Monday, June 26, 2017

Essence of Buddhism

Essence of Buddhism

Buddha’s teaching was memorized (nearly five hundred years), scrutinized (various councils), classified (Abhidhamma) later in book form (Ola leaves) to present form.

One has to believe that less than 20% of the original teaching remains to this day.

I believe less than 1% of the textural content is necessary for the true understanding of the Dhamma.

Dhamma is not a scholarly (waste of precise time) exercise or pondering on matter or mind.

Appamado (do not waste time) Amata Padam!

Ekayana Maggo -One Way Only-Traffic!

It is all about “Taming the Mind” of all distractions. 

The way forward is meditative attention to being of existence (more of mind than matter).

Only the Mindful guys and girls would reap its benefits.

I do not believe that he wasted his time on exegesis.

In fact, scholarly guys (girls) would faulter while simple mindful guy (girl) would prosper!

He actually made it simple for even an ordinary guy with ordinary mind to comprehend its desired goal.

In that sense Dhammapada should be one’s guide and inspiration.

What I mean is, if one delves into Abhdhamma in a scholarly intent he or she will get entangled, not disentangled.

This is where other faiths fail since their Dogmas and Doctrines are rigid, exclusive and not inclusive of all Mankind.

Dhamma is for disentanglement from the deeply entrenched entanglement (attachment to the Wrong View or Dogma).

Be mindful and be simple minded and reject all dogmas that has no substance but Hate.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Beautiful Mind

Beautiful Mind

Let me list, a few of our emotions and then see how we can avoid feeling bad or confused.
This is based on a power point presentation to undergraduates in their Preliminary Course in English. Seeing students of different faith I avoided the Buddhist Terminology but in fact expanded on the four Wrong Directions which young one’s, including individuals of different religious faiths, political ideology, racial orientation and above all some teachers (ill conceived) with hidden agenda.

1. Fear

2. Anger

3. Hate

4. Aggression

5. Resentment

6. Envy

7. Rejection

8. Guilt

9. Pride

11. Boredom

12. Loneliness

13. Jealousy (Green eyed Monster)

14 Paranoia

Why not

1. Hope

2. Happiness

3. Love and

4. Self Control

5. Tolerance

These were the same emotions which went through young minds of our generation 60 years ago.

Most of them ended up with “Reactive Depression” not “Endogenous Depression” but there was no counseling of any kind at disposal.

I think in this modern age of Digital Obsession, there is more expressed “Emotional Intolerance”.

In fact, digital media like Facebook, to some extent YouTube thrive on this malady.

I think politicians from China to Russia to Middle East (Israel and Palestine included) to importantly USA base their strategies on hate anger and resentment.

Emotions like relationships have various shades and connections.
We can shape our emotions, the way we want them to be (for good as well as bad intentions).

How can we progress?

In away according to Professor De Bono;

It is to have beautiful Mind or get rid of the wrong Directions and Intentions.

I did a survey on technical terms in psychology and found psychological terms easily outnumbered the technical terms in physics, mathematics and philosophy all put together.

The corollary of this is that Religious, Political and Racial Doctrines can thrive on these minor and major psychological maladies.

It is interesting that Buddha had crystallized the themes into four categories. 

During the talk on “Making Choice in Life”;

Ajahn Brahm taught the four considerations when face with making a decision.

Not for selfish reason

Not with ill-will

Not out of stupidity

With no Fear.

This is the Buddha’s teaching on four “Agati”, namely,

Chanda-gati, Dosa-gati, Moha-gati, Bhaya-gati, or the four kinds of corruption.

Chanda-gati, corruption induced by desire, is deviation from the right path in pursuit of bribes or for the sake of those one loves.

Dosa-gati is taking the wrong path to spite those against whom one bears ill will, and

Moha-gati is aberration due to ignorance.

But perhaps the worst of the four is bhaya-gati, for not only does bhaya, fear, stifle and slowly destroy all sense of right and wrong, it so often lies at the root of the other three kinds of corruption.

Agati: the 4 'wrong Paths' are: the path of desire, the path of hate, the path of confusion, the path of fear bhaya. One who is freed from these evil impulses is no longer liable to take any wrong path.

Satara Agati -Four unprofitable directions

The term 'Agati' in Pali mean wrong course or going bad way.

There are four bad ways,

a) Chandā agati - the going a bad way through ill will

b) Dosā agati -the going a bad way through hate

c) Bhayā agati - the going a bad way through fear

d) Mohā agati - the going a bad way through ignorance or delusion

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Glimpse of Mind in Abhidhamma

Glimpse of Mind in Abhidhamma
Abhidhamma is colossal and any attempt at simplifying it is difficult, simply because of the fact that Abhidhamma in Buddhist terminology is an attempt to finely describe the working of the Mind.

It is a conceptual framework  of “phenomena of existence” of physical and mental formations; i.e; analysis of mental phenomena and their conditioning.

This analysis is the basis for expounding the very nature of existence of the being (Bhava) conditioned by Anitta (impermanence), Dukka (unsatisfactoriness based on impermanence) and hence Anatma (selflessness).

