On a retreat, Christopher offers an invitation to a participant to sit next to him at the front in the Dharma Hall to engage in a Dharma Inquiry. A single inquiry may last for a few minutes or up to an hour or more. These periods of inquiry contribute to insight and awakening for one and all in the Dharma Hall. Hundreds of these Dharma inquiries have been recorded over the years.Continue reading →
From the standpoint of first-hand experience, secular ideology has a lot to answer for. The Buddha put his thumb on the ongoing problem with secular priorities, which easily imprison our mind into a painfully narrow way of life.
These priorities can dominate the mind to such a degree that daily life excludes much else, precious and deep. The Buddha specifies Eight Worldly Conditions.
1. Profit and Loss 2. Success and Failure 3. Praise and Blame 4. Pleasure and Pain
Much of our day can revolve around the Buddha’s analysis of these common priorities, which he described as the Eight Worldly Conditions. Religious/spiritual beings also remain vulnerable to engagement with these conditions from one day to the next.
Readers need to remember the eight worldly conditions. Ask yourself:
Are my primary daily life activities involved in these daily conditions?
Am I receptive to experiences unrelated to the eight worldly conditions?
If so, what are they?
Is there commitment to an expansive way of life, wise and compassionate?
Hard core secularists claim they live in the real world, unlike religious/spiritual beings. Such self-conceited views obscure experiences of the real world, the reality of things. The constant swinging of states of mind into profit/loss, success/failure, praise/blame and pleasure/pain confirm such an identification with these worldly conditions which infects the view as the reality. Reality does not know confinement to the material/mental world.
Mind can swing from heaven to hell, gradually or suddenly, in facing the experience of these dualities.
The level of suffering increases due to the holding onto or blind resistance to. Despite all the secular propaganda:
We cannot undo what has been done. We cannot choose what experience to have. We cannot choose to postpone a painful experience. We cannot choose to drop a painful experience at a moment’s notice.
The tyranny of secular society imprisons vast sections of the population into preoccupation with profit, success, praise and pleasure as the primary goals of life. Is it any wonder that loss, failure, blame and pain trigger so much anguish, anger and depression.
It takes a considerable degree of honest inner examination to know if our life has become consumed by such obsessions. We throw away our existence in daily preoccupation with the eight worldly conditions. The first two conditions apply to the remaining three couplets.
Some may have gained much (money/material/profits etc) and then comes the opposite. At whose expense?
Some may experience such loss? At whose expense?
Some may say they experience an equal measure of both profit and loss.
Others are not sure.
We sleepwalk through life if we think these conditions take priority over everything else.
There is the opportunity to discover something of a different order altogether.
Inquiring into the eight worldly conditions does not promote an ‘other worldliness.’ This inquiry allows the chance to expand our consciousness, to bring awareness to bear on existence. This will make a difference not only to our life but to life itself. We need inner metal, true non-attachment to the gratification of the self, and unharnessed dedication to knowing the nature of non-duality.
Worldly means the world revolves around the worldly conditions and the worldly conditions revolve around the world.
The condition of one impact on the condition of the other.
The eight worldly conditions impact on other humans.
The condition of the Earth, as a result of human behaviour, carries on impacting on the condition of the Earth.
The teachings point to wisdom in daily life but also realisations not dependent upon the eight worldly conditions.
Don’t waste your life in constant indulgence in the worldly conditions.
Dig deeper than the presentation of these conditions, of these expressions of dharma.
You can discover a mine of jewels, inwardly and outwardly, free from polluting the real world in which the dharma of mentality/materiality rest.
I stood for Parliament for the Totnes constituency for the Green Party in 1986 and 1992. The following year, I started work on a book called The Green Buddha. I wrote a chapter titled Prince Charles and Prince Siddhartha. With some firm advice to Prince Charles, aged 42 at the time of writing. Below this section is the chapter in the book published in 1994.Continue reading →
The discourse of the Buddha to the Kalama People of north India constitutes one of the most profound statements ever uttered in the history of humanity in terms of the inquiry into beliefs, views and standpoints of people exercising authority. Continue reading →