The Best Way for Peace

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Author: Alexia Freeman
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---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------JOURNAL OF THE BIRMINGHAM BUDDHIST VIHARA ISSUE No.43 SUMMER 2015

The Best Way for Peace When we read the teaching of Buddha, we don’t need to learn them off by heart, nor repeat them parrot fashion, but meditate on them and then our own benefit and the benefit of others follows. At the present time there is an unbelievable amount of violence and hatred in the world. There are so many that commit the most horrible and unbelievably evil crimes in the name of religions, but violence in return will only perpetuate it. It always has and always will be more suffering. I am not a Christian but Jesus was a wonderfully enlightened teacher, and wasn’t it he who said ‘’ If thy enemy smite thee, turn the other cheek’’. The Buddha I am sure would have agreed with that. With Metta from Bill

CONCEIT (MĀNA) What is 'conceit'? That which is conceit, being conceited, a state of being conceited, loftiness, haughtiness, (flaunting a) flag, assumption, desire of consciousness for a banner. This is called conceit. Three kinds of conceit Therein what is the conceit thus, "I am better"? Herein a certain one by birth or by clan or by good family or by beautiful body or by property or by study or by sphere of work or by sphere of craft or by branch of science or by learning or by intelligence or by one reason or another causes conceit to arise; that which is similar, conceit, being conceited, state of being conceited, loftiness, haughtiness, (flaunting a) flag, assumption, desire of consciousness for banner. This is called the conceit thus, "I am better". Therein what is the conceit thus, "I am equal"? Herein a certain one by birth or by clan or by good family or by beautiful body or by property or by study or by sphere of work or by sphere of craft or by branch of science or by learning or by intelligence or by one reason or another causes conceit to arise; that which is similar, conceit being conceited, state of being conceited, loftiness, haughtiness, (flaunting a) flag, assumption, desire of consciousness for a banner. This is called the conceit thus, "I am equal". Therein what is the conceit thus, "I am inferior"? Herein a certain one by birth or by clan or by good family or by beautiful body or by property or by study or by sphere of work or by sphere of craft of by branch of science or by learning or by intelligence or by one reason or another causes self-disrespect to arise; that which is similar, self-disrespect, being selfdisrespectful, state of being self-disrespectful, scorning (self), being very scornful, state of being very scornful, self-distain, self-despising, self-contempt. This is called the conceit thus, "I am inferior". 1

Nine Kinds of conceit Therein what is 'nine fold conceit'? In one who is better the conceit thus, "I am better" ; in one who is better the conceit thus, "I am equal" ; in one who is better the conceit thus, " I am inferior" ; in one who is equal the conceit thus, "I am better" ; in one who is equal the conceit thus "I am equal" ; in one who is equal the conceit thus, "i am inferior" ; in one who is inferior the conceit thus, " I am better" ; in one who is inferior the conceit thus, "I am equal" ; in one who is inferior the conceit thus, " I am inferior". This is nine fold conceit. see BOA (p459-462) Various Kinds of conceit Therein what is 'excessive conceit'? Herein a certain one by birth or by clan or by good family, :P: or by one reason or another considers himself above others; that which is similar, conceit, being conceited, state of being conceited, loftiness, haughtiness, (flaunting a) flag, assumption, desire of consciousness for a banner. This is called excessive conceit. Therein what is 'inordinate conceit'? Herein a certain one by birth or by clan or by good family, :P: or by one reason or another first places himself as equal to others, later places himself as better; that which is similar, conceit, being conceited, state of being conceited, loftiness, haughtiness, (flaunting a) flag, assumption, desire of consciousness for a banner. This is called inordinate conceit. Therein what i 'self-disrespect conceit'? Herein a certain one by birth or by clan or by good family or by beautiful body or by property or by study or b sphere of work or by sphere of craft or by branch of science or by learning or by intelligence or by one reason or another causes self-disrespect to arise; that which is similar, self-disrespect, being selfdisrespectful, state of being self-disrespectful, scorning (self), being very scornful, state of being very scornful, self-distain, self-despising, self-contempt. This is called self-disrespect conceit. Therein what is 'over-estimating conceit'? In not having reached, there is perception of having reached; in not having done, there is perception of having done; in not having attained, there is perception of having attained; in not having realized, there is perception of having realized; that which is similar, conceit, being conceited, state of being conceited, loftiness, haughtiness, (flaunting a) flag, assumption, desire of consciousness for a banner. This is called over-estimating conceit. Therein what is 'self-conceit'? The conceit thus, I am material quality; the wish thus, am (material quality); the latent tendency thus I am (material quality); feeling. :P: Perception. :P: Mental concomitants. :P: The conceit thus, I am consciousness; the wish thus, I am (consciousness); the latent tendency thus, I am (consciousness); that which is similar, conceit, being conceited, state of being conceited, loftiness, haughtiness, (flaunting a) flag, assumption, desire of consciousness for a banner. This is called self-conceit. Therein what is 'false conceit'? Herein a certain one by evil sphere of work or by evil sphere of craft or by evil branch of science or by evil learning or by evil intelligence or by evil behavior or by evil habit and practice or by evil view or by one reason or another causes conceit to arise; that which is similar, conceit, being conceited, state of being conceited, loftiness, haughtiness, (flaunting a) flag, assumption, desire of consciousness for a banner. This is called false conceit. Reference tr. Ven. U Tittila (1969). The Book of Analysis. Made and printed in Great Britain by William Clowes and sons, Limited, London and Beccles. 2

