Naksha

 

Preamble

Naksha is the Hindi word for map. This is the Bodhidaoist map of reality, giving the only authoritative outline of its beliefs, values, and practices. It is wise to remember that the map is not the territory. All maps are incomplete and imperfect, they are guides not gods.

Point 1: Bodhidaoism Defined

Bodhidaoism is the way of awakening. It is a personal religion for the solitary practitioner that is based on scientific naturalism. Scientific naturalism is the view that, based on the evidence, the natural world is all there is, and science is the best means of knowing this world. A creator God, the supernatural, and a personal afterlife are all beliefs rejected by scientific naturalism, and hence, are not a part of Bodhidaoism.

Point 2: The Three Traditions

Bodhidaoism learns from many wisdom traditions, but is especially enriched and inspired by three: (1) Buddhism, (2) Daoism, and (3) Stoicism.

Point 3: The Five Essentials

The Five Essentials of Bodhidaoism, which are binding upon all Bodhidaoists: (1) that they believe that evidence alone is our highest authority; (2) that they believe in scientific naturalism; (3) that they accept the authority of the Four Disciplines, (4) that they live out the Four Values, and (5) that they have a daily spiritual practice.

Point 4: The Four Disciplines

The Four Disciplines of Bodhidaoism, which inform and guide our pursuit of truth, are, in order of reliability: (1) science, (2) psychology, (3) philosophy, and (4) phenomenology.

Point 5: The Four Values

The Four Values of Bodhidaoism, which guide and motivate us towards the valuable, are: (1) skepticism, (2) altruism, (3) flourishing, and (4) environmentalism.

Point 6: Naturalistic Pantheism

The Cosmos is Divine, being all there is or was or ever will be. We call the Cosmos the Divine because it is our mother, our sustainer, and the source of awe, reverence, and wonder. We word Divine is simply the metaphor we use to speak of the mystery of existence and the deeper significance of our interdependence with the Cosmos. For us, Nature is sacred.

Point 7: The Hero’s Journey

Whether we realize it or not, we are all on the hero's journey. It is a journey through life towards flourishing, which is filled with both dangers and rewards. We must discover the hero within and unlock our potential in order to transform our lives and impact the world for good.

Point 8: The Four Afflictions

(1) The first affliction is ignoring reality, (2) the second affliction is selfishness, (3) the third affliction is reactivity in the form of attachment and aversion, and (4) the fourth affliction is alienation from Nature.

Point 9: The Four Realizations

The Four Realizations are: (1) that discontentment pervades the unawakened life; (2) that discontentment is caused by the four afflictions, (3) that if you remove the afflictions, you eliminate the discontentment; and (4) that in order to eliminate the discontentment you must follow the Threefold Path.

Point 10: The Threefold Path

The Threefold Path is: (1) awakening to reality, (2) transformation to altruism and nonreactivity, and (3) flourishing, which includes personal growth, equanimity, and meaning in life.

Point 11: Humankind

Humankind evolved from the great apes and each person is composed of a body and a brain, from which emerges the mind. The mind has two basic divisions, (1) the conscious and (2) the unconscious. We believe that free will is an emergent property of the mind, and hold that free will and determinism are mutually compatible.

Point 12: The Eight Virtues

We believe that ethical conduct arises from the virtues. The Eight Virtues are: (1) lovingkindness, (2) prudence, (3) courage, (4) justice, (5) moderation, (6) courtesy, (7) humility, and (8) patience.

Point 13: The Eight Precepts

The Eight Precepts are guidelines for making skillful choices as good citizens of the world. The Eight Precepts are: (1) Do not knowingly and unjustly cause harm to any sentient being; (2) Treat all people as equals and do not discriminate against them; (3) Do not have sex outside of a loving relationship, (4) Do not knowingly speak falsely, but be honest with yourself and others; (5) Do not knowingly and unjustly take what does not belong to you; (6) Do not get intoxicated or take harmful drugs, (7) Do not dishonor your parents; and (8) Do not do to others what you would not want someone to do to you.

Point 14: The Four Practices

The Four Practices of Bodhidaoism are: (1) affirmations, (2) meditation, (3) minimalism, and (4) nature immersion. Other spiritual practices may be added at the careful discretion of the practitioner, who will be guided by naturalism, the evidence, and the practical results in one's life.

Point 15: Organization

Bodhidaoism has no churches or clergy, but only teachers, who teach, train, and offer spiritual guidance. Bodhidaoism is organized like a school of philosophy, headed by a Scholarch, who is in charge of certifying or decertifying teachers. The Scholarch chooses his or her successor, and in the case where no successor has been chosen before the Scholarch’s death, the teachers are authorized to choose one by majority vote. This Naksha belongs to the current Scholarch, and can only be changed or modified by the Scholarch.

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From the Book Secular Spirituality. Copyright © 2019 Jay Forrest. All Rights Reserved