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Question: What is Dharmawave?
Thirty-five-plus years have passed since I first saw the light of day, and here is what has happened since: I have tasted the living nightmare of suffering, and then tasted its relief. All else is of little significance. Upon waking up from the nightmare, what I saw was a signpost directing me in bright, shimmering letters that the most important thing to work for, the only important work there really is to do, is to work for the relief of suffering, for myself and for everyone and everything living in this universe. This is Dharmawave's path and purpose: the end of suffering. Nothing else. I will let the rest of the internet handle everything else.
Having seen the way through suffering, I believe that the answers already exist. I believe the path is a clear, simple one, which anyone and everyone can follow to bring about a healing to themselves, the world, and its people. This was not the result of an epiphany or some mystical revelation, though. I've spent years of my life studying and practicing and contemplating and undergoing trials and errors to work my way through this. I've dug through piles of extra-syllabic psychotherapy textbooks and ancient Buddhist texts full of esoteric Pali and Sanskrit terms and all of that. "I've done the research," as Tom Cruise would say. The result of this research, and my direct experience, is that I believe the end of suffering is possible. But here's the thing:
When the answers are hidden and obscured like this, who the hell is going to take the time to find them, particularly those people who are already suffering deeply, and who may need it most?
So, at its heart, this site is intended to be a short-cut. It is intended to be an ever-growing community of people who know these answers, have experienced their truth, and are willing to work, even if only by living by example, to expose these answers to the world, simply, concisely, and with great resonance. It is intended to, without needless adornment, show everyone who is willing to listen to way to the end of suffering. Right now, and right quick.
Because at the rate things are going, we may not have all that much time to get this right. We need to create a wave of understanding, a wave of willingness to work against suffering instead of unwittingly creating more and more, and this wave has to start now, and has to continue to grow in intensity every moment after. And it will, if we can all approach it with an open mind, an open heart, and with great love, compassion, and kindness for everything that lives, or will ever live, that has the capacity to suffer.
That great wave just needs a pebble, thrown into the middle of an endless stillness, to start it off.
This website is my pebble. Let its ripples be felt far and wide. And let every action you take in your own life be your own pebble, let it start your own Dharmawave. Please remember, we're all in this together. We are this, which we are all in, together. We are the pebble, we are the wave, and we are the pond too. It's up to us.
Happiness, now or never.
Peace, now or never.
Question: What does "Dharma" mean?
If you check Wikipedia, you'll get more answers to this question than you'd ever want to see. It's originally a Sanskrit word, used by various religions and philosophies through history, primarily Hinduism and Buddhism, though the specific definition varies widely among any and all traditions that apply the term.
If there is a common thread in the definitions applied to the term by all of the historical traditions, it is one of describing a holy path, a practice which brings about the highest state of consciousness for the practitioner, the ultimate application of universal law to enable the attainment of some state of perfection, nirvana, what have you.
More simply and usefully, I describe it simply as the methods and efforts undertaken to achieve my stated spiritual goal, that being the end of suffering in myself and others. You'll notice that in this description, it functions as both noun and verb. It thus describes both the path itself, and the methods available to us for treading the path in our lives.
Alright, so what is it?
Well, I don't know. It's whatever you say it is. Your path to liberation from suffering is your Dharma, mine is mine. This website exists to describe and convey a particular Dharma which I, along with millions of others, have used to good effect in their own lives throughout history. It is based in truth, in scientific and psychological reality, in provability, in common sense, and in an elusive simplicity and effectiveness which has the potential to allow anyone and everyone to experience happiness, and relieve their suffering, right now, right in this very moment.
All visitors reading this are welcome to inquire into this Dharma, explore it for themselves through the vehicle of this website, and experiment with it in their own lives, in the context of their own path of liberation.
The path starts here, ends here, and is always available right under our feet. All it takes is the courage and determination to step onto it.
Question: Is this Buddhism?
The short answer is: No. But the long answer is more interesting.
Before we say that something is or is not something else, we need to understand what that something else is. So to answer "is this Buddhism?" we should know what Buddhism is. Given Buddhism's penchant for finding truth through negation, let's find out what it is by discussing what it is not.
Though Buddhism is generally listed among the great religions of the world, I think it's safe to say that Buddhism is not a religion. There are no gods involved, no worship, no beliefs in celestial deities or superhuman, otherworldly intelligences. Heaven and hell, if mentioned, are used only as metaphor to describe states of being which we encounter in our daily lives. If there is any faith involved, it is faith that the path the Buddha described, if travelled, will lead to happiness, but that faith dissipates immediately once one determines its truth (or otherwise) for one's self. In the end, no belief or faith in anything is required.
Buddhism is not a set of dogmatic commandments. Though the Buddha certainly outlines behaviors which are said to lead to suffering, and other which are said to lead to the end of suffering, these are not set forth as a "rulebook", deviation from which will kick you out of the club. In essence, he's saying "do this, if you want to be happy" but leaves it up to the individual to decide whether or not to practice. For instance, though vegetarianism is generally common among Buddhist practitioners, eating a hamburger doesn't mean you have to turn in your Buddha card.
Buddhism is not a philosophy. The Buddha himself advised his monks not to waste time dilly-dallying in philosophical thought. On the contrary, the primary thrust of Buddhist practice is to escape from the trap of swimming in concepts and ideas, and experiencing life fully with mindful awareness, leaving no room for conceptualization. It is not "here's what we think life is", it is direct perception of experience, right here and now.
So, it's not all these things. What is it, then? Given its astute observation of the inner machinations of the human mind, one may be inclined (as many have been) to call it a psychology. This is getting closer to the truth, I think, but a psychology has the nature of being a detached analysis of the mind, which the Buddha was also not interested in. It is the application of the psychology that ultimately brings value to it. This is, in the end, what I think Buddhism is: an application of a psychology, offered to humanity for us to use, if we are so inclined, to ease our suffering and find happpiness. It is, in fact, a self-help program.
The Buddha's teachings are his attempt to convey to those who suffer the immeasurable and ubiquitous, abundant happiness available to each of us, right here where we are, right in this very moment. The teachings have, at their core, the practice of compassionate, mindful awareness of the present moment.
Dharmawave has the same core. Various other modern authors, including Jon Kabat-Zinn and Eckart Tolle, have written their own variety of spiritual guidance, based on this very same core. Tolle, in fact, in "The Power of Now", proffers the suggestions that all spiritual or religious traditions and teachings throughout history, have this same simple but terribly elusive diamond of wisdom as their fundamental seed. He calls it the "Source", and as far-fetched a theory as that sounds, it is not a leap to suggest that Jesus, in imploring us to be kind to ourselves and our neighbor, was in fact teaching mindful compassion. The Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path and the Ten Commandments have far more in common than they differ.
Ultimately, all of these teachings and practices are like flowers growing from the same soil.
The words on this website, then, are not Buddhism, in the same way that two television sets, each tuned to the same station, are not each other.
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Only that day dawns to which we are awake.