Abhidhamma – Vibhaṅga&Paṭṭhāna In Dr Uttaranyana’s Abhidhamma class, which meets on Thursday afternoons at the Birmingham Buddhist Vihara, we are nearing the end of the final chapter of the Vibhaṅga, the 2ndbook of the Abhidhamma. We have been studying this book steadily over the last two years, and Bhante has enabled a fascinating revelation of the elegance and complexity of the Buddha’s explanation of the mind and body of Mankind. In addition to this Vibhaṅga work with Bhante, I have also undertaken some self-study into the Paccayas, the 24 different types of conditioning which are described in the Paṭṭhāna, the final and largest book of the Abhidhamma. It is from this area that I want to share some thoughts with you here. The Abhidhamma provides a map or model of the phenomenal world which can be used to increase both awareness and understanding of the experience of life. The Abhidhamma explains that all human experience can be analysed in terms of four fundamental components. These are (in Pali): -

Rupa, which is matter or physical phenomena Citta, which is consciousness, i.e. that which is conscious of an object. Cetasika, which is ‘mental factor’, the components of consciousness Nibbana, the mental state of Enlightenment

But as well as analysis - the process of separating something into its constituent elements - the Abhidhamma also deals with synthesis – how these constituent elements relate to each other. With the exception of Nibbana, the other three fundamental components are said to be ‘conditioned’, i.e. they are subject to change by being influenced by the other fundamental components. The Abhidhamma Paṭṭhāna is the teaching which presents these conditional relations, and it describes 24 different ways in which causality operates between Rupa, Citta, Cetasika and Nibbana. In Pali, these 24 ways are known as Paccayasatti, and often shortened to Paccaya. In brief, the Paṭṭhāna teaches that a series of Causes produce a series of Effects, each Cause operating via a particular type of Causality i.e. via one of 24 Paccayas. (Space prohibits describing these Paccayas in detail, but the 24 contain types of causality which are based on for example Roots of Consciousness; Object of Consciousness; Predominance Factor; Kamma; Path Factor etc). To illustrate this teaching, we might initially say that an apple seed (one single cause) ‘produces’ an apple tree (one single effect). But actually there are a number of ‘causes’ involved – an apple seed, water, soil nutrients, light etc. And there are a number of ‘effects’ – apple tree, shade, moss, animal habitat etc. Note the term ‘produces’ has a specific meaning in the Paṭṭhāna, and is defined as ‘causes to arise; maintains the existence of; and supports the growth of’. According to the Paṭṭhāna, there are no random occurrences; everything in everyday existence (Samsara) is causally conditioned by the influence of Rupa, Citta, Cetasika and Nibbana.This theory is called a 'Middle Path', because it steers clear of two extremes: Self-Causation: Fatalism or determinism, i.e.“Everything that happens is pre-determined and inevitable” External-Causation: Fortuitism, luck, the complete arbitrariness of pure nihilism i.e.“Everything happens completely randomly, or due to a whim of the Gods” There are obviously hugely significant implications to this teaching. For instance, it implies that there is never a single ‘cause’ for any effect, and that every cause always generates more than one effect. So every ‘event’ requires multiple causes and produces multiple effects. Further, every effect in its turn becomes a cause, which in its turn contributes to multiple effects … and so on. Everything becomes interrelated. Here’s a practical example of this rather obscure sounding theory – because the Abhidhamma, despite its theoretical basis, is intensely practical. You wake up in the morning feeling rather grumpy (in Abhidhamma terms, you experience a mental state containing ‘ill-will’, one of the unwholesome roots of consciousness). A little later, someone makes a remark, and you get angry (a mental state with even stronger ‘ill-will’). Why 3

