2021-08-08-Canki Sutta-Discovering the Truth
2:50PM Aug 9, 2021
So this sunday talk could be seen as a continuation of the last three weeks of early morning talks on greed, hatred, and delusion. And this is a theme that comes up repeatedly for the Buddha. And in some ways, it's important because it's the goal of practice is to wake up, be experienced the peace, wake up to the absence of greed, hatred, and delusion to wake up to the presence of the piece that's possible without it. So what I want to do today is maybe a little different than use usually on Sunday. So I want to tell you a little bit about a discourse, ancient texts that purports to talk about the teachings and conversations the Buddha had. And it's a talk that it's a suta, which is maybe one of my favorite to maybe the top 10, if I had a list like that, of ones that I value, and it's called the chunky suit. And it's in the middle length, discourses number 95. And, and why I like it is one of many reasons, but one of the reasons is how it talks about truth. It talks about protecting truth, and who doesn't want to protect truth, and then discovering truth, or awakening to truth. And finally, the talks about the final arrival to truth to what is a final arrival complete coming into truth. And so I'm not going to tell you the full story of that tax. But the basic idea is that the young, very well educated Brahman, come to the Buddha, and asks a simple question. He says that the Brahmins in my tradition, they claim that third scriptures contain the only truth and no one else has the truth. And what does the Buddha think about this? And instead of answering directly, the Buddha says, well, do any of the Brahmins. In the present generation? Do they themselves say, I know and I see this truth? Or is it the truth that they've just taken from the texts? And magga believe it because they have faith in it? Because netex? And the young man says, Well, no, no one says that they have seen it for themselves or known it for themselves. And the Buddha says, Well, what about their teachers and the teachers before them, and back seven generations? Has anyone said that they themselves have seen the truth? Or they themselves have known the truth directly? And he says no. And the Buddha says, Well, basically, then he's would indicate is kind of a little bit dismissive than ever, or there's not much, you know, value. In a statement, this is only the only truth, if for many generations, no one's actually known it for themselves. So it's a little bit challenging, I suppose to the Brahman because they're back then their religion is based on the ancient texts. And they're taken on faith, I guess. And so the Buddha says, Well, if you want to sue, the man asks the Buddha, well, how do we protect the truth? And probably be asked a question because they thought they were protecting a truth by protecting those texts protecting and meant memory, there's no right writing back then. So memorizing them and passing her down to generation to generation. And the Buddha says, Well, you put you protect the truth. If you when you talk about what you think is true, like religiously true, you indicate on with a reason for why you take it to be true. The basis for that statement. So if you take it on faith, preface your, your your conversation with, I have it on faith, that this is true. If you believe it's true, because the tradition tells you so then say based on the tradition, I take this to be true. If it's a matter of because it's in in your in your sacred texts say because of my sacred text, I take it to be true.
And if it's because of your reasoning and your logic, say that, and if it just because you have some intuitive sense that this is true, say that I have some intuitive sense of, of this is true. So it's kind of a very helpful thing for other people to know that if you make a truth claim, On what basis do you make it? It's on faith, it's on whatever. So the young man says, okay, but can't you discover truth for yourself? And the Buddha says, Yes, you can. And so demand says, How do I do that? How does one do that? And this is the bow another wonderful part of the text is, the Buddha then describes a process by which someone can discover the truth. But the young man is not. He's just replying to the man's question. How does one Discover the Truth, the Buddha provides a means of process. And the Buddha doesn't directly proselytize, he doesn't really directly say what's important for him what he, the Buddha's truth is what he has realized, he just informs the man of a process. But indirectly, the the Buddha's goal of their spiritual life is emphasized. And it's kind of a sleight of hand perhaps. Or maybe you have to be really attentive to see that he's what he's doing here. So I'll try to explain this. That I say try to spell the text chunky is usually see a NK II, that's the Pali spelling, CA and KI, but it's pronounced chunky, like with ch. And so he discovers a soda. So the Buddha says, so the Buddha can describe the process of discovering the truth. And so and this is important from the Buddhist teachings, because the Buddha really wants everyone to discover it for themselves and don't rely on texts to know what's true, but to really know for yourself in some direct way. But it's a process for doing that. And so you have to realize that in the ancient world, there were no books. So you couldn't say well go to the library and read up on it at the teachings. But if you want to hear and learn spiritual teachings learned about a process to become Discover the Truth, you have to go find someone who would teach it to you. And so the first criteria for this process has to do with relationship we have to a teacher, the teacher teachers and so the next part of the process is a relationship, we have two teachings. And the final step of this steps of this process has to do with the practices we do what we engage in, so that we can discover the truth. But these three areas are important to teacher, the teachings and then the practice. So the Buddha says that, first you want to find yourself a teacher. And to do so go find search, find the teachers in your area, a little bit paraphrasing here, and, and investigate them. Investigate the teacher. And then he goes, goes through in