The expression of this at fine mental formation is Upppada (beginning), Thithi (rising to a peak) and Bhanga (dissolution) of one thought moment to another with similar beginning, crescendo and dissolution; i.e; in other words “a state of flux” of mental formation and dissolution.

This formation does not end at physical death but extends into the next round of existence in Bhava. The mental process is described as a stream (Bhavanga Sota) which invariably accompany the being.

One experiences only one thought moment at any particular time. No two thought moments coexist. Each thought moment hangs onto some kind of object. No consciousness arises without an object either physical or mental.

When a person is fast asleep and is in a dreamless state he experiences a kind of consciousness which is more passive than active (note no mention about subconsciousness in Abhidhamma akin to Freudian analysis). It is similar to consciousness at the time of conception and at the final moment of death.

This type of consciousness in Abhidhamma term is Bhavanga. Like any other consciousness it consists of  genesis (Uppada) steady state or static (Thiti) and cessation (Bhanga). Arising and perishing it flows on like a stream not remaining the same for two consecutive thought moments. According to Abhidhamma no two type of (conscious and subconscious) of consciousness exist.
Bhavanga is not a sub-plane but a continuous stream of existence.

In Abhidhamma the word that aptly describe the state of the mind is Javana (running). This Javana thought moment lasts seven thought moments or at times of death five thought moments. Javana state is arrested by Thadarammana when an object (physical or mental) of attention is registered by the thought process and consists of two thought moments.
The death occurs immediately after the Cuti consciousness. Though, with death, the physical body disintegrates and the flow of consciousness temporarily ceases yet the stream is not annihilated as the Kammic force that propels it remains.

Death is  only a prelude to rebirth.

As Patisandhi (relinking) is the initial thought moment of life so Cuti the final thought moment. They are the entrance and exist of a particular life. Cuti occurs between Javana and Patisandhi, Thadarammana and Patisandhi and Bhananga and Patisandhi.

So the Samsara is the conditional existence (sort of cause and effect process) of beings, all inclusive (not only human but Deva and Preta included) and the goal of Buddhist Practice is to strive for Unconditional Existence of the Mental Culture (not a zero sum game or state) of Bliss without attachment (Tanha).

Way to achieve this is by one’s own effort of Meditation (not just meditation) with clear understanding of the above premises of Anitta, Dukka and Anatma.

Mind’s response to sense organ’s perception of an impulse as part of an object (Kaya/Rupa) of attention sets in a chain reaction.
1. Impulse has to be above the threshold value.

2. That causes to arise sensation from the sense object.

3. Perception of that sensation as agreeable, disagreeable or neutral.

4.Volitional (Cetana) attachment (Tanha) to that Citta (i.e; awakening of the life stream (Bhavanga sota)  of continuity).

5. Momentary focus of attention to that state of Mind.

6. Brings to life the mental phenomenon associated with that state of mind (within the Mind or arise from sense organ).

7. Attention to the same until another (Citta) thought process begins.

Upppda, Thiti and Bhanga process recurs in an undulating form in each thought moment of the present. 
In terms of the life process, Patisandhi, Bhavanga and Cuti operate, in the ever recurring Samsara Cycle.

Javana is the most important of all where the free will operates and the action (good or bad) falls into either Kusala or Akusala Kamma. One owns or inherits the merits or demerits of his or her action or deed.
Thought process has 17 thought moments and Javana has 7 thought moments and Tadarammana has two thought moments and the rest of the eight thought moments are given separate names starting from Atita Bhavanga to Votthappana ending in Javana and Tadarammana.

This in essence embodies the basic tenets of Abhidhamma but does not include all the finer classifications.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Linx Distributions and Peppermint-07-Boot Splash Gone Awry

  Further Comments.

Below are two discussions currently running in 

I am a Distribution Hopper for over 20 years with gray hair covering my vertex and decided to settle on few of my favorite distributions on merits.

Number one reason is easy to handle and configure.
Not too, heavy on RAM.
Have all the software packages.
Runs on both old (32 bit) and new (64 bit) hardware.

I prefer the PAE (just what PCLINUX did under Linux STAR until his retirement).

Why have two CD?DVDs for one ?

Laptop is not my favorite!

Reliable, stable workhorse and run at least one year without updates.

Only Debian “Fits the Bill” with distributions for all the platforms including Apple Platform.
Only caveat is one has to understand how Linux Works especially Debian and partitioning, partition table and bootable partitions including MBR.
Peppermint (currently version 8) is my Web Console, light weight (it is getting fatter by the minute) and can download almost all the software in Debian Store House (over 66,000).

AntiX (Mepis- Just Downloaded Version 16) my Utility Kit but Knoppix and Puppy Linux are my favorite trouble shooters.

Elementary Linux is pretty good if one is interested in audio and video play.
Emmabuntus now in 64 bit version is another good Linux distribution for kids as well as adults.

I am currently downloading MultiSystem (French Distribution) boot DVD (it used to be a CD few years ago)which is very useful in having several (I am not sure of windows) Linux Distributions in a USB Disk, Flash Drive or on a MicroSD chip. 

This is very useful to test a distribution without installing in your Hard Disk.

One can install MultiSystem as a software,too.

