What I Should’ve Said About the Sangha…

So last week I posted a video titled “My Sangha“, it was all about what it means to take refuge in the Sangha if you’re in an area without a temple or Zen center, or if you just don’t have the availability to regularly participate in a local Sangha. Yet, for all that I did say, I’ve begun to realize, there was quite a bit I didn’t say, and more importantly there was quite a bit a could have said better, and probably quite a bit I should clarify. So let’s talk about it right now!

YouTube is a great outlet for sharing and discussing ideas but, one of the problems with the medium of Youtube, for me at least, is that sometimes it can be difficult to effectively communicate and express your thought in such a short form medium. I try my best to keep my videos at or around 15 minutes, and usually I’m trying to cover a lot of ground in that time. Sometimes things get lost in that process or I’m not quite as clear as I’d like to be. Last week’s video about taking refuge in the Sangha is one such example.

I received a great comment on that video that made me recognize that I should say more on the subject.

“Taking refuge in the Sangha is not just about what a Sangha means to you. Members of a Sangha are seeking refuge in you, too. So, it is best, if you can to practice in person with a Sangha, so that you are there for them as well. We can also develop hubris if we believe we don’t need a teacher or other Sangha members to “catch” us in our belief that we’ve got it, when in fact we are far from it.”

There are some really excellent points here.

I certainly don’t mean to suggest that an official Sangha is not important or helpful. In fact, just last weekend I took the Refuge vows and the Five Lay Precepts. By taking the Refuge vows and the Five Lay Precepts, I officially joined the Morning Sky Zen Sangha and I became a part of the Tsaodong Ch’an Lineage and tradition..

Now, I’ve discussed the refuge vows in the past couple videos, this is the Triple Refuge, the Refuge of the Three jewels, the triple gem, or the three shelters.

I take refuge in the Buddha
I take Refuge in the Dharma
I take refuge in the Sangha

As my teacher explained in that ceremony, taking refuge in the Buddha does not simply mean the historical figure of the Buddha but the Buddha Nature found in everyone. Here the Buddha represents Enlightenment.

Taking refuge in the Dharma is not simply taking refuge in the teachings of the Buddha but the teachings of all beings. In other words, here, the Dharma represents truth.

And, finally taking refuge in the Sangha is not simply the community of fellow practitioners but also the community of all beings.

And that’s part of what I was trying to highlight in last week’s video.

In his book, Friends on the Path, Thich Nhat Hanh writes the follwoing:

The trees, water, air, birds, and so on can all be members of our sangha. A beautiful walking path may be part of our sangha. A good cushion can be also. We can make many things into supportive elements of our sangha. This idea is not entirely new; it can be found throughout the sutras and in the Abhidharma, too. A pebble, a leaf and a dahlia are mentioned in the Saddharmapundarika Sutra in this respect. It . If is said in the Pure Land Sutra that if you are mindful, then when the wind blows through the trees, you will hear the teaching of the Four Establishments of Mindfulness, the Eightfold Path, and so on. The whole cosmos is preaching the buddhadharma and practicing the buddhadharma. If you are attentive, you will get in touch with that sangha.

This is meant to not only stress the interconnectedness of all things, but I also think that its meant to give some encouragement to those of us who are not always in the position to be a part of an official Sangha in person. When we can see that the sangha is not limited to particular place or a specific group of individuals, but that the sangha is also comprised of all sentient beings, as well as anything and anyone we come into contact with during our practice, We can then recognize that we are never alone, we are never not part of a community – we are all part of an interdependent web of life, our community is always all around us.

We should welcome and acknowledge the support of the community that is always near us.

I’ve been reading a paraphrasing of Dogen‘s Shobogenzo by Brad Warner, called Don’t Be a Jerk, in it he writes that we should “rely on whatever has the truth, whether it’s a lamppost or a stop sign or a Buddha, whether it’s a stray dog, a demon or a god, or a man or a woman” and that one should even “look to trees and stones to be your teachers, even fields and villages might preach to you, as it says in the Lotus Sutra. Question lampposts and investigate fences and walls.”

I think what I wanted to try to say was that regardless of one’s location, availability, or circumstances one can always take refuge in the sangha of all beings, they too are part of one’s sangha.

In this regard, I don’t think its a bad or irreverent thing to ask what a Sangha is?, or what a Sangha is for you?