the anger – was it just because of the remark? No. What was said was just a trigger, one cause(operating via ‘Object’ Paccaya, since the annoying remark becomes the current object of consciousness). But this acts alongside many other causes. The underlying grumpy mood, the presence of ‘ill-will’, was the major cause of the anger (operating via ‘Root’ Paccaya, since consciousness is rooted in ill-will at this moment).

This is yet another practical way in which the Abhidhamma can increase both awareness and understanding of the experience of life. Finally, Paṭṭhāna, is said to present a clear rationale for the Three Marks of Existence: Anicca

– ALL conditioned things are impermanent

Dukkha

– Dissatisfaction. No matter how hard we try, it is not possible to maintain satisfaction in ANY conditioned thing in the long run

Anatta

– The concept of non-self. However hard we look, we never find the essence of our being.

For anyone interested in this subject, the 24 Paccayas are listed in the first 12 pages of the Paṭṭhāna, the 7th Book of the Abhidhamma, and are discussed in “Guide to Conditional Relations” by Narada, published by the Pali Text Society. The “Buddhist Philosophy of Relations” by Ledi Sayadaw is also excellent, and is freely available on the web. I have included a quotation from Ledi Sayadaw’s work, which beautifully sums up the teaching of the Paṭṭhāna. “By expounding the twenty-four relations, the Buddha reveals the following facts: all conditioned things owe their happenings and becomings or existence to causes and conditions, and none to the mere desire or will or command of creatures. And among all the things subject to causes and conditions, there is not one that comes into being through few causes; they arise, indeed, only through many. Therefore, this exposition reaches its culminating point in revealing the doctrine of Anatta”. Ledi Sayadaw (1846 -1923) Duncan Fire, Abhidhamma student 30 May2015 Pagoda Repairs Due to severe weather conditions our Peace Pagoda’s wooden decorations are suffering wear and tear. They require removal, cleaning, treating with fungicide and varnishing to protect them from the elements. In addition, one double glazed window has to be replaced, as do downpipes and guttering etc. The cost is £11,664.00. We offer Drs.Nalin&Lakshimi daughter Sulini Michael Chan PohHian&Irene Lu Yi Wan Dr Mar Mar Lwin Mr. Saw Min Htet (US$) Mr. R Fe Win Dr Myo Thu& Dr Lynn Lynn Ms Wai Mar Aung K.M. Parker Dr Christopher & Dr Thanda Aung Thein Daw Than Than Aye & sons

you this meritorious opportunity to contribute to maintain the pagoda for many years to come. We offer our thanks to the following donors who have contributed to this repair work. We appreciate their support.

100.00 30.00 5000.00 100.00 50.00 100.00 50.00 30.00 20.00 300.00

IranganiPerera NilminiPerera ShiraniSamavaWickrema U Bha Maw& Daw DawKyin Wan (US$) Mya San & Nan LaeLaeWai Dr Aung Lin Aung Dr Kyaw Lin Tu & Daw Khin Mya Oo U Mya Tint& Dr HmweHmweThynn Daw P PMyint (daughter)Yin YinOhn

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10.00 10.00 10.00 100.00 50.00 40.00 300.00 500.00 30.00

VIHARA NEWS Educational Visits The number of educational visits to the Pagoda, and the number of students present in each group, has once again continued to rise significantly. Over one hundreds schools and three thousand students visit our Pagoda yearly. In addition to the increasing numbers wishing to visit, it is very reassuring that the student knowledge and understanding of Buddhism prior to their visits is also significantly improving. We are very sorry that Mr Robert Black is retiring after taking care of school visits for eleven years to our Peace Pagoda. For a school visit please contact:[email protected]

Diamond Anniversary Dr Aung Thein(a Patron of BBVT)& Daw Than Than celebrated their Diamond Anniversary in our Peace Pagoda at 19 April. Over one hundred friends attended the anniversary happily. Buddha Day(Vesak) Celebrations 2559 years of Lord Buddha’s Mahaparinibbana was celebrated in our Peace Pagoda on Sunday 3rd May together with the eleventh year anniversary of our founder, great teacher Dr Rewata Dhamma (Aggamahapandita). Finally, the day concluded with paying respects to senior community members.

