Mind, knowingly, unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally and, constantly looks for something to rest on and content by itself which are either on desire, hope, ambition, or on immediate physical contacts, engaged with others!
A Buddhist monk, teacher, meditation master! Conducting meditation retreat in Europe, America and As
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Theravada Buddhism and contemporary world:
What could be the contemporary culture of Theravada Buddhism where everyone in the contemporary society can involve, promote and practice the dhamma of the four noble truths, eightfold noble path, precepts, rationality, logics, empathy, METTA, meditation and wisdom?
Modern western and eastern society are connected one another in terms of the concept of contemporary thinking over wealth, consumption, “free thinking”, development, science, rationality, right, emotion, freedom or -material development- in one word. For these societies religion become negligible otherwise hardly visible in their social development force, at least not a active force, active influence or actively visible in their day to day life. However they are leading the world with material development, which everyone wanted to pursue it as we can see the force of migration legally or illegally, actively engaged and looked for an opportunity to settle there.
Such an active migration does not take place in those countries which are poor or religiously dominant. Why these people look for settlements? The answer is due to economic, health, human right or education, laws, equality all of which are provided and practiced in larger part of contemporary society. Their social laws are designed for such development.
We can see the fact that the practice of religion does not play an active part in the processes of the development of their society although some may have a direct connection with religious institutes, but their living force are more to do with economic and material life. While their local religious practice or culture are substantially undermined due to incapable of attracting the economic or lifestyle development, how can Buddhism can support them without being against
their contemporary thinking?
To find a better answer here, we must think about religious and cultural contents whether they are helpful to draw their attention. We must also think of the types of religious and cultural contents that could make unimpressive to challenge the logic of the modern thinking! We must think about the concept of righteousness, rationality, science, human values, or values of life and natures, thinking of climate change and a middle way solution to the modern problem.
When we think of all these are in fact the actual part of dharma taught by the Buddha. Some of the content of Buddhist culture must change and let them go, if we are to change the world and human beings, particularly if we want to change the world from ignorance to enlightenment we must give up some of our dominant cultural practices and transform it into an approachable and workable for the modern contemporary society either in Asia or in the West!
Otherwise, only a handful people will accept it no matter how scientific it is, so Buddha’s teaching -dhamma- and practice stay behind - only within the marginalised society. However, Buddha’s intention was to reach out his philosophy to reform the world from cruelty to compassion from ignorance to wisdom! Current Theravada Buddhism, particularly culture, cannot change the world politics, scientific thinking, contemporary culture of material, and economic development unless they change to fit within contemporary thinking and development
# bhantenagasena #
Never think they will follow your orders,and no rush to do without a proper reason. Don’t force anyone as you think blindly. Even a little animal could bite you. It is because each being has their own quality which you should not think it negligible!
# # #
Honesty, empathy and simple human logic” are the only powerful tool to develop a society, social law of a group, a nation or even to settle all sorts of problems and challenges that faced with an individual or social life. These tools are always true, unchallengeable, visible, examinable and effective to humanity!
It is good to be ambitious, if fact, majority of human beings are somehow ambitious to achieve something in life. They act differently to achieve it: some people act wisely, consciously, considerately while others act manipulatively, carelessly, harmfully or inconsistently.
The point I wanted to convey is that - our action could change the perception of our family, our neighbours, our nation even our world depending on types of action we carry out. What change do we want: a good and durable good or a bad and durable bad?
According to philosophy of action, there are two key points: no action can go away without a reaction and no action can carry out (alone) without the involvement of other. All actions either good or bad bear reactions because such actions are always associated with someone else and their reactions are alway expected.
The energy of our actions and reaction spread like a rippled waves. Some of such energy are accepted, welcomed, acknowledged or beneficial to many people who share the same values within the bracket of family or social group, but by the nature of our energy, it is not easy to be good for all people beyond our group, party or nation. The rippled wave energy stops here within a limited area, and it could even stop within a radius of our family, especially when one of your family members resist on your action.
The stopping point is reflected on the diversity of beliefs, opinions, cultures, ethnic groups, languages and nations. At our best effort, an action could be helpful to one of these diversities such as who share family, language, culture or ethnicity but by the law of the nature, no matter how much we make an effort, the energy of action is limited. So it is hard to convince everyone in the family, let alone all cultural or ethnic groups, language or nation of the world. Simply, we cannot make everyone happy by virtue of such diversities!
