Free Buddhist Audio

The Dhamma as Mystery & Imagination

On Sat, 18 January, 2014 - 21:57
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We launched the new year with a series of talks on the Dhamma as mystery and imagination in our FBA Podcasts and Dharmabytes. Starting with our first FBA Dharmabyte, “The Mystery of the Dhamma Niyama” we have a clip by from one of his Rambles Around Reality series. Here he describes the Dhamma Niyama as having it’s own conditioned laws which are potentially working within us. Using the metaphor of the stream, our effort, our karma puts us in the current, but the current itself is the Dharma Niyama – mysterious patterns in conditionality that take us well beyond ourselves. We then featured the same talk, “Rambles Around Reality – The 5 Niyamas” for our weekly FBA Podcast. Here Subhuti talks about the fundamental basis of Buddhism’s conception of reality; Pratitya Samutpada. He introduces it in the form of the 5 niyamas, in the course of his ramble he emphasises that these are forces, or the way things are rather than ‘laws’. The talk culminates in the Karma and Dharma niyamas and particularly emphasising the importance of the Dhamma niyama, which is that in the universe that makes enlightenment possible. However to philosphise or abstract from it is to miss the point, in the end it must remain a mystery that we must experience for ourselves.

Bhante then delivers a perspective on “The Divine Eye as Vertical Imagination” in our next FBA Dharmabyte. He asks, in the Pali scriptures, do we have a word for ‘imagination?” Vertical imagination is a creative force, enabling us to rise above ourselves. Quoting William Blake seeing the host of heavenly spirits in the sun, we are called to evoke the power of our imaginative faculty. This is an excerpt from the book launch of Living Ethically, available at Windhorse Publications.

Kamalashila then brings his views in “The Buddha & Imagination,” an excerpt from his talk “Tranquillity, Imagination and Insight”, a book relaunching of Buddhist Meditation. Here, Kamalashila explores the Buddha’s emphasis on mind, and the presence of imagination. “All solutions and all problems come from the mind.” We then podcast the full talk as Kamalashila beautifully reveals his thoughts on how the Buddha was imbued with confidence without conviction. He seemed completely at peace with himself which lead to friendliness in all his communications. His life, his example, the embarkment on the three trainings of behavior, meditation and wisdom combine in the practice of satisampajana – mindfulness and clear comprehension. Mindfulness was the Buddha’s core practice – Cultivating the Way of Awakening.

We end this first part of the month with an FBA Dharmabyte from Vajratara titled: “Imagination & Dreaming Angels”. Here she explores the fifth pillar of the Triratna Buddhist Order: Imagination as mystery, magic and myth. She describes how in the Sangha, in the Sangha we aspire to, the distinctions between each other are transcended – which is a mysterious and wonderful thing. From the talk: Dreaming Angels given on the December 2012 National Order Weekend for women.

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