great detail how you supposed to check them out. But they all have to ask to do with checking out whether the teacher in the teacher, there's a presence of any greed and any hatred and any delusion, because of which they will twist the teachings, they will kind of not quite give real teachings or somehow influenced the flavor, the texture of the teachings they give, because they're infused with the teachers greed, hatred and delusion. And you want to have a teacher who they're, they're not going to have any greed and hatred and delusion, which influences what they say. And so there's this wonderful instruction is check out the teacher. And so, to really check out a teacher, it takes time. You know, don't rush headlong into a teacher and but really kind of tune in and pay attention and see how they live their lives maybe. And, and to see you know, this are they free of any greed, hate and delusion that's gonna that's going to skew the way that they teach the simplicity of the clarity of what they have to teach. And, and so if if you decide that they have
don't have that kind of greed, hate and do illusion, then perhaps some confidence in that teacher offer some Have some faith, some trust in that teacher, that's then it, then the teacher is worthy of some degree of trust, and trust enough. So the next step is go visit the teacher. So in the ancient world, again, you couldn't read a teacher's books and watch them on YouTube, you had to go and go find a teacher. So go visit the T shirt, it's important to be in the presence, especially back then in the oral tradition. And offer respect to the teacher. There's a long ancient tradition that some modicum of respect, prepares the listener to listen well. It kind of clears certain certain degree of clouds or agitation. That kind of genuine respect or care is a kind of willingness to be open and, and give a kind of a willingness to listen well to what a teacher has to say. But remember, this is after having really checked out the teacher and decided, Okay, this person is worthy of some respect. And then listen to the teacher. So listen to what they have to say, in the modern world, we might say, read the teachings carefully. You know, listen, we'll read well take your time, I'll be back then there was only listening. There was no Library's no books. So so the process with a teacher is to investigate, to have faith, trust, some degree, to visit, to offer respect. And then to really listen to a teacher, listen to the teachings from the teacher. Then, as you listen, listen and hear the teachings fully. Take them in, as you hear them. Memorize the teachings. So that make again, a lot of sense back in the ancient world, because you didn't have a book to refer back to. And you people didn't know how to write. So they didn't take notes when the teacher was teaching. And so you can go to the library or something, check out a book to find out if you wanted to review and, and read again and think about what was being taught you had to memorize what was being taught. And people back then, I'm almost certain they had a much higher ability to memorize than we have today. Because that was the medium for knowledge in a way that is not the case today. And then having memorized them or have them in writing or some way, examine them, reflect on them, think about them. And so here again, just like with a teacher, you don't accept teachings, you don't accept a teacher blindly, quickly. But you're really check it out, there's a process of checking it out, thinking about and looking at it. Not automatically, believing the teacher or believing the teachings, but really reflect on them, examining them, when one has examined and thought about them deeply. And if they really from your best understanding, seem to be good teachings, then accept those teachings enough to be willing to begin the process of practice. So hear the teachings, memorize the teachings and reflect deeply on the teachings, and then some modicum of accepting them as something that is be accepted well enough, now you can practice with them. It's kind of like, you gotten the ingredients for the experiment. And now you have to run the experiment. If you want to discover something. So then comes the practice. And the practice is first. By understanding the teachings by having faith in the teacher, this whole process is to have their spring up.
arise out of yourself. The desire to practice without some inspiration, some enthusiasm, some feeling of Yes, I'm going to practice you know, then the experiment is not going to really going to work. So we want to listen to teachings take them in until we really feel like yes, and it might be part of that yes to practice is comes from having checked out the teacher. Wow if it's possible to live without greed, hatred and delusion. This is a worthwhile path. This is good, this is inspiring. And so that inspires us to want to do it for ourselves to this Never had to do it. So, then there's preparing oneself, the text says, being fit to practice. So preparing ourselves to practice, whatever that means, getting ready for practicing or getting established in practice. And then once again, the word examine, when we have a practicing meditation, for example, and gets quiet and settled and really able to be in the present moment, there is a non discursive, non analytical way of looking, examining more and more deeply, what is our experience what's really going on in our direct experience. And so here we go, again, this exam, examine the teacher, you reflect on the teachings, and now we're examining and looking deeply at our own experience, because that's where the discovery of truth is going to be. And then a person continues practicing, and endeavors and makes more effort and he kind of really, as as as practice moves along, there comes a time, when this becomes harder, like we give ourselves over to it, give ourselves over to really see the experiment all the way through. And then, at some point, one realizes, when as a realization, of ultimate truth, with the body, when realizes with the body, ultimate truth, and I believe the experience with the body is being said, to emphasize the direct, personal way in which we see and perceive and experience the truth. This is not from a book, it's