Proletariat Fish: Marx and Engels are in the Building! (12.1.2018)

000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Mei-An and Kai-Lin have been promised fish for sometime now, and neither has caused a fuss for having to wait patiently. A picture of Lenin adorns the back, together with a Red Flag on the front. The two ‘Revolutionary’ goldfish are now known as ‘Marx’ anf ‘Engels’! Long Live the Socialist Revolution!

(Purchased as a ‘Starter Kit’ with tank, pump, filter, food and two goldfish from Pets Place, 105 Central Rd, Worcester Park KT4 8DY)

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Ch’an Buddhism as Scientific Socialism

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

If Buddhism is viewed as a ‘religion’ – and the Buddha as a ‘theistic’ being – then Buddhism has nothing to do with modern science, and in that case, would represent one of many pre-modern theories devised by the human mind to explain reality. However, it is clear from a study of the Pali Canon that the Buddha’s system is a perceptual science premised upon the logical and rational observation of matter, and assessment of natural processes. Within the ‘five aggregates’ teaching, it is clear that the human mind is defined by the Buddha as a number of impermanent processes that ‘emerge’ from biological matter. This is why the Buddha places ‘rupa’ or ‘matter’ as first in the list of the five aggregates. The Buddha also seems to have been the first human in history to suggest that the tiniest specks of matter are ‘flashing’ in and out of existence during every moment, and that the idea that the world of matter forms a solid wall in-front of the senses is an illusion. This would suggest that the Buddha’s path is one of physical and psychological discipline that clears the mind of all ‘old’ and ‘out-dated’ modes of thought (such as an external or subjective belief in a god construct), and when coupled with the observation that compassion and wisdom manifest throughout society – serves as the foundation for the application of  Scientific Socialism. This is how Ch’an Buddhism is viewed in modern China.

Email: Zhao Ming Ming and Niu Sheng Xian (7.8.2017)

ZMW-zing

Dear J
Thank you for your email.
The important point is to focus the mind in such a way that it does not oscillate between extreme poles of manifestation, but becomes centred in the present moment. Yes – this is a common Ch’an idea – but it is also common-sense. Even in modern science the mind must be focused if progress is to be made in whatever field of investigation is being studied. By bringing the mind to a single-point of concentration, the inner functionings (i.e. the biological processes), become clearer to the perception. If the mind is agitated or distracted, then it is very difficult to perceive the inner processes, and virtually impossible to circulate jing or cultivate advanced qi (vital force). What must also be considered is that if an individual is suffering somekind of ailment or illness, they often undergo some form of medical treatment to alleviate these symptoms BEFORE Daoist training is fully engaged. Master Zhao Ming Wang tends to use various forms of TCM – but I know of Chinese practitioners who also use Western medicine. It does not matter what method is used, providing the condition improves. If a person is physically fit and healthy, then it comes down to the psychological state – is the person polite, respectful and virtuous? These positive inner states denote a certain frequency of psychological functionality that is conducive to ‘looking within’, with the minimum of resorting to selfish ego manifestation that constructs the entire process.
Now, Master Zhao Ming Wang is the current Zhao Family Lineage Holder of the Qianfeng Pre-Natal School for this generation – but he inherited this from a non-Zhao Family Lineage Holder – due to the taboo existing within traditional Chinese Daoism (which forbids a father handing-down a Daoist lineage to a son). This taboo probably stems from the idea that many Daoists are celibate priests that live apart from society. As matters transpired, Zhao Ming Wang inherited the Qianfeng Lineage from Master Niu Sheng Xian – a key disciple of Zhao Bichen (as well as directly from his grandfather Zhao Feng Xian). Master Zhao uses the concept of ‘lineage’ to denote a certain ‘quality of transmitted technical knowledge about Daoism’. in other words, a lineage descendent can be trusted not to be motivated by greed (or any other selfish distraction), and to be motivated entirely by an altruistic compassion. However, this altruistic compassion must not be confused with sentimentalism, or attachment to person or process. Obviously, you may wrote to me as often or as little a you wish.
Residing in the Dao
Adrian

Beauty Through Virtue

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

In a Chinese language article dated 14.3.2010, the author asks what constitutes the nature of ‘true’ beauty? In a Beijing street, a man falls to the ground (possibly through ‘fainting’) while a nearby young woman thinks about helping, but is told by other by-standers not to get involved and to mind her own business. However, this young lady ignores this advise and steps out of the crowd to assist the man sit-up, recover his senses, and finally regain his feet. The author states that this action is the basis of ‘true’ beauty, which is a beauty of character, rather than of physicality. A person that possesses a ‘beautiful’ exterior, may not possess a ‘beautiful’ interior and vice versa. This young lady, of course, is physically beautiful in a discreet sense, but her character (and ‘mind’) appear to be the deciding factors in her particular manifestation. Understanding this opens the notion of ‘beauty’ into a much deeper and broader spectrum of manifestation (not limited to the ‘material’ plain), that requires a much more sophisticated means of perception in the observer.

