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!

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