Such a theory of diversity however can become united with a simple logic, and empathy. All human beings regardless of their language, culture, ethnic group or nationality, can be united with two key mental factors: common sense -logic, and empathy. The energy of empathy is alway active through logic and rationality. We all can understand what is wrong and what is right by virtue of human instinct. We all share with one another by this logic, and perception: such as if you do good without hurting other, all welcome you, but if you do bad, no one will welcome you.
The hidden point of such an ambitious action and energy is the intention. We can do things with a good intention, and we can also do things with an intention that traps others, or intended to achieve a certain benefit for oneself but not good for the long terms of the other side. Here is the problem of the so-called “good actions” that is being intended unfairly. When law of nature behaves or when hidden intention manifests through an action, the energy of resistance starts slowly and become a source of conflict.
The message is simple here: only by - a genuinely good intentional action with a clear and transparency- we can keep our ambition effective, durable and sustainable provided all our actions start from a very basic, simple logic and empathy! “Honesty, empathy and simple human logic” are the only powerful tool to develop a society, social law of a group, a nation or even to settle all sorts of problems and challenges that faced with an individual or social life. These tools are always true, unchallengeable, visible, examinable and effective to humanity!
How our mind change:
Change of mind and reform can take place: by force, by money, by understanding one’s own ability, by acceptance what has understood, by given up one’s ego, by shamfulness, by culture and social force, by force of law of the nature, and by sickness,
Let’s observe briefly about evidences and experiences why and how someone’s mind has changed, and why and how they have not changed:
1) a change who thinks of using force is not always stable. It will surely be counterproductive to the change; so is not effectively changed.
2) we can change someone’s mind by money but only if he needs it. If he has enough money, his mind can just a game for your effort because such a mind could have much ego. So they rather want to have power and influence if they are rich or if their livelihood are secure. So, it is not appropriately changeable by money. Perhaps you can use money as a weapon to change his mind and it may be effective as well provided he is poor and greedy!
3) a change of mind due to lack of ability is very rare, because psychology of human being often does not want to accept their weakness. So, not all people who look weak in terms of their ability, can change their mind especially if they don’t accept their ability completely. Such people do not give up their ego easily. They even see themselves wise and knowledgeable. They think what they do is always right. These people are the worst to deal with any effective discipline and discussion. Therefore, change cannot be expected from such people (who is incapable in an action but these people either pretend to be capable, not accepting their ability or not knowing their state of ability: egoistic and deluded person).
4) it is easy to change for those mind who do accept their ability wisely. They allow things to happen correctly by being adaptable to the reality. They can only accept their ability as it really is, because they are wise, forward looking and knowledgeable, trustworthy and reflective thinkers for themselves for the benefit of others
5) ego is the major obstacle to change our mind: this ego mostly depends on one’s understanding. What he understands is wrong but he doesn’t know about it, rather he thinks it right. Even if he knows he needs to change his mind, but he fears of being socially and culturally vulnerable. This is quite common to almost everyone because all human beings have developed such an attitude that alway wanted to protect or to secure their own interest, which can happen because of the nature of ego within us.
6) a change of mind by social or cultural shame is possible but due to ego, resistance could bring negative effect to the change, unless they leave the place or immediate social group.
7) cultural and social perceptions are the most powerful obstacle to any immediate change because social perceptions are the combined force of ego, which they have created together over many centuries. It is easy to resist socially, and even create a force other to change into their own social and cultural thinking. Therefore, it takes long time to change their perception into other’s social and cultural thinking.
😎 the best way of changing mind could be something that take place by the power of nature, threatening to existence. They are either by the force of nature that overpower their social life and social thinking or by the force of individual physical energy that overpower the normal ability of thinking. This last change is mainly associated with an extreme sickness, which can stop thinkings of social affairs altogether.
If you are a capable social worker, political leader or you are looking forward to evolve and transform a cultural attitude, the brief points above could allow you to think and find away out for you.
Why we are anatta: a soulless being
If vinnyana has created namarupa but who has created vinnyana? Samkhara has created it but then who has created samkhara? Avijja has created it! What is avijja then? Avijja means not knowing and not understanding the law of the nature, how we are created, survived and continued by the process of both internal and external samkhara, the elemental reactions!