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Within Chinese thought, beauty cannot be just about ‘physicality’, as it must also be a manifestation of all ‘inner’ qualities. Indifference to physical beauty is just one of these attributes. Beauty is ‘enhanced’ by a lack of interest in its own fabrication, and ‘demeaned’ by an interest that is obsessive and corrupting.

Original Chinese Language Article:

http://bbs.tiexue.net/post2_4136504_1.html

一外地老人倒地,无人问津,惟有这年轻女子俯身询问。有人劝说她不要多管闲事,但她依然俯身要去扶起老人,你没发现她是北京街头最美的女人?

The Buddha’s Radical Dharma

00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

The Buddha interfered in the politics of his day, all the time. He told kings and princes how to think, what to think, and how to behave, whilst the very basis of his philosophical system was highly militant against the status quo, albeit in a non-violent manner. The Buddha practised a form of ‘negative’ philosophical violence – or a violence of the mind -in that he advocated the complete ‘uprooting’ of the Brahmanic social system, and the ‘negating’ of the theology upon which it stood. This was the case because the Buddha stated that the theology of Brahmanism, (and the manifestation of Brahmanic culture in the world) was premised upon ‘ignorance’ presented as ‘wisdom’, and motivated by greed, hatred and delusion. It is peculiar in the extreme that the Brahmanic authorities allowed the Buddha’s school to exist and to flourish, when everything about his ‘Dharma’ was designed to undermine that system. As many people today tend to focus upon ‘breathing’ and ‘meditation’, the militant and non-violent nature of the Buddha’s philosophy is often over-looked. This is probably because the principles of ‘militancy’ and ‘non-violence’ are often not assumed to go together. However, profoundly disagreeing with the prevailing socio-economic and political system is fully inaccordance with Buddhist thought. By spreading the Buddha’s Dharma of philosophical ‘non-co-expectation’, the prevailing system is being undermined from within. Of course, this is only relevant if the prevailing system is at odds with the Buddha’s interpretation of reality. As ancient India did not conform with the Buddha’s interpretation of reality, he critiqued it mercilessly. In fact, when debating with supporters of that regime, the Buddha used ridicule, sarcasm, wit and incisive insight to reduce his opponent to that of a badly educated fool. This is what the Buddhist scriptures reveal time and again, with ‘compassion’ and ‘loving kindness’ interpreted to mean ‘telling the truth’, even if that truth-telling profoundly upsets those listening. This is why it is a mistake to assume that Buddhism is ‘pacifist’, or that it supports the prevailing status quo (in regimes that run counter to its principles). When the Buddha stood between two opposing armies, he was directly interfering in the political process of his day, just as he was when he convinced young Indian people to ‘abandon’ caste and give-up all the social duties associated with that caste. In contemporary times in the West this would be tantamount to abandoning commerce, politics, and liberal cultural norms. In this regard, the path of the Buddha is deeply ‘political’, and those who practice it in support of social systems that run counter to Buddhist ethics, are in reality inverting and denying the true revolutionary spirit of the Buddha.

Encountering China’s Most Beautiful Daoist Nun

00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

This is the Daoist Nun known as ‘Miao Miao’ (妙妙), who lives on ‘Dragon Tiger Mountain’ (龙虎山 – Long Hu Shan), situated in Mainland China’s Jiangxi province.  Although young (apparently born in 1990), she carries the ‘horse hair dust-whisk’ of spiritual authority in the above photograph. According to a man who visited the area during the Tent Festival during the National Day holidays in October, 2010, he met and fell in-love with this nun, and the two got married soon after (their marriage certificate is dated October 10th, 2010).  It is unclear from various Chinese language texts exactly what happened next. Miao Miao is still a Daoist nun living an austere lifestyle on Mount Long Hu -although because of her ‘partner’s’ internet article retelling their whirlwind romance, she has become famous throughout China, with many tourists deliberately visiting the area to speak with her and take photographs.  Some Netizens in China think the entire story is a hoax to encourage tourism to the area, whilst others (including the government position) is that the story is true, and that the Daoist nun Miao Miao has conducted herself with the utmost virtue that the country would do well to emulate.  Although unclear, it would appear that despite marrying a man she just met, she did not ‘consummate’ the marriage, but remained forever ‘pure’.  This Chinese language article (and photographs) are from a tourist perspective of this Daoist nun.

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2016.

