Sutta Study Reflection Theme 11-3-2012

The Middle Length Discourses:  MN 141 The Exposition of the Truths, Saccavibhanga Sutta

Pages 1097 – 1101

Sections to be read out loud:  20-31

Discussion Theme:

I find it useful to reflect on the following statement where the Buddha states that he “set rolling the matchless Wheel of the Dhamma which cannot be stopped by… anyone in the world – that is, the announcing, teaching, describing, establishing, revealing, expounding, and exhibiting of the Four Noble Truths.”

What is it about this path that gives it resonance in our hearts and in our world after so many generations? The tradition suggests that the practice has the unforgettable taste of freedom despite its subtlety and despite it being counter intuitive and counter our cultural stream. How is it that we have been drawn to this path, to these teachings?

This month we can review Sariputta’s retelling of the Buddha’s first Dharma talk with an eye for the taste it leaves for us in our hearts. Notice if doubt arises, notice if indifference arises, and notice where and when confidence and gratitude arise. If the mind rejects this description of the path, notice that rejection and the attitudes in the mind that arise while rejecting it – do you find them trustworthy? One way or another the mind pursues happiness, if not the path the Buddha laid out with the four noble truths – what path does the mind adhere to? Are we willing to consciously acknowledge our path so that it can be observed and its skillfulness evaluated?