Monday, October 17, 2016

With Mindfulness, strive on

In college, many moons ago, I was in an aesthetics class. I read Arthur Danto's book The State of Art. Aside from the Tilted Arc stuff, there was the argument that we are at the end of art, that all the major schools have been created, we're just playing around with what's been created. Indeed Danto's next book is After The End of Art.

As I was chanting from the TBC Puja, which I have modified in by adding in things. I've added conciliation and atonement. Instead of chanting to Padmasambhava twice, I chant pratityasamitpada:

Imasmim sati, idam hoti.
Imass’ uppādā, idam uppajjati.
Imasmim asati, idam na hoti.
Imassa nirodhā, idham nirujjhati.

I learned to chant that 8 years ago, my how time flies.

Amongst the mantras I add in a Milarepa mantra:

The TBC is an ecumenical order, which means inclusive of all the sects. So I can read pure land sutras, I can read it all. I've been into the Teravadan books from Amaravati. I feel like I could hang out with any sect and get something from it. In a way, I feel Buddhism, like art, is at an end. You've all these kinds and really you can mash up what ever you want. Of course it's good to get an order and a sangha and a program of progress to have regular steps instead of irregular steps. Even Batchelor writes a book called After Buddhism. Some people want an American Buddhism. It's hard to imagine what that would mean. There is a movement to take Buddhism away from the secretive teachers, an open source Buddhism. Sangharakshita talks about spiritual indigestion, too many rich doctrines.

Like everything, you can never give up your will, negotiating your own spiritual shoals is all your business and nobody else's. The fight against ossifying orders, keeping the spiritual life alive can be challenging at times. With mindfulness, strive on!

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Higher Power

So my partner had some time to blog, so I'm inspired to blog.

Chapter 4 in The Philosophical Baby talks a lot about Buddhism and consciousness. Gopnik suggests that because babies are experiencing everything as new, they are more conscious. They need more anesthetic for surgery. In a way they are little Buddhas. I have treated my little sprog as my teacher, just as their brothers are my teachers as well.

For that matter my daughter's mother has positivity, energy, patience, wisdom and kindness oozing out her every pore, and she teaches me quite a lot. Sometimes family life is your sangha.

Been reading The Buddha In Me, The Buddha In You. It's a positive encouraging book by a life coach who also follows Soka Gakkai.

I stopped reading The collected works of Ajhan Chah, because it seems to be an elaboration of just do it. I've gotten a lot from what I've read so far, but I've stalled in the book because he says put down the book and go meditate. Good advice. Great teachers always point away from their talks and books and suggest meditation. I'll get back to it eventually. I put down a lot of books and come back to them when the spirit moves me.

I've been reading One Breath At A Time for the third time and finding it rewarding. I'm still stuck on the whole higher power thing.