Original Chinese Language Source Text:

http://tieba.baidu.com/p/1479990084

邂逅中国最美道姑

还记得当年江西龙虎山与游客闪婚的道姑妙妙吗?妙妙乃是90后生人,据描述:长相清纯秀丽、仪态端庄典雅、身姿曼妙,被称为中国最美道姑。近几年,来龙虎山旅游的游客,都以能一睹妙妙芳容为幸事。

Chinese Syncretism & Hakka Taiping Uprising (Email)

0000000000000

Email to ‘AS’ on the 3.9.2016

Dear Venerable
Thank you for your interesting email.
Through the historical habit of ‘syncretism’ in China, radically different and representative spiritual or material elements can be ‘aligned’ (either temporarily or permanently), so that an ‘intersection’ between different philosophical schools can be achieved.  The point of this was to remove the the potential for violence between competing socio-spiritual entities.  This policy sometimes when individual emperors launched pogroms either against Buddhism or Daoism (depending on which they supported, or opposed).  In the 19th century, the Hakka people rose-up against the Qing Dynasty (Taiping Uprising), combining Missionary Christianity, with Chinese Cosmology – with a ‘new’ Chinese ‘Son of God’.  Of course, the Western churches took exception to this and provided the non-Christian Qing Dynasty with the modern weapons to defeat the formerly victorious Hakka Armies.  Shen () corresponds to the realisation of expansive and all-embracing space (as described in both Daoist and Buddhist teachings).  Interestingly, the Daoist concepts of qi () and jing (), are quite often represented by the single Chinese ideogram ‘炁’ (qi) which suggests an integration of ‘breath’ (氣 – Qi) and ‘essential nature’ (精 – Jing) achieved during successful self-cultivation.  ‘炁’ (qi) is used as a transliteration of the Sanskrit ‘prana’.  I am referring here, of course, to the ‘Three Treasures’ (San Bao – 三寶) of which shen is a part.  Now, if the three Daoist gods of the three purities can be related to the three treasures, and the three treasures linked to the three bodies of the Buddha (Trikaya), then there is a trail of evidence!
With Metta
Adrian

Nyanatiloka: Playing with Emptiness

000000000000

‘On the doctrine of anatta, or ‘egolessness’, i.e., the impersonality and emptiness of all phenomena of existence, the author repeatedly felt the necessity of throwing light from every possible point of view, but it is exactly this doctrine which, together with the doctrine of the conditionality of all phenomena of existence, constitutes the very essence of the whole Teaching of the Buddha without   which it will be by no means possible to understand it in its true light.  Thus the doctrine of impersonality runs like a red thread right through the whole book.’

(Nyanatiloka: Buddhist Dictionary, Preface 1946)

The Venerable Nyanatiloka Maha-Thera (1878-1957) was an eminent German-born Theravada Buddhist monk who entered the Sangha in Sri Lanka, and became renowned for exact and precise scholarly understanding of that school’s complex Dharma teaching.  He possessed the ability to a) understand and contextualise often obscure Pali terms and concepts, and b) correctly transliterate and translate those terms into Western languages.  His work regarding the Theravada School is reliable and insightful.  His numerous Dharma-books bring alive – for a Western audience – the teachings of the Buddha first uttered well-over two thousand years ago in ancient India (in the Chinese Buddhist tradition, it is believed that the Buddha lived around three thousand years ago).  Indeed, many have reported experiencing a type of ‘freedom’ just from coming into contact, and reading Nyanatiloka Maha-Thera’s words, and in his old age, he had more than a passing resemblance to the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates.  In his youth, he studied music Frankfurt and Paris, and travelled widely throughout the world, visiting India, Sri Lanka, the Middle East, and Greece.  He became a novice monk (Samanera) in Rangoon (Burma) in 1903, and became a Bhikkhu a year later in 1904 (in the Theravada tradition).  Between 1910-11 he left Sri Lanka and travelled to Lausanne area of Switzerland – where introduced many to Buddhism.  In fact, it was during this time that the Venerable Nyanatiloka Maha-Thera ordained the first Buddhist monk on Western soil.  Of course, like a number of Germans who go unrecognised, Nyanatiloka Maha-Thera (birth-name Anton Gueth) did not participate as a belligerent in either WWI or WWII, although whilst living in Sri Lanka, he was twice imprisoned by the British as an enemy alien (as Sri Lanka was then a British Colony).  In 1916, he was granted a passport to Honolulu, from where he travelled to China.  He was arrested and imprisoned (as China had joined Britain in her war against Germany), and was not released until 1919.  He lived as a teacher of Pali for a time in Japan after WWI, before finally being allowed back into Sri Lanka by the British in 1926.  During WWII the British interned him in the Dehra-Dun Central Internment Camp, situated in North India – before being released in 1946.  Indeed, this is the address he gives at the bottom of his 1946 Preface for the First Edition of his excellent book entitled ‘Buddhist Dictionary’ (a very learned compendium of Pali Buddhist terms correctly translated into English).

