Sutta Study Discussion Theme 6-4-16
From Craving to Liberation, From Grasping to Emptiness: Excursions into the Thought World of the Pali Discourses by Bhikkhu Analayo,
Chapter 13, Contemplating Vedana
Sections to be read outloud:
13.1 Read whole section
13.2 Third & last two paragraphs
13.4 First three paragraphs
13.5 Last four paragraphs
Feeling tone is a conditioned phenomena in that it depends on a conditioned mind and body and sense contact for its arising. Feeling tone is also a conditioning phenomena in that it sets in motion craving, grasping and becoming when wisdom and awareness are not strong and freedom from the suffering of reactivity when wisdom and awareness are present and strong. This month we will be using these teachings to help map and better understand the lawful interactions of sense contact, feeling tone, and established patterns of reactivity or acceptance (unwholesome or wholesome responses to feeling tone). We undertake this study in order to realize a way of dwelling independently with simple bare attention, not dependent on or being pushed around by any feeling that might arise. Obviously, this is a high bar to realize, but anything short of this means that the mind remains enslaved by its conditioned habits around pleasant, unpleasant and neutral feelings.
The relevant practice question is, how can this mind abandon the deeply ingrained habits to relate to pleasant feeling with passion, unpleasant feeling with aversion, and neutral feeling with delusion? Freedom depends on this letting go. Bhikkhu Analayo and the Buddha strongly suggest that we practice recognizing the impermanent nature of feelings as an powerful strategy to uproot the habit to react to these natural and inevitable feelings that arise in life.