In addition, Dr Nagasena and Jenny have taken over direction of the Buddhist segment of the Ladywood Interfaith Education Programme(LIEP). U Ratthapala is taking care of the Pagoda and vihara, and Dr Mar Mar handles the kitchen as well. Devotee days There is an opportunity for devotees to offer lunch dana to the monks in the vihara. After lunch everyone may take part in a short meditation and in the cleaning of the vihara and Pagoda happily together. The event take place on the first Sunday of each month organized by Mr Gordon and dhamma friends. Alena couple and Mariana always looking after our garden and all visitors are very happy in our Pagoda. Ko Kyaw Min Lwin and his friends from London always lend a helping in every ceremony in our vihara. Thank you to all our gardeners and volunteers.

The Civic Buddha Day was also celebrated in Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery on Saturday 9th May. Presentation of flowers took place, with chanting by Birmingham Buddhist groups in various styles in the Buddha gallery, plus two cultural items and a brief talk from the curators.

Rahul’s Birthday Rahul, Rambir and Dr Rina’s son’s birthday was st celebrated on Sunday 1 March and all of Mr Sansari Lar’s family members joined together happily in our Peace Pagoda.

The Buddha day was also celebrated in Wolverhampton(Sikh Buddhist temple) at on Sunday, th 24 May. Sayadaw Dr Rewata Dhamma’s memorial service took st place again in the vihara on Sunday, 31 May organised by Dr Nagasena.

Four Days Easter Retreat As part of the Buddhist Studies(Diploma) online rd course, the Easter Retreat took place from 3 April to th 6 April in the Buddhist Academy (Rewata Dhamma hall). Our students and Meditators joined together and studied the Anapanassati Sutta from the Majjhima Nikaya as a guide for meditation. Thank you Ko Anug Kyaw Soe & Aye Aye Moe and Diploma students for your supporting meals to sangha and meditators.

Peace Pagoda anniversary in Milton Keynes th On Sunday 14June, the 35 Anniversary of the Peace Pagoda was celebrated in Willen Lake, Milton Keynes. All Buddhist groups from the UK attended the ceremony, chanting in their own tradition. In the afternoon program, devotional dance, music and multicultural events were performed as well. Dr Ottara Nyana and Dr Nagasena joined the ceremony together with Ko Sunny and Duncan. Abhidhamma Class A Higher Abhidhamma class on the Vibhanga(The Book of Analysis) together with its commentary Sammohavinodani (the Dispeller of Delusion) has been run since Feb 2013 in our vihara. It was th completed successfully on 11 June 2015 and a

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certificate awarding ceremony will take place on Sunday 26 July to honour the Abhidhamma student's great diligence.

On the same day, special celebrations were arranged to pay respect to the elderly, with K.10,000 being given to 30 elders - all were over 80 years of age. This event was sponsored by U Aye Myint and Daw Khin Thandar Wai(Hla Thidar Gold & Jewellery), Yangon and U Kon+ Daw Htay Htay family,Yangon.

Buddhist studies (Diploma) online course The first Diploma Course (one year full time) also st completed on Sunday 21 June, having run successfully in our Buddhist Academy. Students are now writing papers according to their subjects under their teacher’s guidance.

Unfortunately, Sayadaw’s village monastery was flooded by the Irrawaddy River and has moved to a new place. A donation of K- 10,000,000 was given from the Vihara trust.

Dr Ottara Nyana’s activities During Bhante’s visit to Myanmar (27/11/12-18/01/15) he was able to attend the Thamangon (secondary) th school anniversary on 7 December in the home village of our great teacher Sayadaw Dr Rewata Dhamma.Sayadaw’s 85th birthday as well as the th Themangon school’s anniversary occurred on 7 Dec and was marked by awards being presented to the school’s brightest students who had passed their examinations with flying colours ranging from primary to high school students.