Tories Out! London March (16.7.2016)

20160716_122351

20160716_121238

This weekend was the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival, which is held every year in July, to commemorate and celebrate the bravery of a group of unionised farmers from West Dorset, many of whom were persecuted by the State for daring to oppose capitalist oppression (in 1834).  Those Socialists and Communist who were not in Dorset today, attended the People’s Assembly Anti-Austerity, Anti-racism and Anti-Tory protest March that started at 1pm (outside the BBC in Portland Place), and which meandered its way through Central London to Parliament Square.  Tens of thousands attended from all different backgrounds and there was an air of jubilation in a crowd that expects the Socialist Jeremy Corbyn to be re-confirmed as the Leader of the Labour Party, and eventually to become Prime Minister of the UK.  In the meantime, the demonstrators passed Downing Street calling for the new Tory administration (led by Theresa May) to call a general election.  Black Lives Matter was present and quite rightly vocal, calling the crowd’s attention to the often racist and deadly behaviour of the British police, described as the arm of the faceless State, empowered by racist White people to kill Black people whilst in custody, or during arrest, etc.  Mixed in with all this was the NHS Staff marching to keep Nursing and Midwifery Bursaries, and to prevent further cuts and privatisation of the NHS itself.  In the light of the recent UN Report slamming the British government for Crimes Against Humanity regarding its despicable treatment of the nation’s disabled people, Disability Rights Campaigners were quite rightly out in force.  Whilst waiting in the 27 degree heat, a Comrade from the Communist Party of Britain (CPB), approached and said that he recognised us due to our excellent flags.  He then presented us with a gift of a unique Marxist postcard of his own design which can be seen below (the contact email for this art is – mina_boromand@hotmail.com):

postcard

20160716_120547

20160716_121218

20160716_121742

20160716_121226

20160716_120856

20160716_120915

20160716_123047

20160716_123214

20160716_123159

20160716_125437

20160716_125549

20160716_125951

20160716_123528

20160716_125353

20160716_134250

20160716_135317

20160716_135948

20160716_140958

20160716_141626

20160716_141642

20160716_141700

20160716_141703

Tiger Temple Solidarity Letter Against Racist Animal Rights (7.6.2016)

images (14)

Dear Tiger Temple

NamoTassa, bhagavato, Arahato, Samma, Sambudhaa!

We have become aware in recent weeks of the negative press coverage concerned with the Tiger Temple and the care of the tigers that live in and around the temple grounds.  As Buddhists living in the UK, we are aware that this offensive is a racially motivated tirade aimed at Thailand (and Buddhism) by the rightwing UK and US media.  It is fuelled by the rightwing of the animal rights movement that uses the pretext of ‘animal rights’ as a means to attack other national groupings and ethnicities, in pursuit of its race-hate politics.  Many of these people (who are writing racist and sexist comments on the Tiger Temple Facebook page) eat-meat, support capitalism (which fuels the meat industry and cruelty to animals), and never campaign or draw attention to the numerous 24 hour slaughter factories that are functioning nearby virtually every home in the West.

These kinds of hate filled people do not understand that Buddhist monks – as members of the Sangha – are forbidden by their vows to hurt any living creature, or to possess money or partake in waged-labour.  In fact, the only relationship with the tigers that roam the temple, is that the monks must strive to relieve their suffering.  The racists in the West do not know this and are not interested in learning this, as their only intention is to spread race-hate through their false assertions and distorted interpretations.  We are aware that the Buddhist monks of Tiger Temple will only respond to these racist allegations with loving kindness and compassion, so as not to add any further delusion to the world.  As the karma unfolds, those who spread hate and deception will receive hate and deception, as only effective meditation can break this cycle of lay-generated abuse.

This is of course, also an attack on China, as this is used by the racist Western press to imply that tigers are being sold by the temple to be used within Chinese traditional medicine, but China banned ‘tiger bone’ usage in 1980.  However, as racists are not interested ‘facts’, it is better to point-out with logic the errors of their ways, and use wisdom to expose their lies.  This will prevent good minded people from falling into the trap of following these hate-filled individuals in the dark holes of perception that they have made for themselves.  In the meantime, the hatred will eventually dissipate, the truth will be revealed, and the tigers will once again roam happy and free.

Peace in the Dharma

 

Adrian Chan-Wyles (7.6.2016)

Sutton – London

 

%d bloggers like this: