About

“That I may perchance some secret reach
through spirit-power and spirit-speech,
and thus the bitter task forego
of saying the things I do not know,—
that I may detect the inmost force
which binds the world, and guides its course;
its germs, productive powers explore,
and rummage in empty words no more!”
(From Goethes’ Faust)

The Abhidhamma, literally ‘Higher Dhamma’, is the Philosophical-Psychological System of Buddhism. It is a system of highly philosophical ideas, to which the designation ‘Paramattha’ is applied. ‘Paramattha’ being a word-compound that is made of two distinct parts, the first part, ‘parama’, having the meaning of ultimate, highest, or final, while the second part ‘attha’ denotes, reality, thing or truth. Thus the word Paramattha means ‘Things ultimate’, ‘Highest truths’ or more loosely, ‘Timeless-‘ or ‘Eternal Truths’. 

In traditional Buddhist countries the Abhidhamma is held in highest esteem, being considered the more advanced teaching of Buddhism. Yet, although it is held in such high esteem, many a student studying it, finds himself at the very least perplexed as to its usefulness. Oftentimes, a more serious attempt to get to the meaning of this system has led the serious student to confusion and doubts. And to the question of whether it is really of the Buddha’s making.

Being a monk ordained in a tradition which highly emphasised Abhidhamma, and having seen much suffering arising from people being forced by circumstance of their tradition to study the Abhidhamma, I have set before myself the task, to make out of the Abhidhamma-system something more comprehensible, meaningful and practical.

With that in mind, I approached the Abhidhamma not as something apart from the main Buddhist scriptures, but rather as an explanatory model that can, amongst other things, show people without any other guide, both a more ordered and a more detailed step by step approach to get closer to the realisation of the Buddha’s teaching.

Yet, although I started out with the sincere intention to really limit myself only to the items given in the Abhidhamma system, knowing that the commentators of the Abhidhamma too evolved various new ideas, which with the various Abhidhamma manuals became tradition, I eventually broadened its spectrum to fill out evident holes, which once patched, make many of the traditional Abhidhamma concepts much more clear, as well as putting them on a more firm ground.

In that spirit, I have, besides creating an entirely new way of looking at the Paṭṭhāna conditions, given less traditional ways of considering about the body, the mind, time, consciousness and meditation.

Although some of this is meant specifically for the Buddhist student of the Abhidhamma, I believe, much of it may be useful for any person of a spiritual bend from whatever background.

The main blog and key to this website is the blog “Keys to the Abhidhamma System“, which is giving an outline of the whole system. This goes along with my book ‘Paramattha’, which can be found under the “Books” section.

Those who like this blog also can check out another one by me under amonksnotes.wordpress.com. This, having been the preparation of my mind for my desired journey to explore the Abhidhamma, might perhaps be useful to those who seek to follow a similar path.