This is the 3rd blog on the past few days which went so quickly, I have to contemplate what happened… It is almost raining everyday here that the days seem to be all the same, anyway it is Monday morning now here and cloudy but dry. It is the rainy season now here whis is from June to September, four months, in a region that has three seasons a year. Today, I decided to skip my breakfast and take the opportunity to slim a bit by eating small portions of food and dishes I have to get used to their taste. No lecture to deliver today, so plenty of time to prepare my powerpoint for Bangkok on Sept 5, when I need to leave Myanmar to Thailand to renew visa as to be able to stay 36 days rather than the maximum of 28 days allowed for me as a tourist. I did progress yesterday and need to finalize the planned six hours with I guess a one hour break, so it will be performing five hours, ideally talking three, demonstrating one and discussing one.
Then, I arrived at Yangon Airport where a co-worker volunteer picked me up to go to immigration, no problem as expected, and to the Ruby Hotel where I spent one night. Next morning a domestic flight to a town called Taung Gyi in Shan State, where I was again picked up by Ms Khamnoon who is a sister of the famous Khammai who resides this time of year in Oxford, England. I learned that the weather at Shan State Buddhist University (SSBU) up in a mountainous area is rainy and foggy during the months of June, July, August and September.
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..