A really great book I read years ago is a book called The Sacredness of Questioning Everything by David Dark In it he writes that “religion can, and should be, objected to, questioned, and talked about. Contrary to many adherents who demand unquestioning respect for their faith, religion is perfectly and wonderfully objectionable.”

“The religiously faithful aren’t just permitted to critique and complain and reform; they’re BOUND to do as much BY religion. Without it, there is no faithfulness”

To me, this seems to be in keeping with the evolution of Buddhism. The historical development and progression of Buddhism has proven to be quite plastic, by that I mean that the tradition is malleable, there is a fluidity there. In each successive generation practitioners have constantly been found asking what it meanss to be a Buddhist in their context. As a result Buddhism has constantly adapted to changes of time and place, and it has done so without ever losing its core principles and teachings.

One of the books I just started reading is a book called Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind. Here’s a passage that I think gets at what I mean here:

The world we work in today is not the world of Michelangelo, of Marie Curie, of Ernest Hemingway, or even of Paul Rand. It is a new world, empowered and entranced by the rapid-fire introduction of new technologies—a world where our metaphysical front door is always open, where anyone can whisper in our ear, where a “room of one’s own” no longer means you’re all alone.

We can easily apply this to the Buddhist tradition, or any other tradition for that matter.

The world we live in today is not the world of the Buddha, of Bodhidharma, of Hongzhi, of Dogen, or of any of the other great teachers and Zen masters. It is a new world…

As Kwame Anthony Appiah writes in his book, Cosmopolitanism, “the worldwide web of information – radio, television, telephones, the Internet – means not only that we can affect lives everywhere but that we can learn about life anywhere, too.”

For example, I should mention that the Morning Sky Zen Sangha, isn’t exactly what you would call a traditional Sangha. It’s primarily based online. I live in Palm Bay, Florida and my teacher is in Kansas City, MO., and its other members are found all over the country. In other words, by embracing and utilizing the internet based communications technologies our modern world, my Sangha is reformulating what a Sangha is, what a Sangha looks like, and what a Sangha can be in the reality of our present world.

However, the refuge and support I receive from my teacher and the other members of my Sangha is in no way diminished by the fact that it is transmitted through an internet connection, if anything, the fact that the support of my Sangha can transcend the barriers and limitations of geography in such a way is a testament to its strength and vitality.

I believe firmly that our faithfulness or commitments to our beliefs, ideals, and traditions is directly proportionate to our ability to question them, our ability to reevaluate them, and our ability to reformulate them.

By asking what a Sangha truly is, what it means to be a part of Sangha, what a sangha means for me, or what a Sangha means for you, it is a way of acknowledging the fact that our world has dramatically changed and continues to do so, and it is way of expressing our deep commitment to these traditions and ideas.

In What is Zen? Norman Fischer writes that “Zen has to be different to fit us, but we have to be different to fit Zen.”

It is a reciprocal activity.

As Thich Nhat Hanh writes “When we say, ‘I take refuge in the sangha,’ it is not a statement, it is a practice.”

It is an active orientation, a vow of reciprocal action, a promise enacted reciprocity.

Returning to Thich Nhat Hanh, he say that “A sangha is not a community of practice in which each person is an island, unable to communicate with each other—this is not a true sangha. No healing or transformation will result from such a sangha. A true sangha should be like a family in which there is a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood.”

He goes on to say – “Don’t think that we sit for ourselves. You don’t sit for yourself alone, you sit for the whole sangha—not only the sangha, but also for the people in your city, because when one person in the city is less angry, is smiling more, the whole city profits.”

When we sit, we sit with and for all beings, we sit with and for the entire world.

As Dogen explains, “Mountains practice with one who meditates. Water realizes the way with one who practices.”

We should not only be the recipients of support, we should equally lend support to whatever community we find ourselves a part of.

We should take refuge in the sangha of all beings, but also all beings should be able to take refuge in us, as we are part of their sangha as well.

In other words, the Sangha is the practice of being open and aware enough to receive the support available from the entire world, it is taking refuge in the entirety of the world. But, it is also the practice of being open-enough to be the space in which the entire world can take refuge in you.

What makes a Sangha a Sangha is not it’s physical location or its brick and mortar structure. A Sangha is not limited to a building, or one geographical place, nor is it liimited to the the literal proximity of the participants to one another. The Sangha extends beyond all this. What makes a Sangha a Sangha is the shared reciprocity of caring support and compassionate connection. To take refuge is to be a refuge.

