Guided meditation on Dependent Origination

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Nicky, modified 7 Years ago at 4/16/16 5:17 PM
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Guided meditation on Dependent Origination

Posts: 484 Join Date: 8/2/14 Recent Posts
Dear forum

I am posting some personal theoretical analysis on the Pali teaching of Dependent Origination and the meditative implications. 

Naturally, Dependent Origination is interpreted in many ways so not all students will agree with my here-&-now analysis and resultant practise. In other words, I do not intepret Dependent Origination as occuring over 3 life-times, as occurs in Theravada (Mahavihara) Buddhism & elsewhere. 

I will post in stages (after I complete writing each post at https://dhammadhatu.wordpress.com/). The 1st post will be on 'nama-rupa'. 

Some preliminary assumptions or interpretations are: 

1. Only the conditions of ignorance, sankhara, craving, attachment, becoming, birth and aging-&-death are causes of suffering. 

2. Consciousness, nama-rupa, sense bases, contact & feeling are neutral factors that are conditioned or tainted by ignorance rather than created by ignorance. 

3. The Pali term 'cessation' or 'nirodha' does not refer to destruction but, instead, refers to a 'pacification', which is why, according to the Pali scriptures, dependent origination ceases while the mind and body continue to exist and remain consciousness, such as quoted below: 

On seeing a form with the eye, he isn't infatuated with pleasing forms, and doesn't get upset over unpleasing forms. He dwells with body-mindfulness established, with unlimited awareness. He discerns, as it has come to be, the awareness-release & discernment-release where those evil, unskillful qualities cease without remainder. Having thus abandoned compliance & opposition, he doesn't relish any feeling he feels — pleasure, pain, neither-pleasure-nor-pain — doesn't welcome it, doesn't remain fastened to it. As he doesn't relish that feeling, doesn't welcome it, & doesn't remain fastened to it, delight doesn't arise. From the cessation of his delight comes the cessation of clinging. From the cessation of clinging comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering. MN 38

If a monk abandons passion for the property of consciousness, then owing to the abandonment of passion, the support is cut off, and there is no landing of consciousness. Consciousness, thus not having landed, not increasing, not concocting, is released. Owing to its release, it is steady. Owing to its steadiness, it is contented. Owing to its contentment, it is not agitated. Not agitated, he (the monk) is totally unbound right within. He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'" SN 22.53


What, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and pain. It is the extinction of attachment, hate and delusion in him that is called the Nibbana-element with residue left.  Itivutakka 2.17
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Nicky, modified 7 Years ago at 4/16/16 5:25 PM
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RE: Guided meditation on Dependent Origination

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Katamañca bhikkhave nāmarūpaṃ? Vedanā saññā cetanā phasso manasikāro, idaṃ vuccati nāmaṃ. Cattāro ca mahābhūtā, catunnaṃ ca mahābhūtānaṃ upādāyarūpaṃ, idaṃ vuccati rūpaṃ. Iti idañca nāmaṃ, idañca rūpaṃ, idaṃ vuccati bhikkhave, nāmarūpaṃ.

What is mentality-materiality? Feeling, perception, intention, contact & attention — these are mentality. The four great elements & the material form derived from the four great elements — these are materiality. So this mentality & this materiality are what is called nāmarūpaṃ. 

Commentary: ‘Namarupa’ is a pre-Buddhist Brahmanistic and creationist  term (from the Chandogya Upanishad of the Samaveda), which refers to the process of evolution of differentiation into names and forms i.e. to the unfolding of the undifferentiated primal state into the manifest world, prior to which there was nothing that existed (Wikipedia: Namarupa-vyakarana). This Brahmanistic principle is also found in the Biblical Book of Genesis.

To the contrary, in the Buddhist Pali scriptures, the term ‘namarupa’ refers to the mental elements, constituents or facilities and to the physical body of the human being. Here, the Buddha redefined ‘namarupa’ and rejected/made obsolete its original meaning. This is because the naming or differentiating of undifferentiated forms in unrelated to the origination of suffering, since it is craving and (self) becoming that lead to the arising of suffering (rather than differentiating or naming).

Despite this redefinition, many contemporary Buddhists use the translation ‘name-form’ (rather than ‘mentality-materiality’) and some (most famously Bhikkhu Ñanananda in his books ‘Concept and Reality’ and ‘Magic of the Mind’) appear to retain the original Brahmanistic/creationist principle and (erroneously) assert it contributes to the origination of suffering.

