Sutta Study Reflection Theme 5-6-17

From Craving to Liberation, From Grasping to Emptiness: Excursions into the Thought-World of the Pali Discourses by Bhikkhu Analayo,

Chapter 24, Liberation / Vimutti

To be read out loud:

24.2 Third paragraph on page 289 to the last full paragraph on page 291

24.2 Second paragraph page 294 through end of section page 296

24.3 Last two paragraphs of this section on pages 298-299

Practice theme:

In the same way we learn to notice when the mind is under the influence of any of the hindrances or afflictive emotions, we should also train the mind to clearly recognize moments when not affected by afflictive qualities. Awakening depends on the inspiration/energy that arises when the mind more and more realizes the previously unimaginable potential of release. Thich Nhat Hanh uses the image of learning to notice the non-toothaches in life. Can we recognize moments of non-suffering, the heart temporarily free of being burdened? In whatever way our hearts can be burdened, we can also experience a liberation from that burdensomeness, in the moment that the mind releases its grip.

Venerable Analayo mentions many important but temporary liberations mentioned in the early texts. Here are a few that we can keep in mind this month: a mind established in metta as the escape from ill-will, compassion as an escape from vexation, appreciative joy as an escape from discontent, and equanimity as an escape from passion. Whereas temporary liberation arises whenever the mind is able to abandon or suppress one or more of the defilements, permanent liberation arises when ignorance or wrong view is uprooted from the mindstream. At that point the mind is no longer able to be confused or burdened by defilements.

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