Here three points: firstly, namarupa- (mind body) is the base of our senses. This means that the entire body including our head is the base of our senses. Therefore, a tiny invisible or visible cell, before the formation of sense-organs, can also be a namarupa. Namarupa in its natural rules, grows up with sense- organs and it become bigger, higher or taller with the support of external elements. For this reason, paticcasamuppada stated that because of namarupa, sense-faculties are created, but my point is to look back or investigate the condition before the creation of sense- organs. Therefore, no doubt it will simply be a single or multiple cells, a tiny life dot, before the manifestation of sense- organs, and it moves or vibrates itself and gradually grows by the support of elements. It may not be visible in the beginning but it it become visible when it grows up by the support of elements.
Secondly, how this cell is created then by vinnyana? Question of vinnyana is one of the most puzzling questions to understand it. According to sutta and Abhidhamma, vinnyana is divided into six classifications, based on sense organs such as cakkhu vinnyana- eyes - consciousness etc. Vinnyana is an energy of different sense - organs which grow up from namarupa or on the basis of namarupa. This means vinnyana is a transitional place for a life - force to grow namarupa. Buddha uses it with senile of how a single seed grows a big tree when it has been supported by elements such as water etc. here seed itself comes with mass which are born out of Mother Earth and grows only when it has connected with or supported by earth and other elements. This is the best example of vinnyana by Buddha’s understanding.
Thirdly How this single dot energy of vinnyana can create namarupa? This answer is only plausible and comprehensible when we draw back the source of vinnyana. This source of vinnyana is samkhara as stated above, as in the paticcasamuppada theory. The meaning of samkhara is understood by two ways: internal and external samkhara. The internal samkhara is created by our own physical movement such as body, language and mind. This Samkhara -physical movement, is active as long as we are alive; as long as a tiny cell or a tiny insect is alive.
How can then we be alive without the support of external elements? How can a tiny cell be alive without the support earth, airs or water elements? This tiny cell itself has been created by the combination of earth, water or other elements. They are, for example, earth, water, airs elements and so on. These elements are active by the interaction of their own energy and movement. Thus, they are called external samkhara.
Here in this context, samkhara must have been the ultimate sources of the creation of vinnyana. Because of samkhara vinnyana is created. Once vinnyana is created, it never departs from or dissociates from samkhara. That’s why our body - engine is always active because it has a direct support from external samkhara. In other word, the internal samkhara is wholly depended on external samkhara, the elemental movement and interactions.
Samkhara is often interpreted with only one direction by many monastic traditions. They refer to kaya samkhara, vacisamkhara or mono samkhara or otherwise, when they interpret about life, they only pay attention to kamma, such as the action of body, language and mind but they often fail to investigate how this internal samkhara is meaningless or not survivable without the support of external samkhara.
Here my brief point above is to understand how samkhara is responsible to create vinnyana and how vinnyana is responsible for namarupa and the rest of the faculties….feeling, craving, clinging, life… rebirth and so on. Our monastic teachers mostly paid their attention to sense- faculties, feeling ….cling and new life as a result of kamma vatta, kilesa vatta or vipaka vatta so on! For me, even if they are philosophically right, they are not enough to understand the actual doctrine of anatta!
Once we are clear about the basic creation through the interaction of elements, pattern of paticcasamuppada will be clear. It will help understand the concept of anatta, without soul, because all are created by elements. Due to desire, attachment and clinging, which happen in line with this paticcasamuppada theory, many people think of atta but they don’t see it anatta because they failed to see the samkhara as a source of their life. Finally, not knowing this samkhara is itself avijja. Therefore, avijja is finally responsible for our suffering! # #
Wisdom and compassion: know it by yourself and be compassionate to all beings: #
All animals are our cousins, and all human beings are our brothers, sisters or parents: We all have senses- eyes to see, ears to hear, nose to smell, tongue to taste, body to touch. All external objects on which our senses depended are the same to all breathing beings. We breathe the same airs, and drink the same type of liquid- water and live under the same tolerable temperatures.
If we think about our survival requisites, we are not different from one another in terms of natural elements. We depend on foods, which are the products of Mother Earth. We all depend on the same elements of Mother Earth, like a child depends on his mother and father. Therefore, we are the product of the same -parental cares- of the elements, and nature. We are created and sustained by these natures. Therefore, we are all relatives to one another through the law of nature and law of the elements.
We all share with the main character of life, as we all feel, fear, and avoid suffering while we all want to be happy with natural resources or elements, which we call wealth, resources. Such resources are not only for human beings but also for all beings because without them, no beings can live on this earth.
Our ancestors evolved by eating meat but we don’t need meat now to evolve and we can now survive without eating meat. If you respect your ancestors, fore- parents, you should not eat meat. We should not harm and destroy the nature carelessly either. Instead, we all should respect the nature by not harming them, while we all love to live, survive and continue with this nature.
