In my post: Principles Against Some Common Fallacies...

1. Buddhism only values 'self-awareness' insofar as it cultivates humility and compassion.

The point here is that 'self-awareness' is not, in Buddhism, a goal in itself. Buddhism is not about developing the self and certainly not about 'finding one's true self'. According to Buddhism there is no true self. A person is a congerie of evolving conditions. Nor is it possible to completely take control of this assemblage. Regarding most of the factors involved one can readily say "That is not me, not mine, not myself." As Thich Nhat Hanh says, "The self is made of non-self elements" and non=self elements are not under one's control. It is the fact of living in a world in which one encounters what Dogen call the "Dharmas that are other than self" that (a) makes it interesting and (b) means that the way that we relate to others is important. However, this does not mean that we are all 'one' either except in the extremely abstract sense that it is always possible linguistically to lump any assemblage of bit and pieces together and call it a 'whole'.

There is no self to be aware of. What one can be aware of is the flow of states, processes and conditions. This yields the sense that one is continually finding out about oneself, but it is not a constant thing that one is finding out about since it is like a stream always changing. Awareness of this flow and change can bring a sense of humility. One can realise that the self-perfection project is doomed. One can get some sense of one's fragility and vulnerability, one's liability to be mistaken, frightened, full of yearning or grief and so on depending all upon conditions over which one has only slight control. This development of humility is Dharmic and important. One of the reasons that it is important is that it is the ground of compassion. If it is like this for me then it is probably like this for everybody else as well. This realisation of how it is for others yields compassion.

Since this humility and this compassion depend upon conditions - in this case the condition of seeing our own human nature - they are not going to be constant. When we see it they may arise. When we do not see it they don't. That is human too. Buddha taught impermanence. This impermanence is not comfortable, but it is real. The truth impresses upon us intermittently, but this can be enough to wake up up.

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ITZI Conference 2017

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Message from Geeta

Posted by David Brazier on May 26, 2017 at 19:30 0 Comments

I (Geeta) can offer up to 3 people a lift from Surrey to Eleusis, leaving at 5 am on 1st June and/or returning to England about 5 pm on 4th June. I can offer one person (or a couple) accommodation on the night before we travel and the night that we return.

Thank you Geeta - nice offer.

COLOURFUL RITES

Posted by David Brazier on May 22, 2017 at 21:09 0 Comments

The Russian Orthodox certainly know how to do pomp and ceremony

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-40002536/russian-faithful-flock-to-st-nicholas-relics

Self Power/Other Power

Posted by Adam Dunsby on May 21, 2017 at 22:35 1 Comment

Sangharakshita on Self Power/Other Power: …

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The Omelette Sutra

Posted by Geeta Chari on May 20, 2017 at 14:00 1 Comment

I find Elizabeth David's classic book, 'French Provincial Cooking', to be replete with advice for the Pureland Sangha.

"As everybody knows, there is only one infallible recipe for the perfect omelette: your own. Reasonably enough; a successful dish is often achieved by quite different methods from those advised in cookery books or by the professional chefs, but over this question of omelette making professional and amateur cooks alike are particularly unyielding. Argument has never…

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