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Meditation & Discomfort…

Whether you’ve been mediating for a couple weeks or several years, chances are at some point in your practice you’ve been confronted with some kind of discomfort, whether physical, emotional, or psychological. So let’s talk about that right now…
I recently posted a video titled “I Suck at Meditating” in that video I outlined some of the frustrations I have with my daily meditation practice, and, even more so, I talked about the frustrations I have with what seems to be my lack of meditative progress. Sometimes meditation itself can a kind of catalyst for discomfort. Meditation is an extremely ‘reflective’ experience. Now I don’t mean reflective in the sense of being in deep thought. What I mean here is that meditation is mirror-like in that it can incisively reflect the details of one’s subjectivity back to oneself. It can reveal the details of our attachments, expectations, anxieties, fears, judgments. Although this can sometimes be a painful and uncomfortable experience, it can also mean that its working. Meditation fully confronts one with the contents of reality and all that is included within the present moment, which often includes things that aren’t so pleasant. I posted that video in a Facebook discussion group I belong to and I received a great comment from another member of the group. They stated the following:
Due to that misunderstanding about the goal being not having anything thoughts, I’ve tried to use meditation to escape unpleasant feelings. It didn’t work very well.
I’ve had a major life change recently, not handling it well, and my therapist told me I have to actually feel emotions instead of repressing them, so I’ve been trying to allow that to happen in meditation. It feels awful to be aware of how much everything hurts, of how angry I am, and doesn’t feel like lovingkindness or peace. But my physical health is improving, so I guess it’s having benefits.
I replied saying that as paradoxical as it may seem often the most lovingly kind thing you can do for yourself is to allow yourself to feel how you feel. Sometimes the most compassionate thing you can do for yourself is to give yourself permission to experience exactly whatever you’re experiencing. It can be much more violent to try to repress or ignore pain and discomfort. Yet, from my experience, it seems that when you’re fully present to the hurt and you simply observe it with mindfulness, the sting begins to fade.
This really got me thinking. Early on I tried to use mediation as an escape from discomfort, stress, and frustration. A few years ago it felt like my life was falling apart. I lost my job, lost my house, my marriage was on the verge of collapse. It felt like I was in a losing battle with depression. On top of everything else I lost, I lost hope as well. Whenever I would feel myself getting overtaken by anxiety, stress, depression, or anything like that I would run to the cushion. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad strategy – meeting strong emotional and psychological reactions with meditation head on. But, that’s not exactly what I was trying to do. I was trying to use meditation as a means to push away the discomfort and not deal with it, to escape from it. I was trying to use my practice as a way in which to avoid dealing with the problem.
Jon Kabat Zinn writes that “You might be tempted to avoid the messiness of daily living for the tranquility of stillness and peacefulness. This of course would be an attachment to stillness, and like any strong attachment, it leads to delusion.” In other words, if you use your meditation practice as a means in which to avoid facing the perturbances and difficulties of everyday life you will remain trapped in suffering, and if you cling and grasp too firmly in an attachment to the idea of and the desire for tranquility and stillness, you will remain ensnared by delusion. Dogen says that “Realization is reality right now. Even shocks, doubts, fears, and frights are none other than reality right now.” Jon Kabat Zinn goes on to say that “Mindful sitting meditation is not an attempt to escape from problems or difficulties into some cut-off ‘meditative’ state of absorption or denial. On the contrary, it is a willingness to go nose to nose with pain, confusion, and loss, if that is what is dominating the present moment, and to stay with the observing over a sustained period of time”.
I recently read a great article by Daniel Scharpenburg on the Tattooed Buddha Website. Daniel is a fantastic writer and meditation teacher and the Tattooed Buddha is really cool website that I’ve recently had the pleasure of writing for. Daniel’s article is titled ‘Greed, Hatred, and Delusion‘, or whats known in Buddhism as ‘The Three Poisons’. These three poisons are also known as ‘Attachment, Aversion, and Ignorance’. Greed is synonymous with Attachment, we are greedily attached to our desires, attached to the desire to have our desires permanently fulfilled. we are addicted to comfort, satisfaction, and security, yet, we are never fully satisfied, we are constantly chasing the dragon. In Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, Dan Harris writes that “We’re always on the hunt for the next dopamine hit. We hurl ourselves headlong from one cookie, one promotion, one party to the next, and yet a great many of us are never fully sated”. This is Greed, this is attachment.
