Sutta Talk: Setting The Wheel In Motion

On Behalf of Dr. Robert Rhyne:

 

Bhante Dhammasiri of the Washington Buddhist Vihara requested that I begin offering sutta classes again. About every Friday after the 7 pm to 8 pm silent meditation we will meet to discuss a sutta until 9 pm. I prefer to meet in the Dhamma Hall upstairs, not in the basement. This Friday we will take an informal look at the Buddha’s first discourse, Dhammacakkhapavatthana Sutta (SN 56.11). It’s translated in various ways. Here’s one:
This is a major discourse. We can spend many weeks on it. Let’s begin with basics:
— historical background
     – the speakers and the audiences
     – the places
— text
     – the location in the canon
     – the history
     – the structure
— meaning
     – what is a noble truth? Is it the same as ultimate truth? Does the difference include shared characteristics? Or is it a radical shearing from theoretical truth to a practical one?
     – what are the 4 noble truths?
     – How does the Buddha define them? Descriptively or proscriptively? Both?
     – birth of the religion
     – birth of Sangha. Triple Gem.
— application
      – how do the 4 help me?
            Compass, medecine, etc
      – you and the noble truths?
      – tool box of investigative wisdom?
      – Awakening the same or more or different than the 4 noble truths?
— commentaries vs. canon? Any differences?
This discourse can be a multi-life journey of discovery. These questions are long-term questions. So no need to have an opinion about these questions just yet. Just open up your heart to a long-term project in a relaxed environment among Dhamma friends.
My best wishes to you,
Robert
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