not ideas, it's not, doesn't exactly belong to the mind of analysis and, and cognitive beliefs, or even, maybe a certain kind of not even cognitive understanding a certain way. But first and foremost, it's coming, it's so obvious that oh, this is this is. So you know, if you are really hot on an hot day, and you go, stand in a shade of a tree, that's where it's cool. You know, you experience the coolness of truth of that cold, coolness with your body. And because it really felt sense experience. And this, this kind of realization of truth with the body directly, is called discovering the truth. This young Brahman asks the Buddha, then Is this the final arrive electricity, this is the final complete experience of truth. And the Buddha says, No, in order to really arrive at it fully be centered in the truth, then you want to do that process that he described before. over and over and over again, I imagine you don't have to keep doing the checking out the teacher at some point or the checkout the teaching so much, but to do the practice part of it, over and over and over again. And, and it's the repetition of basic practice and repetition of going back into the discovery of the truth, discovering this truth over and over and over again, that begins to expand and fill out and develop this capacity of so we become the truth, we arrive in truth in a full way. And in this teaching, the Buddha does not say what the truth is. So the young Brahma does not ask the Buddha, what do you teach? And what do you teach about the truth? He's really, first and foremost asks about his own religion. And then he asks maybe to understand it better his own religion, says, How do I protect the truth? How do I discover the truth? How do I find the final arrival at truth? And the Buddha just then as as answers in a kind of a generic way, perhaps or a vague way without specifying any particular teaching of his own, almost. And
but this is where there's a sleight of hand maybe or a keto move. Because what the Buddha says at the beginning, the very first step is check out the teacher to make sure the teacher doesn't have greed, hatred, and delusion. Well, this is the goal of the Buddha. The goal of the Buddha is for people to come to a place where they're free of greed, hatred, delusion. And so by having this young man first and foremost, check out you know, be told this is what you have to check out first. It does a number of things. It means that he's only going to study with People who have realized the absence of greed, hatred and delusion. And, and because they've realized that they know the value of that. Maybe they have other all kinds of non Buddhist ideas, maybe believe in all kinds of things. But for the Buddha, that's maybe secondary. What's really important, what's primary is is freedom from clinging freedom from grasping that the freedom from greed, hate and delusion represents. And also by telling young men to pay attention to check out the teacher in these states of greed, hate and delusion, it's actually a beginning of a tuning him to this possibility of being free of greed, hate and delusion, and to really study someone else, and investigate someone else and really see the way that they are free of greed, hate and delusion, that they have this amazing freedom from these kind of powerful forces that are so big in our society. I imagine it's really inspiring, inspires a possibility. And also, I can't imagine that the young man if he did, this, would begin becoming, having spent time studying greed, hate and delusion, or the absence of another person, which start becoming more self aware of one's own greed, hatred, and delusion. And seeing it more likely, and seeing maybe the, the unfortunate nature of it being there, and, and the teachers without it, but I have it, there might be kind of an inspiration to, maybe that's important not to have to work through it. And so I believe that the Buddha is kind of like one of his primary messages, he kind of, kind of in that kind of side door gets through to this young Brahman who's talking with him. And so that by the time you get to the full discovery of truth, the full attainment of truth, the idea that involves the absence of greed, hate and delusion is not very far away. Because if you want to become what the teacher has attained, that also has to be an absence of greed, hatred, and delusion. And that is what the Buddha was teaching. And, and the idea of religious truths, doctrines, beliefs, that are, maybe are not that important for the Buddho. Unless they interfere with the possibility of this radical freedom. But this radical freedom, perhaps it can, it can exist without too much concern about what people believe if it's not harmful, if they believe all kinds of religious beliefs and ideas that come from their tradition, from faith from their logic, whatever, May at the soul, or let it be that way. Provided that we discover how to live together on this planet, free of greed, hatred, and delusion. So protecting the truth, I think is a generous thing to do. If we tell other people, the basis upon what we know, what we believe, to be religiously true, by faith, by tradition, from the texts from my teacher, whatever. And then engage in a process of discovering the truth for ourselves. This is a great thing to do. And, and, and not only maybe we can't discover what that is, while we are ourselves still involved in greed, hate and delusion, because just like a teacher maybe skews their understanding of when, by the influence of greed, hatred, and delusion. So we would skew our discovery of the truth by those forces as well. And so to cleanse ourselves to learn to, to empty ourselves of these forces is possible. And it's worthwhile. And it's one of their great instructions from the Buddha to do so. So, the chunky suta
so thank you very much. And I look forward to being here again with you next Sunday. No, I won't be here next Sunday. It'll be here in two weeks. this coming Sunday. Andrea Fella is coming to speak. She's my co teacher here at IMC a wonderful teacher and and I feel like you're very happy that she's coming to continue with these teachings while I'm away and and you'll be in good hands and I look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks. Thank you.