Website Unconditional Happiness


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    • #47093

      Theruwan Saranayi,

      I promised to post some info on the website I’ve been working on.

      Right now, there are 8 articles divided into two sections. I wanted to build a good foundation first, based on some of the questions I’ve encountered.

      The first section is called “essentials” which contains 5 articles. The other section is “pleasure and vexation.” This section covers more ground as I’ll explain in a bit. They are quite a bit lengthier, though. This section is not done by any means, but it contains enough for one to ponder about.

      Anyway, allow me to explain what this website is, why I started it, and what you can expect.


      I have created this website mostly because I was inspired by the way Amadassana Thero explained things in plain English. I’m always figuring out how to talk to people and how I can help them see the reality of mind and matter (while also working on myself of course). Those sermons really helped me to express myself better. In the beginning it was a bit tricky, because I was used to the language on this website and I was figuring out how to interpret things. But I got used to it soon enough. Everybody has their own way of expressing themselves, and I believe it’s a great opportunity to listen to different people explaining similar concepts. I noticed that even more strongly when I visited Jethavanarama Buddhist Monastery having the opportunity to have a discussion with at least 4 different Theros. It really added to my understanding.

      What I noticed in my life was that there are quite some people who have the ability to reflect on things logically. However, and unfortunately so, terms like “Buddha,” and “Dhamma” trigger various connotations and mostly incorrect ones.

      In some of Amadassana Thero’s sermons he mentioned that, with some people, you don’t talk about Buddha or Buddhism because it would shut them off completely. “Just talk about the science,” was one phrase that really resonated with me. After all, all we are doing is trying to realize the truth. If people have the wrong idea about Buddha Dhamma at this point, we can still share that truth to some extent. And I realized, there’s a lot more we can share than I initially believed. If, or when, people get into it, they’ll be much more open to other parts of the dhamma; it’s all so logical. But to see the overall logic, you first need to start seeing some logic in some parts of the whole. And that is very possible.

      Let’s say someone is always looking at the sky for answers. He would never look down even if you tell them that is where all the answers can be found, right in front of them. Let’s say the roots of a tree are analogous to the truth. People are not going to look down just because you say so. However, the truth extends far and wide through its branches into the sky. If somebody is looking up, they can be guided towards one of those branches first. Of course, merit is required to want to look where those branches come from, but a step is made, nonetheless.

      Just thinking about how many times we must have come across the truth before throughout samsara. How many times did Ariyas try and talk sense into us. Realization happened over a (massively) long period of time. Every little bit helps, every little step forward is a step taken. I have immense faith that every single thing that can be shared, no matter how small, is going to be beneficial in the long run for someone.

      I was the ignorant one in need of help on plenty of occasions I reckon. Nobody gave up on me, even though I must have been stubborn and foolish. With infinite compassion did others try to help me. It’s my duty to go about it the same way and repay my debts.

      About the articles:

      The “pleasure and vexation” section I just mentioned (at the bottom of the page) is about the basics of Anicca and that it’s impossible to gain satisfaction through people, things and situations. There’s also no inherent pleasure/beauty in anything, and the fact that we believe and try to extract it from rupa (I didn’t mention this term) means we’re always in a state of discontent. Of course, even too much engagement with something seemingly pleasurable will be vexatious as well, which also shows that pleasure is not in anything. I’ve listed various examples, and I go quite in-depth. I have attempted to use as much common sense and logic as possible. Like Amadassana Thero said: “Talk about the science.”

      In every article, I added a small practical exercise for people to reflect upon. Sometimes it is composed of a few steps. I designed them in such a way to let people think and come to their own conclusions. I emphasize not to believe me, but analyse whatever I say objectively. After all, a realization needs to happen and that can happen only in one’s own mind. 

      For future writings:

      There is still a lot to share, e.g., about cause and effect. I have some practical examples in mind how to connect this to expectations and how these are formed and why they make us suffer in a way that makes sense to people. For example, expectations are formed whenever you see “fixed units,” not manifestations that are a constant product of ongoing causes (I’ve tried some very simple examples that seemed to make sense, and I’m going to test this further in my interactions with others). From this angle, dukkha and anatta can also be discussed to some extent. Especially when interpreting anatta as “inseparable.” I’m not going there yet, but I will touch on anything that I’m able to explain logically (otherwise I perhaps won’t).