So, this is how we should see and understand life and nature. This parental earth provides trees, plants, vegetables for our foods. So be kind to the Mother Earth, Mother Nature, and all her children, and all beings! # #
Never give up
See others through your feeling, your heart and your empathy as to how you love yourself but not by your desire, your attachment or craving! When you see it, you will learn how not to hurt others. By not hurting others, you will become responsible person!
New culture of wisdom and empathy:
Creation of all cultures are descended from one source: to heal our emotion. It could be emotion of fears, questions of God or emotion of insecurity or suffering but I often criticize them because the emotions which have created by cultural actions, (prayers, belief, giving-taking culture, singing -dancing or art culture) can be distorted our view on the real dhamma.
We need only rational, empathetic, compassionate and knowledge culture, which is universally acceptable to everyone, and unite us through the lance of suffering because we all want to overcome from suffering, but the overcoming of this suffering must not be associated with ignorance, belief, singing or ecstasy, but rather with wisdom, practicality, rationality, empathy, love or compassion. Of course, we can use those cultures of singing, belief but without losing the eyes of wisdom and compassion!
According to the four noble truths, suffering is one of the noble truths and also a larger part of our emotion. Even though emotion is a very part of suffering, but not all emotions can give rise to knowledge, but rather it will distort our vision. So, we need to develop an emotion through the noble truth of suffering, but not by singing an emotional songs or prayers.
This noble truth of suffering starts from self-realization, self-reflection, and meditation, especially when someone hurts or harm others, when we are stressed, sick, pain or an experience of a near-death situation. Therefore, this noble truth of suffering could transform our illogical emotion, belief and prayer into logical emotion, self-reflections and realization of reality.
So, the suffering of the noble truth can be used as a tool for the development of a new culture because it is real, practical and comprehensible, and associated with rational experience of mind. That’s why this suffering is called noble! This experienced suffering can avoid our engagement for the suffering others.
Therefore, this new culture should address the problems of human divisions that have created by illogical and irrational emotional cultures. I will work with you if you think as I think to heal the divisive culture of the world.
This critic intended for a good cause:
Religion can not give an answer to human problems any more, either be it of material problems such as poverty, hunger, exploitation, conflicts over resources, wealth, corruption or be it of mentally related problems such as illogical faith, irrational promise, faith based conflicts, stress, depression, fear and anxiety.
I don’t want to leave Buddhism out here although reason, logic, compassion and wisdom are highly appreciated by wise, because the teaching of the Buddha has been distorted or hijacked by nationalists, cultural exploitation with the promise of protection, and good rebirth.
We must not cling the teaching without putting into a real practice, as we claim in our words and book based learning or listening talks!
Modern technology has provided us a guarantee and security to preserve the scriptures. What we need is to balance between the right practice, understanding, empathy in our everyday life and the learning, remembering and recitation of the scripture !!!
You have conducted many good teachings. Yes, you can teach extremely well, but if you don’t put into practice by yourself, your teaching could confuse others: what you have taught is different from what you actually practice.
This cannot be a good practice but our world wants a good practice and good example because this world has been watching on each other. We are globalised in everyday life or every aspect of our life!
Nationality has little meaning in this modern globalised world but a good example can have a better meaning and better influence on everyone across the world by which we can go beyond the concept of nationality. This is what Buddha wanted us to do for his mission of peace for the world!
Consciousness is created as a result of the interaction of the multiple elements, what Buddhist calls it samkhara. These elements never belong to anyone but anyone can use these elements for their life. In fact everyone from birth to death and rebirth is all possible because of these elements. When they use them they behave as they own these elements but they are the victim of these elements.
Because of this attitude, we, indeed every being, on this earth are trapped by the attractive force of our own desire, for example, no body wants to let it go off and even though they want this desire to let go, they cannot do it as they have been obsessed to their life, wealth, property or status and ego for so many years.
Their mind arrives at the uncontrollable state at the time of death. They cannot keep it stable. This happens because of the overpowering of fear. This fear is itself associated with desire by not being able to control the ego, mind or self. Here fear becomes dominated force as they do not want to cease their mind. Some people look very stressful before death while others relaxed but this relaxation happens by the loss of energy and fight, so it is still far away from the actual eradication of desire and ego.
