Teaching in Myanmar: blog 4

Well, remembering what happenend the day before yesterday is easier without the jet lag impacting my functioning… I gave a lecture on Buddhist Psychopathology and a first part of Karma Transformation… Both is centred around the 3P as I call it, the three poisons as known in all brands of Buddhism, which are greed (almost leading to the world’s economic demise?), hatred (leading to extreme terrorism and the 3rd world war we are still in?) and ignorance (on how the mind works and the delusion that we as human beings are all seperate rather than the reality of inter-mind).

As a psychology, I rephrased the archaic tasting greed and hatred, others use lust for greed which sounds less general than greed. I rephrased by hypothetically telling that greed frames anxiety or fear for losing anything in the future or grief or sadness to have lost something or someone; and by stating the hypothesis that hatred hides anger or fury manifesting as other-hate or agression and self-hate or depression. So, I come to the working hypotheses that proposes a list of basic emotions: depression, anxiety, anger, sadness… completed by joy, love and silence or nirvana, the extinction of all emotional arousal or of the fires of the burning wood (aggregates or khandas or modalities as they are called in multimodal cognitive behavior therapy). Since this blog is not meant to go in-depth into these matters, I rest this case and continue the story of my teaching.

I changed my teaching style, with less interactionism and less reading by the students of the projected texts and more of my performance like I used to on stage). That surely saves time and brings me to some kind of high as I feel dopamine rushing in my veins as I go forward into those four hours. Afterwards, I had a walk with my dearest venerable Dr. who is our mutual most collaborative proponent in propagating and practicing not only lio servicing an innovate Buddhism as Psychology and Psychotherapy. This is not to discard or to dwarf Buddhism as a Religion or a philosophy, but to add and adjust Buddhism to our times. This enrichment, as we see it, is completely in the tradition of skilful means or upaya kaushalya in Mahayana Sanskrit. For a Buddhism as Psychology we will need a new jargon, like the 4ER (Ennobling Realities) and the 8FBP (Fold Balancing Practice) to get rid of the old eurocentric terms. Thereby emphasising that the West and the East are mentalities rather than geographic locations. Isn’t for instance Japanese life more technological and western than European living? Even considering the East as a location in the East is a colonial remnant? Anyway, a picture of the walk…

The next day, yesterday I was woken up by the dearest Venerable who asked me to be ready in 5m as we will be celebrated by going out today for lunch and much more by one of his benefactors who helps him to buy and build his Buddhist Psychology Institute nearby where he already acquired two pieces of land and is projecting constructions with an architect from Thailand. So this time no general to drive us around but another son in law of the lady benefactor who is 65y as she told me and who after her divorce built up an emporium and is now quite affluent as was told and evidently so because she has a few hundred employees and is able to enjoy each of her days as holidays. She is seemingly mostly enjoying the company of another wealthy woman friend, who is seemingly in the same situation and mother of the 12y boy of the other day, Sam who is now in school. She drove us around in her sedan. This time to a restaurant of another younger female friend who used to be a radio broadcast anchor but who chose to become a business woman (like seemingly many of those I have met here). Her business is a posh restaurant with private booths on or rather in the water (see picture).

There we were served by the former anchor, who had her staff cook for us: delicious vegetables, fish sukiyaki and bbq-ed fish in Shan style or rather Tai style. This is a region I described before and according to an anthropologist who studied Shan/Tai, this culture even crossed the borders of Thailand and China which are a 9h drive from where we are… First of course the Venerable was served and we then need to place our hands at the table in a Dana (generous giving) way and afterwards in a greeting or thanking way sounding like kapchai ka, sounds bit like Thai (with h), see pictures.

The lady on the right is the one who built her own wealth, chapeau, chapeau… so I gather women have the same rights and opportunities as men here in this part of the world. After this tremendous treat, these holidaymakers continue the day with a half hour ride for coffee somewhere in an agraric scenery amid the padi-fields. There we arrived to be seated on the first floor of a bamboo shack above to oversee the landscape. 
Pictures 5678
The ladies are all dressed in Shan/Tai style and on one of the tops of the mountains on my back is the university and the nearby town Taung Gyi… and the shack above the rice-fields… anyway, waiting for the coffee that did not come because of an outage, I became increasingly sleepy and slept there above on the floor for one hour… and woke up with headache that I kept till I got back in my room at the campus. Looking for an explanation it could be one or more of the following: waking up suddenly from a siesta, a remnant of the jet lag seemingly still in my system, a hang-up from my dope yesterday, the descending and ascending of 1500 m, the less oxygen height, the sitting in the middle back seat in the sedan equilibrating my body, tiredness. I became less talkative and less humurous which I wasn’t anyway due to the language barrier but still keep smiling all the time because of their hearty and loud laughing to jokes they were telling each other. The atmosphere in the car was excellent all the time with the Venerable as dynamo. The next stop was again a coffee shop we already visited the other day. It is surely one of the places to be because when we arrived Mrs Khamnoon who picked me up fro the airport and the British lady anthropologist were dining there.

 The definition of a coffeeshop here and in Holland is obviously different. It was six pm or so, so too late for coffee for me as I wanted to sleep through my headache and jet lag tonight or rstger right away when back in my room and after two aspirines I luckily brought with me… Yes I slept well and woke up without a headache, gone gone gone…


…  Gate gate paaragate paarasamgate bodhi svaahaa to paraphrase the Heart Sutra…