In the Anupada Sutta (MN 111), additional mental faculties are included within mentality, such as zeal (chanda iddhipāda), decision, persistence/energy (viriyaṃ) and mindfulness (sati).

Guided Meditation: When the physical body sits erect in meditation, this physical body is ‘rupa’ (materiality). When the mind generates the intention to meditate and uses mindfulness to maintain attention, this is ‘nama’ (mentality). When the mind has contact with the meditation object (such as breathing),perceives (discriminates) the breathing as ‘breathing’ or ‘long’/’short’ and feels the quality of the breathing (smooth, soothing, pleasant; agitating, unpleasant; etc), this is ‘nama’ (mentality). As the scriptures state: “feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention — these are called mentality”.

In summary, namarupa is ‘the meditator’ or ‘gatekeeper’. When namarupa operates with mindfulness & wisdom, rupa is composed and nama acts to meditate upon & calm the ‘sankhara’ of dependent origination (namely, the body, verbal and mind conditioners - to be explained in the next post). Alternately, when namarupa is flooded or overcome with ignorance and ignorant sankhara, namarupa operates to use its feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention it the pursuit/quest of objects leading to suffering.

Therefore, in investigating namarupa, the meditator should continously review their mind until they discern the role of namarupa in meditation. 

Now how is mindfulness with in-&-out breathing developed…? There is the case where a meditator…sits down, holding his body erect and setting mindfulness to the fore. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.  

Anapanasati Sutta
In dependence on the sensuality element there arises sensual perception; in dependence on the sensual perception there arises sensual intention; in dependence on the sensual intention there arises sensual desire; in dependence on the sensual desire there arises sensual passion; in dependence on the sensual passion there arises a sensual quest. Engaged in a sensual quest, the uninstructed worldling conducts himself wrongly in three ways – with body, speech and mind.  

Sanidāna Sutta
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Nicky, modified 7 Years ago at 4/17/16 6:57 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 4/16/16 10:59 PM

RE: Guided meditation on Dependent Origination

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svmonk:
Hi Nicky,

You might want to check out Dependent Arising in Context by Linda Blanchard:

http://www.amazon.com/Dependent-Arising-Context-Buddhas-context/dp/1481259547/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460860774&sr=1-1&keywords=linda+blanchard

In particular, she investigated some scholarly work that suggests that the parts of dependent origination that are puzzling and have no specific referant to any psychological aspect of dukkha probably originated as a kind of subtle critique or hijacking by the Buddha of the predominant Vedic view, and that this context was lost during the early part of the last millenium, and replaced by the "three lifetimes" view.

No thanks. But thank you. 

This thread will be a guided meditation. Everything in it is & will be an object of ordinary meditation. There will be nothing puzzling in it. 

If you wish to participate, I suggest to practise the previous post and familiarize your mind with what nama-rupa is. 

Once that is done, the next part can be done. 

Regards. emoticon
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Nicky, modified 7 Years ago at 4/17/16 5:54 AM
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RE: Guided meditation on Dependent Origination

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Dependent origination: sankhara

Katame ca bhikkhave saṅkhārā? Tayome bhikkhave, saṅkhārā: kāyasaṅkhāro vacīsaṅkhāro cittasaṅkhāro. Ime vuccanti bhikkhave, saṅkhārā. 

And what are fabricators? These three are fabricators: the body fabricator, the verbal fabricator & the mind fabricator. These are called fabricators.

Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta

Katamo panayye kāyasaṅkhāro, katamo vacīsaṅkhāro, katamo cittasaṅkhāroti? Assāsapassāsā kho āvuso visākha kāyasaṅkhāro. Vitakkavicārā vacīsaṅkhāro. Saññā ca vedanā ca cittasaṅkhāroti. 

But what is the body fabricator? What is the verbal fabricator? What is the mind fabricator? 

In-&-out breathing is the body fabricator. Initial thought & sustained thought are the verbal fabricator. Perceptions & feelings are the mind fabricator.

Cūḷavedalla Sutta 

Commentary: Historically, the ‘sankhara’ condition of dependent origination is ill-explained. In the current era, monks including Bhikkhu Buddhadasa,  Nanavira Thera, Katukurunde Nyanananda and  Thanissaro Bhikkhu (in his publication: ‘Shape of Suffering’) have correctly identified the meaning of the ‘sankhara’, as defined in the Pali quotes, above.

