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Onze eigen beoefening en eigen ervaring is steeds onze belangrijkste toetssteen om te zien wat werkt en niet.

De Boeddha is het primaire referentiekader (via de Pali Canon). Hij leefde ca. 2500 jaar geleden in noord-India. Toch zijn er in de latere tradities van het boeddhisme ook vele waardevolle zaken te vinden.

De oprichter van Triratna, onze jonge traditie, is Sangharakshita (1925-2018). Hij is een belangrijke vertaler geweest van het boeddhisme naar de hedendaagse (westerse) cultuur.

Je kan hieronder een aantal tekstfragmenten terugvinden van Sangharakshita om al kort even te ‘proeven’ van de diepgang en de rijke gelaagdheid van het boeddhisme.

Afbeelding: Sangharakshita (rechts) met één van zijn leraren, Dilgo Khyentse Rimpoche (1910-1991) (links). Copyright Sangharakshita Trust (sangharakshita.org).

De reactieve & de creatieve geest

Besides being conditioned and mechanical, the reactive mind is repetitive. Being ‘programmed’ as it were by needs of which it is largely unconscious, it reacts to the same stimuli in much the same way. … It is owing to this characteristic of the reactive mind that ‘human’ life as a whole becomes so much a matter of fixed and settled habit, in a world of routine. … Even our religious life, if we are not careful, can become incorporated into the routine, can become part of the pattern, part of the machinery of existence. …

The reactive mind is the unaware mind. Whatever it does, it does without any real knowledge of what it is that it is doing. Metaphorically speaking, the reactive mind is asleep. Those in whom it predominates can, therefore, be described as asleep rather than awake. In a state of sleep they live out their lives; in a state of sleep they eat, drink, talk, work, play, vote, make love; in a state of sleep, even, they read books on Buddhism and try to meditate.  … It is with this realization — when we become aware of our own unawareness, when we wake up to the fact that we are asleep — that spiritual life begins. …

The characteristics of the creative mind are the opposite of those of the reactive mind. The creative mind does not re-act. It is not dependent on, or determined by, the stimuli with which it comes into contact. On the contrary, it is active on its own account, functioning spontaneously, out of the depths of its own intrinsic nature. …
Its optimism is not, however, the superficial optimism of the streets, no mere unthinking reaction to, or rationalization of, pleasurable stimuli. …


On the contrary, the optimism of the creative mind persists despite unpleasant stimuli, despite conditions unfavourable for optimism, or even when there are no conditions for it at all. The creative mind loves where there is no reason to love, is happy where there is no reason for happiness, creates where there is no possibility of creativity, and in this way ‘builds a heaven in hell’s despair’”.

Sangharakshita, The Mind Reactive and Creative

Over mettā (liefdevolle vriendelijkheid)

The unfailing sign of mettā is that you are deeply concerned for the well-being, happiness, and prosperity of the object of your mettã, be that a person, an animal, or any other being. When you feel mettā for someone, you want them to be not just happy, but deeply happy; you have an ardent desire for their true welfare, an undying enthusiasm for their growth and progress.

Sangharakshita, Living with Kindness

Service 3

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Service 4

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The unfailing sign of mettã is that you are deeply concerned for the well-being, happiness, and prosperity of the object of your mettã, be that a person, an animal, or any other being. When you feel mettã for someone, you want them to be not just happy, but deeply happy; you have an ardent desire for their true welfare, an undying enthusiasm for their growth and progress“.

Sangharakshita

If you habitually mask your true feelings out of fear of confronting people with the truth of yourself as you really are, you are hardly likely to be able to confront that truth yourself. You need to be able to see the real danger in being woolly and vague, to see that avoiding the truth of the immediate situation fatally undermines your practice of the Dharma. … Freedom from fear and anxiety is a natural consequence of this willingness to be honest.”

Sangharakshita

As the near enemy of contentment, complacency betokens a superficial satisfaction with things as they are, particularly with yourself. If you scratch the surface of this self-satisfaction, you are likely to find blind attachment to your present state at almost any cost. You inwardly – and perhaps not so inwardly – congratulate yourself on being the way you are, with no thought of ever becoming anything different, anything more. …
Complacency is related to a fault referred to more directly in the first verse of the sutta: atimãnî, or arrogance. The arrogant person, like the complacent person, does not want to go too deeply into anything that might threaten their fixed idea of who they are. Yet, ironically, complacency and arrogance stemfroma lack of contentment with who you really are. Your apparent contentment is with who you think you are
“.