This series of talks explores three great Buddhist symbols that describe the way things are: the wheel of life, the spiral path and the ultimate goal of Enlightenment. Together they form a guide to escape from the ultimate vicious circle into the complete freedom and fulfilment of Awakening.
This first talk is an introduction to the theme from Vadanya, focussing on the wheel. He explores the symbolism of each of the four concentric rings which make up this rich representation of samsara: the never-ending repetition of habitual patterns in which it feels our life is lived for us.
The scenes described within the wheel help us to recognise the states of mind we inhabit and offer guidance towards healthier realms from which we can make real progress. Ultimately the aim is not to conquer the world but to go beyond it altogether, escaping the wheel and enter upon the spiral path – the threefold path of ethics meditation and wisdom.
Questions for reflection and discussion:
Have you weakened an unhelpful cycle in your life since coming to the Buddhist Centre?
Which realms do you often inhabit and what helps you to become more human?
Recorded at Sheffield Buddhist Centre on 7.1.20