This is the trapping point of each consciousness and serves as a reason for the continuity. So, consciousness reforms again after death through the energy of elements because these elements behaves as medium to reform a new body and mind. This is exactly how we have evolved our life because of the interaction of these elements or by the support of these elements. These elements supported us our evolution and now still supported us to continue life again within these elemental and sensual worlds! We are trapped by our own desire to live with these elemental force of attraction.
We cannot see the interaction of these elements by our nicked eyes, because the interactions of elements stay hidden as they are too tiny to see by our eyes. The reason of reformation and recreation is all related to one thing: the earth has evolved with these elements and remained in the habitable zone of consciousness within our solar system. Whatever beyond the solar system is the Brahma realm of elemental force from which our earth elements are created!
Transformation of mind from discrimination to united force of equality:
Never discriminate others. Discrimination only creates suffering, stress and pain to you and others. If you still do it knowingly, you are proving yourself you do not have human heart, empathy and wisdom. We have many experiences on the impact of discrimination. Modern human beings have learned about it and created it as a lesson to denounce this ancient culture of discrimination.
Some people insisted on my point by saying that they have no choice but discrimination because the other parties, ethnic or cultural groups have discriminated them. I can hear it even from the monastic communities. Such an attitude, behaviour, or character, whoever adopted it, are completely wrong because there are many options, we can choose to deal with discrimination. Two of those options are for example: 1) by making justifiable, right and equal rules of laws, proper proceeding, policy and principles; 2) by educating our children in the classroom.
But if a state makes a law and manipulates it for their own political goal, they should be the most criminal people in the state. They are worser than those who openly discriminate others. It is because the system will become out of control and can easily be misused one another. The state then will never become free from discrimination. Those people who do not realise or see their own discrimination and influence other with the rhetoric of discriminatory voices, they are the most harmful persons in the world. It could be anyone and even monks are not exceptional to this.
We, Buddha's followers or especially monks, must stand on the teaching of the Buddha- where Buddha said- anger, and discrimination can never cease by anger and discrimination but only love and wisdom alone can overcome the anger and discrimination.
Modern human beings have developed far advanced empathy and wisdom. If you are still living with the heart of ancient cruel cultures of discrimination, you still have an enough time to denounce it. You only need to train your mind with wisdom and empathy but not by your cultures. Then you can train others with the same principles you adopted instead of harming yourself with your discriminatory attitude.
I know some people feel an enormous insecurity of their future generations. Therefore they put an enormous effort to protect their culture. However our experience has suggested that each effort has led to conflict with others. This conflict will never end even after their death. If they come back to the world, they will continue with this discriminatory culture.
But if you make an effort to change your discrimination now and influence over state to avoid discrimination, one day when people appreciate it, the state can become free from discrimination. We just need to work together. Being a monk we can influence on others to create right and justifiable rules of law, policy and their proceeding. If you come back to the world in the next life you will get benefit it from this.
Never think you are stronger than the energy of your opponent. It is unwise to think it because your opponent energy is not his energy but the energy of the nature, which you can never challenge the energy of the nature:
Our energy primarily derived from the desired force of living and foods. The most powerful energy of all beings is the force of their desire to live on. We can create energy by ourselves and repel the laziness because of the force of the desire. But this desire is meaningless without the supplied foods and these foods again impossible without the source of external energy such as sun power, wind, water or oxygen.
So our life is vulnerable to the energy of nature and this energy cannot be created within us without the external support. We must remember the fact that no matter how your energy is strong to control other by forces or by behaviour, you are not free from the external energy. For example, you cannot compete with the force of water, winds or temperature, which are external to you. This external energy will take action against you depending on the nature of behaviour.
This is what the invisible force of karma works within us. For example, you are aggressive to someone, perhaps to everyone if they do not respect or obey your demands and influence but these people do not lead by your energy. They have their own energy. When conditions favour on their side, your energy of hostility, oppression or unjust will be useless and they will bring a great suffering to you. This is karma of human beings responded by its own nature.
Another example is that even though you are stronger than this example above due to the previously accumulated karma, and even though these people cannot bring you down or cannot challenge you but the hidden energy of karma, which l is externally available, bring you down. These people will not challenge you but the nature of the external energy will challenge you.
It is because everything you have created energy in your body in terms of wealth or power are deprived from the sources of nature. You can never challenge this nature. In fact you have created by this nature. Therefore the karma will bring you consequences not by others, whom you have controlled by your energy but by the power of nature, which you have no power control over.
Most important point is that you can never go against your parents who are the law of the nature! This law of the nature will punish you. You will be subject to rebirth and recycle again because of this law of the nature!!!
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