Hatred is equated with Aversion – aversion to pain, discomfort, etc. As vehemently as we are attached to our desires for what we want, we are just as equally averse to all that we don’t want. Daniel Scharpenburg makes it clear that this hatred/aversion can be directed toward “unpleasant people, circumstances, or even toward ourselves.” He highlights that hatred and aversion “can manifest as anger, but also as impatience, ill-will, annoyance and hostility.” In his book, What is Zen?Norman Fischer expresses a similar idea when he says that “This aversion appears as a cacophony of resistance in the body to the pain, as well as painful emotional thinking, including blame of others, self-blame, fear, despair, anger, and so on.” We are so attached to our ideas, beliefs, and concepts of pleasantness, comfort, and satisfaction that we express a deep seated hatred and aversion to anything that threatens to shatter or conflict with those desirous beliefs.
Being so caught up in these bifurcated beliefs, so firmly distinguishing between pleasant and unpleasant, between what we want and what we don’t want, we are lead into the third poison, Delusion and Ignorance. Put simply, Delusion and Ignorance arrives at the very moment we believe that all our desires can be lastingly fulfilled and that all discomfort and unpleasantness can somehow be avoided. In other words, we demonstrate an utter lack of understanding concerning the nature of reality.
In the article I recently wrote for the Tattooed Buddha I discuss what’s known in Buddhism as ‘the second arrow’. In the Sallatha Sutta the Buddha states the following:
When touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, and laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, physical and mental. Just as if they were to shoot a man with an arrow and, right afterward, were to shoot him with another one, so that he would feel the pains of two arrows. In the same way, when touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, and laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, physical and mental.
The first arrow is unavoidable. We will inevitably and invariably be confronted by pain, loss, discomfort, unpleasantness, difficulties, etc. It is our reactivity to the first arrow that causes the strike of the second arrow. We are the second shooter, the second gunman, the second archer on the grassy knoll. We are responsible for the second arrow. As I say the article, the second arrow flys “when we begin bemoan the fact that things aren’t the way we think they should be.” Norman Fischer explains that
What makes suffering suffering is our aversion to it, our desire to escape, our childish sense that this shouldn’t be happening, that we shouldn’t be suffering, and that we should be able to figure out how to make it stop. That attitude makes the suffering worse. But when we are willing to suffer when it is time to suffer, when we don’t mind, when we know that suffering is and was always built into being alive in a living world, and that this is the beauty and the privilege of living, then we can take on the suffering, and it isn’t really suffering.
Fischer goes on to say that “If you can sit still for all this and keep breathing, eventually you discover that it is the aversion, much more than the primary sensation, that hurts.” Perhaps one could say that the second arrow is the very expression of the three poisons, that is, our Attachment, Aversion, and Delusion. It shows us what we are attached to, what we are avoiding, and what we are ignorant of or deluded by.
If I’m being honest, I have to admit that sometimes my meditation practice is more an expression of my attachments, aversions, and delusions than it is my release from them. But, it’s through my sitting practice that I’m beginning to be able to see and detect these three poisons more easily. These poisons coming to light, especially during mediation practice, can be unpleasant, uncomfortable, and, perhaps, even painful. It can be extremely tempting to push the experience down or to push it away. Yet, as Jon Kabat Zinn explains “There can be no resolution leading to growth until the present situation has been faced completely and you have opened to it with mindfulness, allowing the roughness of the situation itself to sand down your own rough edges.”
A few weeks ago I was listening to an episode of The Minimalists Podcast. It was episode 135, titled “Acquaintances”. While they weren’t discussing meditation or Buddhism, I think what they had to say relates to what we’re talking about here. They talk about how avoiding everything you dislike will stunt your growth.” Avoiding experiences you dislike will severely limit the breadth and depth of your experience of reality. In fact, Experience becomes richer when you open yourself up to experiences you dislike. In his book, Buddha Mind, Buddha Body, Thich Nhat Hahn writes that “When we know that our suffering, our hatred and fear are organic, we don’t try to run away from them. We know that if we practice, we can transform them and they can nourish our happiness and well-being.” If we can fully confront our suffering, our pain, our discomfort, our attachment, our aversion, and our delusion, not only can we avoid the sting of the second arrow but, we can also transform our pain and our poisons into the fertilization of our new growth.
The truest testament to the results of mediation is not the quality or the pleasantness of your time spent on the cushion but, the quality of your life spent off the cushion.