      Also, many people believe that color, sound, taste, smell, etc. is out there. However, even modern science has shown that this is not the case. If you reflect on this correctly, it is tremendously helpful in developing your anicca sanna. Studying sense perception from a scientific angle has really helped me as well. It shows the absolute desperation of the mind, though that’s another story.

      I don’t know exactly how I will go about it after all of this. That’s a future concern. Maybe I will split it up or start linking to other connecting resources. Perhaps I’ll add videos. I’ll have to give it some careful thought. Whatever allows me to be of the greatest benefits to others.

      I want to have it translated, also in Chinese. I’m not sure how this all works, so I need to look into it. I’ve learned to design websites only fairly recently.

      If anyone has suggestions, please feel free to share. If it’s regarding present content, please make sure to read at least some of it (but try not to take anything out of context).

      I know a few of the Swamin Wahansas at the monastery have looked before and one of them has read some parts here and there. But it’s unlikely they’re going to read the whole thing. If anyone here also does the same, it might still be enough to get some valuable feedback overall. And of course, feel free to share it with others if you see the value in it and you believe someone might be in need or open-minded enough.

      On a final note:

      I’ve attempted to chose words carefully according to the specific context and connotations people generally have. Just a quick example: sometimes I might talk about one’s “view” while using the word “perception.”  So, if you do happen to go through it, don’t get stuck on individual words but try to get the overall meaning.

      If you still find something you think is not accurate, please do tell me. I’ve been made aware of a few errors that I had apparently overlooked (in this case they were a result of grammar and formatting).

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    • #47095

      Excellent work, Jorg! In my experience, this will not only be useful for those reading your articles, but for yourself too. As I’m sure Lal can attest to, being able to clearly explain a topic (without regurgitating what you’ve heard someone else say) requires a thorough understanding of the subject. As such, you are able to identify areas that need to be reflected upon further. I just started reading your first post and am impressed by your thoughtful phrasing and choice of analogies. I look forward to reading more.

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    • #47097

      Good work, Jorg.

      I disagree with the following statement: “What I noticed in my life was that there are quite some people who have the ability to reflect on things logically. However, and unfortunately so, terms like “Buddha,” and “Dhamma” trigger various connotations and mostly incorrect ones.”

      • Without the Buddha, nothing that any bhikkhu teaches will make sense in the long run. A Buddha is the best logician.
      • I understand that you don’t mean it that way. But it could give a wrong impression.
      • Explaining things entirely in English is a “good introduction” to moral living and is commendable. But advising merely to live a moral life was not the central message of the Buddha. 
      • On the other hand, your website does not say it is about Buddha Dhamma. Therefore, that is fine. It is about moral living and thinking logically.
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    • #47098

      Thank you Dawson for taking a look. I look forward to any feedback you might have later on.

      @Lal, well noted. I see it could be taken the wrong way, and that is indeed not my intention in the slightest. 


    • #47110

      My comment was incomplete, so let me add the following to clarify the whole:

      This website is not simply about moral living. It is to start understanding that happiness cannot possibly be found in this world. I have made that pretty clear in the last three articles (if anybody is interested, feel free to read, starting with “The Illusion of Beauty”).

      Perhaps (for the time being) you could regard this site as a transition for those who would otherwise never come in contact with these concepts (because of their misunderstandings/misinterpretations). Later I’ll figure out how to narrow the gap with Buddha Dhamma (further). It could be through linking to this site or specific sermons such as from Jethavanarama. For now, the site is a work in progress. It will undergo many changes later on.

      Since I feel that I’m going to be misunderstood from the above, please let me add a practical example that reflects these intentions:
      I’ve talked to various people about how we cannot truly find fulfillment through worldly things and that the attempt itself is vexatious. I provided them with various examples that they could verify for themselves. I did not mention Buddha Dhamma at first because they would not have listened to me. That would have been such a pity. So out of compassion, I didn’t (I merely presented the logic of some Buddha Dhamma concepts). However, after they started seeing the logic, they became open-minded enough for me to share more. This is sort of the same principle. 

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