublier : (…) l'éthique est une catégorie de discours pieux.
Que peut donc devenir cette catégorie si on prétend supprimer, ou masquer, sa valeur religieuse, tout en conservant le dispositif abstrait de sa constitution apparente ("reconnaissance de l'autre", etc.) ? La réponse est claire : de la bouillie pour les chats. (…)
Un premier soupçon nous gagne quand nous considérons que les apôtres affichés de l'éthique et du "droit à la différence" sont visiblement horrifiés par toute différence un peu soutenue. (…) Il n'y a qu'à voir la hargne obsessionnelle des partisans de l'éthique à l'endroit de tout ce qui ressemble à un musulman "intégriste".
— Alain Badiou, « L'éthique: essai sur la conscience du mal »

Un peu plus loin :
Même les immigrés de ce pays ne sont, aux yeux du partisan de l'éthique, convenablement différents que s'ils sont "intégrés", s'ils veulent l'intégration (ce qui, à y regarder de près, semble vouloir dire : s'ils désirent supprimer leur différence). Il se pourrait bien que (…) l'idéologie éthique ne soit que le dernier mot du civilisé conquérant : "Deviens comme moi, et je respecterai ta différence."

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Young girl facing Wall Street’s charging bull
Jeune fille défiant le taureau de Wall Street

"SHE", by sculptor Kristen Visbal
in English:
en français :

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« Buddha Dharma does not teach that everything is suffering. What Buddhism does say is that life, by its nature, is difficult, flawed, and imperfect. (…) That's the nature of life, and that's the First Noble Truth. From the Buddhist point of view, this is not a judgement of life's joys and sorrows; this is a simple, down-to-earth, matter-of-fact description. »
— Surya Das

image: silver copper inlaid copper alloy Buddha (Tibet, 15th c.)

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the unexamined life is not worth living…

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Following the quiet, dark mornings of the New Year holiday period, when I was feeling very introspective, the past month has been an intensively active time. Denis and I ran retreats three weekends out of four, and it has been a great counter-balance to focus my energy on our clients and to take a moment to appreciate the commitment, persistence and dedication it takes to hold our common and individual mission for Dharma House and for our respective opportune reminder (again) that no collective, community, business, or service can create genuine value and be a win-win outcome without the heartfelt support and encouragement of others.

Hence, in this unusually brief February missive, I'm doing some unabashed advertising for my wonderful husband, who also happens to be a skilful and inspiring teacher. As many of my clients are women, I would like to promote the "Women Only Spring Retreat",
which is running in English, and is scheduled for the weekend of 18th - 19th March 2017.

"Our mission is to inspire and show by example that it is possible to create another way of life, free from ordinary pettiness, free from complaining about our circumstances and free from mental rigidity." At Dharma House, we are passionate about opening our home to welcome anyone who wants to reflect, to question, to heal, to explore...

Come and stay in a tranquil environment, surrender to being looked after with love, and give yourself the opportunity to slow down and have space and time. Please feel free to contact either Denis or myself if you wish to have more details.

The attached blog is title On Writing Pages

Have a nurturing month!

+Fariyal Wallez

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