Sutta Study Discussion Theme 9-3-16
From Craving to Liberation, From Grasping to Emptiness: Excursions into the ThoughtWorld of the Pali Discourses by Bhikkhu Analayo
Chapter 16, Knowledge and Vision according to Reality
Sections to be read out loud:
Second full paragraph p. 185 through second full paragraph p. 186 Second full paragraph p. 187 through second full paragraph p. 188 1st full paragraph p. 189 through 1st full paragraph p. 190
This month we are asked to unpack the experience of insight knowledge and vision according to reality. Although an intellectual understanding of what the Buddha taught is helpful, the teachings and practices are pointing to a deepening illumination of the underlying dynamic, nonconceptual and impersonal nature of experiencing (‘Experiencing’, although more awkward sounding, is perhaps a better word than the more static word ‘experience’.) This awakening arises because of a direct and continuous nonconceptual knowing of both the objects and attitudes that are arising and passing. Overtime, wise mindful awareness transforms the mind’s relationship to and dependence on all mental constructions. With practice, the mind views thoughts as natural phenomena, unworthy of attachment or enchantment. Concepts and ideas are seen as limited not a cause for lasting happiness.
Venerable Analayo gives examples from the Buddha’s teachings of how each insight or opening comes with greater demands to continue this process of being aware to what has yet to be seen clearly enough. In words, this process of awakening is described by the Buddha in terms of the twelve insights found in the four noble truths teaching, or a deepening of insight into the three characteristics. But actually this process of awakening is a coming to know oneself, as it actually is. Venerable Analayo explains this on pages 189190. Our task is to abandon all ideas of self (mundane through sublime) in favor of what wise continuous attention reveals as the truth. Let’s commit to this noble work, let’s remember that we can always begin again.