Sutta Study Theme 4-4-15

“The Island”, Chapter 18: Sotapanna: The Spiritual Turning Point III
Second half of chapter, pages 311 – 320
Discourses to be read out loud:
18.12, 18.13

Discussion theme:

In this tradition, it is understood that afflictive mental habits will continue in the Sotapanna’s mind, but these tendencies would not be as sticky or oppressive. Presumably, one would not get as identified with unwholesome habits of mind. The Buddha teaches that deep insight into Dhamma (the way things are) naturally manifests as greater integrity in life. One more easily & naturally refrains from acting out greed, hatred and delusion.

“One dwells at home with a mind devoid of the stain of stinginess, freely generous, open-handed, delighting in relinquishment, one devoted to charity, delighting in giving and sharing.” S 55.6 (see 18.11 for full passage).

In this way, refraining from stinginess and harmful actions supports the development of insight and insight supports relating to others with greater skill, not so much through refraining but as a natural expression of wisdom.

This month let’s reflect on the movement in our hearts toward what is described in this chapter as ‘confirmed confidence’ in the three refuges and the wholesome values of generosity and non-harming. Has living with ethical integrity become a more effortless and natural occurrence in our lives? No matter how skillful we are in any situation, let’s reflect on the relationship between view and action. Do we find that when wisdom or right view is present in the mind that generosity, kindness and nonharming follow more naturally and effortlessly? Do we find that when a contracted self view is more firmly established in the mind that stinginess, anger and mistrust flow more naturally and effortlessly into our way of relating to others and the world generally?

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