Sutta Study Discussion Theme 2­-6-­16

From Craving to Liberation, From Grasping to Emptiness: Excursions into the Thought­-World of the Pali Discourses by Bhikkhu Analayo, Chapter 9, Right View, pages 93 -­ 103

Sections to be read outloud:
9.2, second and third paragraphs
All of 9.4 9.5, first 5 paragraphs

Discussion Theme:
Venerable Analayo begins this chapter with, “Right view is the forerunner of all wholesome things, (AN V 236). On page 100, Venerable Analayo quotes the suttas describing right view in terms of the four noble truths, “knowledge of dukkha, its arising, its cessation and the path leading to its cessation ­ this is right view.”

In terms of our ongoing practice, it is best to understand the difference between right and wrong view pragmatically as the difference between views that lead the mind into heavy states and views that lead the mind toward release from stress. Most simply, right view is the absence of wrong view.

Suffering arises conditionally. Wrong view is the proximate cause for wrong intentions, and wrong intentions lead to unskillful volitions of thought, speech and action. This unskillful conduct leaves an unwholesome and unpleasant imprint on the heart and sets in motion other causes and conditions in the world around us that increases the likelihood of additional suffering. Let’s reflect, is it possible to fall into states of suffering without wrong view? When we notice that the mind is suffering, can we discern the wrong view behind the arising of this suffering?

As useful as it is to know the expressions of wrong view, the practice can more simply understood as learning to recognize attachment as the cause for dukkha. Honestly connecting with the truth of dukkha here and now and recognizing the cause as attachment, allows for moments of letting go and realizing the cessation of dukkha. This opens up and clarifies the path to greater freedom. Seeing experience in this way is the activity/practice of the four noble truths and the expression of right view.

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