Sutta Study Reflection Theme 5-4-13

The Island: An Anthology of the Buddha’s Teachings on Nibbana

By Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Amaro

Pages 1 – 38

Sections to be read out loud: Buddha’s response to Kappa’s question in the Sutta Nipata, p. XVI, Definitions, read sutta quotes on pages 28 – 32

Discussion Theme:

Ajahn Sumedho in his introduction, encourages us to use the concept of Nibbana as an invitation, a gateway to the possibility of a “Reality that each one of us can know for ourselves – once we recognize non-attachment, once we realize the reality of non-grasping.” p. XVI

Can we understand our task not as a liberation that we must attain, but rather as a waking up to a freedom that is available here and now. As we begin our study of the Buddha’s teachings on Nibbana, let’s use this month to better recognize the limitations of our fixed views about freedom. Ajahn Sumedho recommends that we challenge any fixed assumptions that, “I am somebody who needs to do something in order to become enlightened in the future.” This kind of view often goes unexamined – it is taken as a fixed truth. What is the alternative to fixed views? This exploration requires a willingness to recognize and challenge any expression of the conditioned mind. This is where the teachings of the Buddha and our teachers come in, they can provide an irritant that reveals fixed views. When attachment is clearly seen, attachment can be released.

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