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  • hardie karges 10:48 am on January 15, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Brahmin caste, , , , , Franz Ferdinand, , Hittite, , , Mittani, , , ,   

    Buddhism 101: Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions 

    Think good thoughts, speak good words, perform good acts. It’s contagious. It’s catching. It can make the difference between life and death. And that’s the bedrock of Buddhism, regardless of what the ‘rebirther’ Buddhists or the meditator Buddhists think, they tending to Vajrayana and Mahayanist persuasions, respectively, whether they know it or not, haha. Because the Buddha didn’t call his initial sermon the Four Noble Truths for nothing, and that’s Number One: Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions…

    And if that sounds a lot like a song by Franz Ferdinand, then so be it. And if that sounds a lot like the Ten Commandments, then so be it. It’s simple. It’s basic. It’s universal, as it should be. Now I won’t go into the fact that Four Noble Truths can also be translated Four Aryan Truths, but there may be a clue to its universality there. Hittites of Mideast fame were also Indo-Europeans and may have accomplished much more than merely be a thorn in the side of the Semites. The nearby Mittani culture also had close connections with Sanskrit speakers…

    But that’s neither here nor there, and only serves to agitate modern India’s Brahmin caste. What’s important is not nationalism, but rationalism, the kind that thinks before it speaks and looks before it leaps. That was implicit in the earliest Buddhism, also, with its insistence upon the acknowledgement of causes and conditions for all the phenomena of the world, not superstition or divine intervention. And that’s Dependent Origination in a nutshell, a theory that not only defines us, but combines us. We’re all in this together, literally. Be kind.

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  • hardie karges 10:06 am on August 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Franz Ferdinand, , Occam's Razor, , , , ,   

    Buddhism for Dummies, Hold the Salsa… 

    My 6th grade teacher was correct: our mouths cause most of our problems. Samma Vaca is Right Speech, part of the Buddhist Eightfold Path. Of course, Ms. What’s-her-name knew little or nothing of Buddhism but that makes no difference. Buddhism is at its best as common sense, and that’s what the Eightfold path is all about. Three of the paths that comprise the Eightfold Path you might already know from the Franz Ferdinand song ‘Right Action,’ which also trumpets (and guitars) Right Thoughts and Right Words.

    The other components of the path include Right Intention, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration (meditation), depending on translations and personal proclivities. For example, ‘mindfulness’ is all the rage in online Buddhist circles, but ‘awareness’ or even ‘consciousness’ might be a better translation of the Pali word sati (Sanskrit smrti), since they’re easy to use in any normal conversation, while ‘mindfulness’ is rarely used outside of Buddhist or meditation circles (though ‘mindful’ might be).

    And that’s the way I like my Buddhism, down-to-earth and easy to understand. Zen tries to get all Dadaesque, in its effort to go beyond language, but only confuses many people in the process. And Vajrayana puts the magic in the wand for those who need that, but none of that is really necessary for the Buddhism that the Buddha envisaged. And those early guys admittedly tried to make it more complicated, too, even grouping the Eightfold Path into a three-part collection of ethics, meditation, and wisdom, without really changing anything in the process. Sometimes the simplest way is the best, just like Occcam’s Razor, for a smooth close shave, haha…

     
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