In lectures to Westerners about dependent origination, Bhikkhu Buddhadasa never explained ‘sankhara’ in detail. However, he contextually correctly used the term ‘fabricator’ or ‘conditioner’ is his publication ‘Anapanasati: Unveiling the Secrets of Life’. Thanissaro Bhikkhu does not use the translation ‘fabricator’ or ‘conditioner’ in ‘Shape of Suffering’ however his explanation of the operation of the ‘sankhara’ accords with my explanation, which I regard as meditatively correct. 

The ‘body conditioner’ is the breathing in & out. When conditioned or stirred up by ignorance & its 'outflows' (‘asava’ – refer to MN 9), the agitated breathing will condition/stir up the physical body or ‘rupa’, causing the ‘rupa’ to be agitated and under the influence of ignorance. 

The ‘verbal conditioner’ is initial & sustained thought. When conditioned or stirred up by ignorance & its 'outflows' (‘asava’ – refer to MN 9), the agitated initial & sustained thoughts will condition/stir up and take control of the ‘nama’, causing the ‘nama’ to be agitated. Under the influence of ignorant sankhara, the nama will incline towards non-meditative behaviour. 

The ‘mind conditioners’ are perception & feeling. When conditioned or stirred up by ignorance & its 'outflows' (‘asava’ – refer to MN 9), the agitated perceptions & feelings will condition/stir up and take control of the ‘nama’, causing the ‘nama’ to be agitated. Under the influence of ignorant sankhara, the nama will incline towards non-meditative behaviour. 

In summary, when these ‘sankhara’ or ‘conditioners’ are affected by ignorance, they condition, fabricate or stir up agitated consciousness & ‘namarupa’, which also become affected by ignorance. 

For practical examples of this process, we may refer to pages 3 to 6 of ‘Shape of Suffering’ by Thanissaro Bhikkhu: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/shapeofsuffering.pdf

Guided Meditation: The role of meditation in Buddhism is to halt the stream of dependent origination manifesting towards suffering. The first stages of the meditation teachings are to experience and calm the ‘sankhara’ (stages 3, 4, 7 & 8 of the Anapanasati Sutta). As previously explained, ‘namarupa’ is the ‘meditator’, which directs intention & attention to observe (via consciousness) & calm the ‘sankhara’. 

It is essential to distinguish between or unravel two kinds of feeling, perception & thinking. This may take many attempts of introspection. (1) There is the feelings, perceptions & thinking affected by ignorance, which are the ‘sankhara’. (2) There is the potential for wise or mindful feeling, perception & intention, which is ‘nama’, when mindfulness & wisdom are present (rather than absent).

In summary, the human mind has the capacity to observe itself. Therefore, for example, ignorant perceptions & thoughts (sankhara) flowing out of ignorance (the subconscious), can be objectively & wisely perceived & altered by ‘nama’ (see Dvedhavitakka Sutta, below). 

Therefore, in getting to know the conditions of dependent origination, ‘namarupa’ and ‘sankhara’ can be meditated upon until their constituents are clearly discerned. This may take many repeated attempts. 

The intention to meditate & generate attention are ‘nama’. The breathing is felt & perceived (recognised) by nama. The breathing is the kaya sankhara. The knowing of the kaya sankhara is also the mutual arising of consciousness (3rd condition). A distracting thoughttheme or memory (perception) arising in the mind is the vaci and citta sankhara. If nama can clearly perceive the distracting thoughts & unwholesome perceptions (sankhara) are obstacles, this is wholesome perception by nama. When the decisionintention is made to abandon the distracting thoughts, perceptions & feelings (sankhara) and return to the meditation on breathing, this decision & intention is made by nama. When mindfulness is maintained, it is maintained by nama. When mindfulness is lost, it is lost by nama.  

He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in calming the body fabricator (kāya sankhara)’. He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out calming the body fabricator.’

He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in experiencing the mind fabricator (citta sankhara).’He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out experiencing  the mind fabricator.’ 

He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in calming the mind fabricator (citta sankhara).’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out calming the mind fabricator.’  

(Ānāpānasati Sutta)


As I [‘namarupa’] remained thus heedful, ardent & resolute, thinking [‘sankhara’] imbued with sensuality [‘ignorance-asava’] arose in me. I [‘nama’] discerned that ‘Thinking [‘sankhara’] imbued with sensuality [‘ignorance-asava’] has arisen in me; and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both. It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation & does not lead to Nibbana.’

