Week 43 - The Noble Eightfold Path: Right View II

This talk starts with page 334.

This week, Joseph concludes his talk on mundane or worldly right view, telling us that there are “wise and virtuous people who have realized the truth through their own direct experience”, and he suggests ways in which we can employ this knowledge.

He then moves on to the Noble Right View, which leads to nibbana. This is both the wisdom factor of mind (the illuminating factor) and what wisdom discovers as it illuminates our experience.  Joseph emphasizes the value of understanding the four Noble Truths by reviewing them. In discussing the truth of dukkha, the Buddha is emphatic, saying, “In brief, the five aggregates of clinging are dukkha.” Wrong view of self, in Pali, is called sakkayaditthi, also known as “personality belief”. It is a delusion about something that doesn’t exist, the self.

Joseph’s instruction then proceeds to demonstrate ways to access Noble Right View. “We can approach the understanding of selflessness most easily by refining our awareness of impermanence, particularly noticing the changing nature of the five aggregates.” He gives clear instructions on several ways of doing this.

Pp. 342 and 343 are not included in this talk.

But the conclusion of the talk is the conclusion of the chapter (on pg. 344):

        “The Buddha said there are two conditions for the arising of right view: the voice of another and wise attention. We have heard the voice –- or the words -- of the Buddha. The rest is now up to us.”

Questions

1. Recall a time when wisdom was offered from an unexpected person. Did a hindrance or openness arise?  Did this experience open your eyes to times when you may have been the unexpected source of wisdom?

2. Are compassion and generosity related to worldly right view?  Describe an experience with compassion as generosity.Describe a time when mundane right view led to a personal insight, ‘taste’ or experience of noble right view.

3. Has mindfulness of your inner stories about your place in the world led to clearly seeing the selflessness of the aggregate of perception?

4. How does your identification with feeling tone (e.g. I feel happy) strengthen attachment or delusion?

5. Joseph’s closing words are that “We have heard the voice – or the words – of the Buddha.  The rest is up to us?”  How does this statement relate to what drew you to insight meditation or Buddhism?

Practices

1. Note when wisdom comes from an unexpected source.  Try to be mindful and investigate your response in terms of feeling tone and mental formations.

2. Try to become aware of attachment to wanting to look a certain way during your daily activities.  How does this attachment feel (pleasant, neutral, unpleasant) and does this condition the arising of other hindrances?

3. Be aware of occurrences of the distortion of perception.  Does being mindful change the arising of distortion of mind or view?