Gregory offered a series of Insight Dialogue-based teachings to the Metta community, Grandpa Greg’s Sutta Chats. The talks were attended by people who offer ID or support the practice through engagement on a Metta Programs team. Each teaching includes reflection on one or more discourses of the Buddha. The intention in this series to engage the text not as philosophy but as instructions for a whole life practice, including formal meditation and in-life reflection. At the same time, Gregory is modeling a variety of approaches to these early discourses, including traditional, in-depth dhamma analysis of one sutta, reflection on the relational implications woven into the texts, surveying multiple teachings to see what resonates at the time of reading, and, above all, opening into the human-to-human nature of the Buddha’s teachings.
This third talks in the Sutta Reflection series explores five short suttas, providing a glimpse of how we might find joy in approaching the discourses without a plan. Similes of twiddling a spear (SN 20.5), monks sleeping on blocks of wood (SN 20.8), elephants eating lotus plants (SN 20.9), and banging on a kettledrum called the Summoner (SN 20.7), lead us to the last sutta (SN 35.30): a short and pithy exploration of the six sense bases and how they support a way for uprooting all conceivings. We see that even a short discourse, easily read, can point us towards the most subtle apprehensions.