As I [‘nama’] noticed [‘nama’] that it leads to my own affliction, it subsided. As I noticed that it leads to the affliction of others… to the affliction of both… it obstructs discernment, promotes vexation & does not lead to Nirvana , it subsided. Whenever thinking [‘sankhara’] imbued with sensuality [‘ignorance-asava’] had arisen, I [‘nama’] simply abandoned it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.  

Dvedhavitakka Sutta


Reading: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/shapeofsuffering.pdf   Pages 3 to 6 

Reading: http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Anapanasati_Mindfulness_with_Breathing.htm      Paragraphs 73 to 78 and paragraphs 107 to 113


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Nicky, modified 7 Years ago at 4/18/16 7:09 AM
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RE: Guided meditation on Dependent Origination

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Dependent Origination: Ignorance

Not knowing (aññāṇaṃ) what is suffering, not knowing the origin of suffering, not knowing what is the cessation of suffering, not knowing the way leading to the cessation of suffering — this is called ignorance (avijjā). With the arising of the fermentations there is the arising of ignorance. (MN 9)

There are these three fermentations (āsavā): the fermentation of sensual desire  (kāmāsavo), the fermentation of becoming (bhavāsavo), the fermentation of ignorance (avijjāsavo). From the origination of ignorance comes the origination of fermentations. (MN 9)


A first beginning of ignorance cannot be conceived, (of which it can be said), ‘Before that, there was no ignorance and it came to be after that.’ Though this is so, monks, yet a specific condition of ignorance can be conceived. Ignorance, too, has its nutriment, I declare; and it is not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment of ignorance? ‘The five hindrances,’ should be the answer. (AN 10.61)

A first beginning of the craving of existence cannot be conceived, (of which it can be said), ‘Before that, there was no craving for existence and it came to be after that.’ Though this is so, monks, yet a specific condition for craving for existence can be conceived. Craving for existence, too, has its nutriment, I declare; and it is not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment of craving for existence? ‘Ignorance,’ should be the answer. But ignorance, too, has its nutriment; it is not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment of ignorance? ‘The five hindrances,’ should be the answer.
(AN 10.62)


Monks, ignorance is the leader in the attainment of unskillful mental states, followed by lack of conscience & lack of concern. In an unknowledgeable person, immersed in ignorance, wrong view arises. In one of wrong view, wrong thought arises. In one of wrong thought , wrong speech… In one of wrong speech, wrong action… In one of wrong action, wrong livelihood… In one of wrong livelihood, wrong effort… In one of wrong effort, wrong mindfulness… In one of wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration arises. (SN 45.1)

Commentary: 'Ignorance' or 'not-knowing' is the first condition leading to the arising of suffering. In his introductory teaching, namely, the four noble truths, the Buddha traced back the origin of suffering to craving. However, in his more detailed later analysis of dependent origination, the Buddha traced back the origin of suffering to ignorance. 

Therefore, the teaching of dependent origination is the same as the 2nd noble truth. For example, in AN 3.61, dependent origination is provided as the description of the 2nd noble truth. 

The condition of ignorance is not merely ‘ignorance’ or ‘not-knowing’. Due to there being ignorance, the ‘fermentations’, ‘cankers’ or ‘outflows’ (‘asava’) flow out of the subconscious of the mind. On this primal level, it can be said the asava flow out as the five hindrances. 

It should be noted in AN X.61 & AN X.62 (quoted above), the five hindrances are explained to be the ‘nutriment’ or ‘food’ ('ahara') of ignorance rather than the cause ('hetu') of ignorance. What this means is as long as the five hindrances remain, ignorance remains. 

It should also be noted that ignorance, the asava (fermentations) & the five hindrances are not thoughts or thinking. They are tainted energies, moods, drives, urges &/or obscurations. 

Thus, this 'bubbling' nature of ignorance, fermentations & hindrance condition or drive the sankhara  (breathing in & out, initial & sustained thoughts and perceptions & feelings) to stir up and become active & agitated.

The scriptures (SN 46.55) describe how ignorance, asava & the hindrances taint consciousness & mentality (nama) as follows: 

Imagine a bowl of water mixed with lac, turmeric, dark green or crimson dye. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was. In the same way, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by sensual desire… then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, to the profit of others, to the profit of both. 