Montaigne & Buddhism Part 2 (Video)

This is the second part in my Montaigne and Buddhism series, excerpted from a paper I wrote for a graduate course I’ve recently completed. Here, we take a look at Montaigne and the ideas of ‘Impermanence’ and Anitya/Anicca. Enjoy!

Montaigne & Buddhism Part 1 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ugn9r… Montaigne & Buddhism Part 2 Blog post: https://duanetoops.wordpress.com/2018… Montaigne & Buddhism Part 1 Blog post: https://duanetoops.wordpress.com/2018…

Books Utilized:

The Bodhisattva’s Brain by Owen Flanagan: https://www.amazon.com/Bodhisattvas-B…

How to Live by Sarah Bakewell: https://www.amazon.com/How-Live-Monta…

The Way of Zen by Alan Watts: https://www.amazon.com/Way-Zen-Alan-W…

Montaigne & Buddhism, Part 1: Dhyana & Vipassana

 

For a Western European writer steeped within the Renaissance era, Montaigne’s approach and content seems uncannily Eastern, or, more specifically, the content of his writing seems to be uniquely Buddhist. One can only speculate as to whether or not Montaigne was familiar with Buddhist philosophy. It seems to be an unavoidable truth that there is little to no evidential support as to whether or not he had ever even encountered Buddhist thought. It would, then, be academically and intellectually irresponsible to suggest that Montaigne, a committed catholic (though not in the most orthodox of senses), was, somehow or in some way, a secret student of the Dharma. Thus, it is not the aim of this paper to make such a claim. However, what this paper does intend to highlight is that, whether Montaigne intended as much or not, there are deep resonances and immense parallels found between his thought and Buddhist philosophy, especially in regards to the ideas of mindfulness/meditation, impermanence, and the self.

‘Mediation’ or ‘Meditations’ within the Western philosophical tradition are not foreign concepts. For example, two pivotally important philosophical texts donning the moniker of ‘meditation’ are the Meditations of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, and the Meditations on First Philosophy by renowned French philosopher Rene Descartes (Descartes, himself, being a kind of purveyor of modern thought). In these two examples ‘meditation’ is used “in the common sense of ‘thinking things over’ or ‘musing’” (Watts 54). Here, it would be easy enough to class Montaigne’s Essays as an example of this sort of meditative ‘musing’ or ‘thinking things over’ yet, such a classification would seem to be a diminution of what one witnesses in the writings of Montaigne. In this regard, there seems to be a dichotomy between ‘mediation(s)’ in the Western sense of the term as a kind of pondering rumination, and in the more Eastern/Buddhist sense of the term (more on this to come). Montaigne’s mediations seem to be much more than a mere intellectual pursuit or activity. The suggestion that Montaigne’s Essays is indicative of something more than musings of the intellect is not intended to be interpreted as a refutation of Montaigne’s intellectuality. Even a scant or peripheral perusal of the Essays will clearly reveal a thinker of incredible intelligence and robust reasoning. However, what is being proposed is that what Montaigne demonstrates in his meditative writing seems to be much more in line with the Buddhist concept of Dhyana (Sanskrit) or Jhana (Pali). Dhyana/Jhana are the words translated as ‘mediation’ yet, the word ‘meditation’, as seen in the usage of Aurelius and Descartes, is “a most misleading translation” (Watts 54). Dhyana/Jhana is not an example of a musing rumination but, instead “can be described as the state of unified or one-pointed awareness” intensely “focused on the present” (Watts 55). ‘Meditation’, or Dhyana/Jhana is a focused and concentrated awareness fully present to the present moment and all of its contents, including all the contents present within consciousness, that is, both mental and material. Indeed, as Jon Kabat Zinn explains, the only goal of the kind of mindful meditation exhibited in Dhyana/Jhana, if there can even be said to be a goal, is the deepening of “attention and awareness”, deepening the attention and awareness to one’s own mind, deepening the attention and awareness to one’s consciousness, and, ultimately deepening the attention and awareness of the present moment, accepting all the realities of the present just as they are (Zinn xvii). In this regard, as Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh writes, and as Montaigne will show, “It’s better to be than to think” (85).

