Invited by the Rector Magnificus of the the very new Shan State Buddhist University at Taung Gyi, the amazing Oxford PhD Khammai Dhammasami, I am now sitting here on August 20 at the Domestic Airport of Yangon after having arrived yesterday from Alicante to Amsterdam via Dubai to where I am sitting on a bench.
Karma: there is no other concept in Buddhism which is more important and yet evokes so much misunderstanding. The relevance is illustrated by the given that The Buddha called himself a kammavadin, someone who deals with “intentional action” (the shortest definition of karma). In spite of those who might want to view karma as a book-keeping balance of good and bad deeds, karma is interpreted as nothing more or less than a this-worldy cognitive-behavioural choice determining here-now consequences. Thanks to Ven Jnanamati Williams and Floor Nijman for recording.
Aiming at Knowing Self & Relating Wisely, Relational Buddhism is a psychological approach to the Pan-Buddhist teachings rooted in what I have coined “Ancient Greek Buddhism.” Stemming from the 2nd century BCE, basic Buddhism belongs to Western civilization already for 2200 years, long before it went further East. There is therefore no compelling need for Westerners to learn peculiar Buddhist doctrines from China, Tibet, Korea or Japan with inherent exotic/cultural excess baggage.
Out of Buddhist thought sprouts a secular Buddhist psychology/therapy-counselling which emphasizes interpersonal relationships as the centrepiece of its daily practice. This includes the assessment and transformation of conversational exchange with oneself through self-speech, particularly on intentional action (karma) and emotions..
The Buddha discerned greed, hatred and ignorance on how human mind works as the 3-Poisons which is the main target in Buddhist psychology/therapy. Hatred conceals anger toward self (=depression) and anger toward others leading to aggression. As we are 85% water, our temperature varies according to what we emote. So e.g. we can boil when angry, freeze from fear, melt if sad and evaporate in joy and be deluged in infatuation and love.
Thanks to Ven Jnanamati Williams and Floor Nijman for recording…