BBnB 165 (7.8 and 8.1) Changes to BBnB
Our Subject Matter this evening is BBnB itself.
As you will read in the Fwd below, it's time for new directions at BBnB. We'll examine these changes Friday night at 10 pm.
Namaste and Shanti,
Changes to Buddhism Basics and Beyond
Lama Je Tsongkhapa reminds us in his famous text,
Leisure and Opportunity
to Study the Dharma are Rare, and,
There is No Time to Life.
The message from Lama Je's text informs us that even Leisure and Opportunity hard as they are to find - may be interrupted by death. For this reason we must be diligent and take advantage of the very rare opportunity to study, to contemplate and meditate the Path to end suffering for all beings as taught by the Buddha. It is this very ethic that has inspired BBnB since its origin almost 4 years ago. This ethic will continue with BBnB, but in a different format.
The Goal of BBnB has been - and continues to be - to provide a series which leads our members to a new level of competence with the bounty of Schools, Sects, Texts and Teachings that are available in today's world. You who have paid due attention to the many Topics we've explored in the past nearly 4 years do indeed have a background that enables you to find your way in any legitimate Buddhist Center. Each of you also has the training to take any article you might find in magazines, on-line teachings and even academic journals and begin to fashion your own path to becoming a scholar and yogi in your own right. Remembering the Three Wisdoms of Study, Contemplation and Meditation, your continued practice will bring you Great Attainment of both Merit and Wisdom.
There is also a need in a student's life - when the time comes - to begin the process of becoming one of their own Teachers. In addition to the Lamas and other Teachers our good fortune brings to our attention, our own inner instrument of Mind is one of the Prime Instructors of the Dharma. This is appropriate as the Empty Nature of Mind is a repository of Wisdom that frees us from Falsity and Impure Appearances.
In honor of this need for a Growing Independence, after our December 5th meeting, we will no longer have weekly scheduled chats on Friday nights. There will also be a less formal series of postings of study materials on the web site.
We can also have occasional chats for both Social and Study Purposes.
Instead of the weekly posts of new material, I will substitute several types of mailings:
Ø First, I will post a new `Study Guide' that will allow people to learn Buddhism based on both the materials on the BBnB Websites and other web resources. Depending on need, there will be a `Beginner's Study Guide' and an `Advanced Topics Study Guide.' Our continuing work on Shantideva's `Entering the Way of Life of a Bodhisattva' will also continue in both of these new Series.
These study guides will provide sufficient material to keep you busy until the next guide appears. These study guides will be posted on an occasional basis from weekly to monthly depending on my schedule.
There will also be `feedback forms' to let me know how folks are doing and what might need additional treatments.
Ø Second, I will continue to post occasional essays on Buddhist Topics. These topics will come from my own on-going work on several projects and will address many topics including some that we've not yet covered in BBnB. Articles from the many Teachers who have graced the web with their instruction will also find their way into these occasional mailings.
Ø One other resource is that I will spend some time online under the names `RimeBuddha' and `GhanaBhuti.' If you see me online, it means that my IMs are open and that I'm available to talk, just say hello, and, if I am able, to answer any questions that you might have developed in your studies.
I do suggest that you continue to meet weekly in the BBnB Room or the Buddhist Discussion Room to discuss among yourselves the topics of the previous week's study. During that time, if you develop a group of questions, I would be happy to receive them on the website. I'll also post answers to the questions on the website as time allows. This will allow the good people who have net access to BBnB but who have not had the opportunity go participate in the weekly discussions.
We might also develop a few sub-groups of people to lead discussion groups. This will have the advantage of de-centralizing BBnB and allowing the Groups to develop a `Mind of Independence' that can put the many Teachings we've covered into practice as a communal effort.
These changes are a logical continuum of the Goals of BBnB as it started. From the beginning, the goal has been to empower each of our members to work on an independent basis, to become a contributing member of their local Sangha and the larger Sangha of All Beings, as well as to be, in part, their own teacher.
* * * * *
I must also share that being the Director of Buddhism Basics and Beyond has been a Great Privilege. When we first got together after my separation from the previous series on AOL, it was gratifying to see that so many people had an interest in learning the Wisdom that the Buddha wrought in his own Great Life.
In anticipation of this new development, last week on Thanksgiving, as we gathered with friends and family, I felt so strongly the sense of gratitude that I've felt in your good company. I wish to thank each one of you who read the articles, participated in the chats or sent a kind thought to BBnB through the years. I am sincerely thankful for the presence of each of you in my life and for our studies together at BBnB. This is appropriate as the one who Teaches often learns more than the student. In this spirit, I thank each of you for what you have taught me and hopefully, what I will continue to learn from you in this new format.
In that Four Years so much has changed. AOL's decline in service and their decision to provide an ever-decreasing set of benefits has caused people to leave AOL in droves. The Life Beliefs Buddhism has shrunk to almost nothing and the Buddhist Bulletin Boards are also functionally extinct. The Weekly chats are the one remainder of what was once a thriving and diverse community of hundreds of participants with a dozen or more senior students who could serve as Teachers.
In reflecting on these dramatic changes, we are reminded of several of the Buddha's Teachings, Impermanence being one and the Fruits of Anger being the other.
The Three Poisons of Anger, Grasping and Ignorance are often the shears that rend what is good into the remainders of Impermanence. Keeping such lessons in our mind can guard us from rending our own lives and the lives of others into tatters and shambles. Keeping Faith with the Teachings, even in the context of change, can indeed bring us closer to our own Goal, to become a Suitable Vessel, a Bodhisattva, and to do our part to end the suffering of all Sentient Beings.
In this noble goal, You will continue to have my Greatest Encouragement.
Namaste and Shanti,
- Thank YOU GhanaBhuti,
Although my schedule has never allowed me to join the chats, i always read the post and the links from the chats.
Without this group i would have never made the decision to seek a teacher and take my vows.
Ghana, and all of you in here have inspired me to be a better person, and inspired me to take on a
daily practice under the wing of my great teacher and my meditation instructors..
Ohm Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padmi Sidhi Hum.
I bow to you all, and humbly say thank you.
Change is good.
love you all
Winston Salem north carolina..
PS.. YOU ALL ROCK!!