Go to Pendrive Linux Site, download the sh file and extract the utility and follow the instructions.
One need root permission to install in your Linux Distribution. 
I installed it on (PCLinux) my system breezily in about 3 minutes.
It has to be a Ubuntu based distribution and Debian does not support it.

For Debian it has its own USB creation package or Use UnetBootIn.

Not for text and writing books and Lyx (for program editors)is too advanced for a beginner.

I have found a very easy solutions.

One is to use MultiSytem software or DVD to have Multiple Linux distributions on a USB Hard drive or Flash Drive.

Other option is to install as many distributions (including Windows - Beware UEFI booting option but one can send Windows into hibernation by clever ploys) in your hard drive/s.

Have multiple operating systems (Windows for occasional Local TV watching (mostly cricket)) in Two Mega SATA (not SSD, the have low volume) disks with 4 GiB RAM extensible for 8 for Gaming.

I currently have seven (7) distributions (apart from Windows) in two hard drives and Windows forcibly sent underground (one has to be very very crafty to do this without destroying one’s hardware).
Unfortunately Windows (Developers) guys coming from India and USA has serious “Paranoid Disease Untreatable”; that is they cannot cohabit with Linux!

LinuxQuestions reproduction not edited including TYPOS!
TL;DR: I would love to know which distro made you stop distro hopping and you are happy with! May be no matter what happens i will stick with one of your preference! ;)
So, I am a serial distro hopper. Been using linux for a long time (Really Long Time) and have been distro hopping ever since. Primarily i started with ubuntu as everyone else does, then Linux mint, then Arch, then Manjaro, then Elementary, then OpenSUSE and OpenSUSE TW, and a lot i cannot even remember the names. But i am getting pretty tired.
I mean, i like UBUNTU but i don't like their 6 months release schedule (I do want fairly updated apps). I like Linux mint, but not their arrogance on holding updates back and making custom firefox and keeping same old softwares for another 2/3 years(ow, sorry, that's a core Ubuntu LTS issue, no complain here, just making some points).
I like arch, but come on, the installation is pain on the ass(Antergos? No thanks! Pretty much same thing, fails now and then) and you know, the breakage now and then is hell of an annoyance. Manjaro? A lot of controversy surrounding. I am not a fan of XFCE i guess. And community editions are not really my cup of tea. Just install Manjaro cinnamon and install couple of QT apps and see how ugly they look (Manjaro GNOME is okay though). I know, they will fix it someday.
I like fedora, but their "Restriction" is too much for a daily drive and their repo contains a lot less software. NOW, one thing i do like is openSUSE TW. And their approach, BUT the gnome updates always break extensions (and themes) without which it's quiet unusable for me and recently they dropped support for synaptic touchpads and replaced it with libinput ( The mouse movement is horrible, no way to customize mouse acceleration from GUI). I really really do like GNOME with extensions. Ow, i love it. KDE Plasma? You won't believe what i did do to like this DE and what not! I like simplicity, KDE is a mess in that sense. If you like KDE its fine, i am not judging, just a personal preference. :) So you get the problem i am facing, right? I know they all are linux, they are same at underlying structure and you can always customize it to your liking.
But, If you were a distrohopper and recently stopped, i would love to know which one made you stop distrohopping. :)
[–]krav_mark 70 points
Debian Stable. Because it is stable and secure and it just works and keeps working.
For me it is the trustworthy general purpose distribution. Am using it on everything from servers to laptops to rapberri pi's. They all are the same base just run different software.
Never really understood distrohoppers who install another distro most of the time only because they want to try some DE. You can install most DE's right on your current distro like from debians or ubuntu's repo's. Why change distro's for a different DE ? Just install the DE on the system you already use and so are familiar with.
Debian doesn't have the very latest versions maybe but it does have the most stable ones. And I need to get work done so want something versatile and reliable. Debian stable has everything I need.

Peppermint-07-Boot Splash Gone Awry

I have been trying to get my Boot Loader (of Peppermint-07) to mount more than seven operating systems in one go but Boot Splash of Peppermint could not.

Additionally its boot splash was magnified so large the icons were outside and not visible on the Desktop.

There was no way to minimize the output (Boot Splash) and on right click would show on a folder icon.

What I usually do is to reinstall the distribution, in this case Peppermint but it failed on three attempts.

Mind you the console was an old TV not a normal computer video output.

I was patient and tried installing Debian but it failed to rectify.

Then I tried Linux Light and it got it working once on first boot up but on restart went back to the Peppermint boot loader in MBR.

Then I tried 4M Linux but it could not read all the partitions in two SATA disks.

Then I tried Puppy Linux but it refused to update the boot loader.

Usually Puppy Linux does a good job.

Only one I did not try was Ubuntu (I did not have a latest distribution).

I am going to download its 64 bit version.

Then finally I tried Elementary OS and it figured out my problem and made a cute boot splash with all the distributions including Puppy (it identified it as an unknown distribution).

I made a big mistake of using CD/DVDs without Internet connection.

Usually these distributions would update the (in this case Peppermint’s faulty boot loader) packages at the end of the installation and remove old and redundant packages.

I was lazy and our Internet download speed was very slow.