Dhyana/Jhana goes hand in hand with Vipassana (Pali) or Vipasyana (Sanskrit). Vipassana/Vipasyana is derived from two root words; Passana meaning “seeing and perceiving”, and Vi meaning “in a special way” (Gunaratana 27). Vipassana/Vipasyana, then, is a special way of seeing and perceiving, which provides ‘insight’ into the fundamental or basic nature of reality (Gunaratana 27). It is the cultivation of ‘insight’ that sees and perceives “into and through” the reality of what is observed with the “clarity and precision” provided by the focus and attention of a one-pointed awareness (Gunaratana 27). This seems to be precisely what Montaigne presents in his Essays, a special way of seeing, a mindful, meditative awareness fully concentrated upon the present, seeing though to the very core of what is.

Montaigne writes the following:

When I dance, I dance; when I sleep, I sleep. Nay, when I walk alone in a beautiful orchard, if my thoughts are some part of the time taken up with external occurrences, I some part of the time call them back again to my walk, to the orchard, to the sweetness of that solitude, and to myself (Montaigne).

Clearly, Montaigne attempted to live his life with, what Sarah Bakewell calls, “an almost Zen-like discipline”, demonstrating “an ability to just be” (27). Yet, Montaigne’s ability to just be with the present moment, mindfully focused and attentively aware of the present, is an ability he not only speaks of in his writings but, is a mindfulness concentration taken up by and acted out by his writings. Everything which occurs within the present moment of everyday life is of noteworthy importance to Montaigne. Nothing is too trivial, too mundane, or too ordinary to be documented. Montaigne states that “whatsoever presents itself before us is book sufficient; a roguish trick of the page, a sottish mistake of a servant, a jest at the table, are so many new subjects” (Montaigne). Montaigne proposes “a life ordinary and without lustre” as being of “richer composition” (Montaigne). Regardless of each essay’s proposed topic, each essay contains constant diversions and sidetracks. Montaigne writes that one of his aims is “to record all the little thoughts that present themselves,” saying that “I give ear to my whimsies, because I am to record them” (Montaigne). These ‘diversions’ are not instances of distraction but, rather an example of Montaigne’s mindful observation of his own mind, a transcription of all that arises within consciousness, a transcription of arising consciousness, which he accepts and embraces non-judgmentally, just as they are. Sarah Bakewell notes that “Even when his thoughts are most irrational and dreamlike, his writing follows them” (6). In this regard, Montaigne’s Essays is not only a transcription of his meditation practice, but rather the writing of the Essays, itself, is his practice of Dhyana/Jhana and Vipassana/Vipasyana, his mindful meditation, his insight.

Montaigne & the Instability of the Self (Video)

A few weeks ago I posted a blog on the same topic and with the same title. It was a paper written for a graduate course, in which I attempted to highlight Montaigne’s ideas about the ‘Self’. Here, I just wanted to try and make a quick video providing an overview of the paper and topic in a more conversational tone. Hope you enjoy!

Suffering and the ‘Self’

As the title of the video suggests, I’m discussing Buddhist ideas of Suffering and the ‘Self’, or more specifically the illusion of the ‘Self’.

What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula – https://smile.amazon.com/What-Buddha-…

Waking up by Sam Harris – https://smile.amazon.com/Waking-Up-Sp…

The Self Illusion by Bruce Hood – https://smile.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_…

Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright – https://smile.amazon.com/Why-Buddhism…

The Way of Zen by Alan Watts – https://smile.amazon.com/Way-Zen-Alan…

Secular Buddhism Podcast – https://secularbuddhism.com/57-all-pe…

Articles on Apophenia: http://skepdic.com/apophenia.html https://archive.is/20130121151738/htt…

Levi Bryant’s referenced Blogs: https://larvalsubjects.wordpress.com/… https://larvalsubjects.wordpress.com/…

Other Referenced Article: http://www.insightmeditationcenter.or…

Skandhas, Emptiness, and Object Oriented Ontology

In this video I try to elaborate on the Buddhist ideas of Emptiness and Skandhas, and how they connect or relate to Object Oriented Ontology.

Here’s a link to my previous video discussing Emptiness – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5sIH…

Why Buddhism is True –https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MPZNG63/…

Here’s a link to the Tim Morton interview I referenced – https://www.lionsroar.com/groundbreak…

Timothy Morton’s Blog – http://ecologywithoutnature.blogspot….

Timothy Morton’s YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZzy…

Brad Warner’s Book “Hardcore Zen” – https://www.amazon.com/Hardcore-Zen-M…

Brad Warner’s YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCav0…

Brad Warner’s Blog – http://hardcorezen.info/

Ian Bogost’s Definition of Object Oriented Ontology – http://bogost.com/writing/blog/what_i…