On 16 to 18 Dec. bhante attended the ChinaMyanmar-India Buddha Dhamma forum in Pagan organized by the United Nations. Bamaw sayadawgyi, a chairman of State Sangha Council, Thitagu sayadaw, religious ministers and over one hundred delegates attended the forum. During three days, Buddhist scholars discussed the promotion and propagation of Buddhism in the world in future. All delegates visited ancient Pagodas by land as well as from the Irrawaddy River as sightseeing one evening. Scholarships were also given to University students according to their results, with K-100.000 being awarded for one distinction. The total cost of these awards amounted K-20,000,000. The main support comes from our vihara trust (£1000) and Dr Mar Mar Lwin(£1000). Hundreds of copy books are donated by the U Kyaw Nyein family from Yangon for students. Donations are always welcome to support Dr Rewata Dhamma’s village school.

Dr Ottara Nyana visited Mandaly from 18 to 22 Dec. and he lectured sangha students in Mandaly State th Pariyatti University on 19 Dec. On the following days bhante visited Myitngal, Innva, Sagine Hill and Amarapura, which are holy and historical places. Bhante also visited to a church which is over one hundred years old and dates from King Mindon’s time. th

On 24 Dec. bhante attend to MoU between Bangalo Mahabodhi Society(BMS), India and International Theravada Buddhist University in ITBMU. There was a good agreement to establish Buddhist Studies courses in BMS and to translate the Five Nikayas into the South Indian Language. Bhante visited Kayin and Mon states from 8 to 10Jan. together with U Asabha and Daw Hla Mu family and bhante climbed Zwekabhin mountain which is over one thousand meters high. th

On 14 Jan. International Theravada Buddhist University first group students (1998/99) payed respect to their teachers first time and offered Lunch dana. Bamaw sayadawgyi and their teachers attended to the ceremony.

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On 17 Jan. Dr Ottara Nyana gave a lecture to students in Thadu Buddhist University,Yangon on the st topic of Sangha and Myanmar in 21 Century which was a wide view about Buddhism, education and the history of Myanmar.

Another ten days retreat took place in Nalandarama of th Bello Horizontal from 2 to12 July. On 5 July, Thomas’s (son of Ricardo and Georgia) birthday was celebrated in Nalandarama with a dhamma name: Thomananda. Another four senior meditators also received dhamma names. Bhante taught the Sakkapanha Sutta from the Digha Nikaya.

On the same day bhante attended a certificate Awarding Ceremony and English for Buddhism in the May International school, Yangon. Over 70 students attended together with their parents and representatives from the British Council which was recorded by MR-TV4. At the end of academy season, Dr Ottara Nyana rd visited Brazil from 23 June to 14th July to lead meditation retreats. First was a four day retreat run in a convent, Aracaju from 25 to 28 June. Bhante taught the Anapanasati Sutta from the Majjhima Nikaya to his meditators and sometime gave four lectures in a day th including personal interviews. On 30 June, bhante gave a public talk in Aracaju which was concluded happily by questions and answers. Dr Ottara Nyana’s future Activities 10th to 16th Aug. Metta retreat in Dhammaramsi, Brussel, Belgium 3rd to 6th Sep. Metta retreat in Dhammarma, Brno, Czech Republic 30th Oct. to 8th Nov. Abhidhamma (Vipassana) retreat in Dhammaramsi, Brussels, Belgium

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VIHARA EVENTS IN FUTURE

10-Day Insight Retreat 21-30 Aug (experienced) Led By Dr Ottranyana Designed to enable meditators to experience the characteristic of impermanence and nature of non-selfhood as part of the process of insight meditation.

Abhidhamma&Pavarana Day - 28th October 7.00pm

Kathina - 1st Nov. 10:30am Diploma in Buddhist Studies (2015-16) - Birmingham Buddhist Academy Overview This course is designed to provide the student with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Theravada Buddhism.

Confirmation of the acceptance to the course 31st August 2015 Duration of the course? One year (full time)

Application Form &Educational Requirements See details at www.birminghambuddhistacademy.org

Course Start Date 12th September 2015

Application Submission date and contact th Between 1st July 2015 – 15 August 2015 Please send completed application and documents required to [email protected]

Course method Online and occasional face to face attendance at Birmingham Buddhist Academy at 29-31 Osler Street, Ladywood, Birmingham, B16 9EU.

Entrance examination 22nd August 2015

Fees As per further discussion at the interview

Interview 23rd August 2015

For further information please visit www.birminghambuddhistacademy.org

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