Again, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed with ill-will… then he cannot know or see…Imagine a bowl of water, heated on a fire, boiling up and bubbling over. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was…

Again, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by sloth-and-torpor… then he cannot know or see…Imagine a bowl of water covered over with slimy moss and water-plants. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was…

Again, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by restlessness  and worry… then he cannot know or see…Imagine a bowl of water ruffled by the wind, so that the water trembled, eddied and rippled. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was…

Again, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by doubt and wavering… he cannot know or see…Imagine a bowl of water, agitated, stirred up muddied, put in a dark place. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was. In the same way, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by doubt-and-wavering… then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, to the profit of others, to the profit of both.

Sangaravo Sutta

Guided
Meditation: Namarupa (feeling, perception, intention, internal contact & attention) – together with consciousness – observe, feel & perceive the kaya sankhara (in & out breathing). This is basic meditation. If agitation within the in & out breathing can be felt & perceived, this agitation is ignorance & asava. If general moods, urges & hindrances are felt & perceived (such as sensual desire, irritation, restlessness, worry, sloth, doubt or fear), these general moods, urges & hindrances are ignorance & asava.

If these moods, urges & hindrances stir up related feelings, perceptions & thinking, these  feelings, perceptions & thinking are the vaci & citta sankhara. 

When these ignorant moods, urges & hindrances stirring up the sankhara (breathing, feelings, perceptions & discursive thinking) result in consciousness becoming scattered and namarupa becomng agitated, stressed & disturbed, this demonstates how the sankhara are the body, verbal & mind conditioners because they cause the body, mind & speech to become disturbed. 

When namarupa can apply mindfulness, wisdom & its other faculties to calm the sankhara, this is the development of samatha (tranquility) & a step in rolling back dependent origination towards cessation. It is also a step in reducing ignorance since the mind learns the meditation path brings peace & tranquility. 

When namarupa can apply mindfulness, wisdom & its other faculties to see clearly the true impermanent, unsatisfactory & selflessness nature of the sankhara, consciousness & namarupa itself (all together, the ‘five aggregates’), this is the development of vipassana (insight) & the method to end ignorance & bring dependent origination to cessation. 

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Nicky, modified 7 Years ago at 4/18/16 4:27 PM
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RE: Guided meditation on Dependent Origination

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Dependent origination: Underlying tendencies & old kamma

Monks, there are these seven underlying tendencies (anusaya). Which seven? 

(1) The underlying tendency of sensual desire; 

(2) The underlying tendency of ill-will; 

(3) The underlying tendency of views; 

(4) The underlying tendency of uncertainty; 

(5) The underlying tendency of conceit; 

(6) The underlying tendency of desire for becoming; and 

(7) The underlying tendency of ignorance.

These are the seven underlying tendencies. 

AN 7.11



A young tender infant lying prone does not have the notion of ‘identity’ so how could identity view arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to identity view lies within him. 

A young tender infant lying prone does not have the notion of ‘teachings’ so how could doubt about the teachings arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to doubt lies within him. 

A young tender infant lying prone does not have the notion of ‘sensual pleasures’ so how could sensual desire arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to sensual lust lies within him. 

A young tender infant lying prone does not have the notion of ‘beings’ so how could ill-will towards beings arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to ill-will lies within him. 

MN 64



Commentary: The above quotes refer to the ‘anusaya’ or ‘underlying tendencies’.  The underlying tendencies are both genetically inborn (‘instincts’) and habituated through life experience (‘kamma-vipaka’).The underlying tendencies are part of ‘ignorance’ and flow out (asava) from the subconscious into the conscious mind in the form of the five hindrances (nivarana).Therefore, when namarupa has mindfulness and is firmly established in meditation, namarupa can objectively experience the underlying tendencies flowing out of the mind.

Monks, this ‘group’ (‘kāyo’ – of aggregates) is not yours. Nor does it belong to another. This (group) should be seen (daṭṭhabbaṃ) as “old karma” that is concocted by (former) conditions (abhisaṅkhata), as conditioned by (former) impulses/volitions (abhisañcetayita), which are capable of being experienced & felt (vedanīya). Monks, in the case of this group, the noble disciple who has listened well reflects with systematic care concerning dependent origination (paticcasamuppāda)…

SN 12.37



Now what, monks, is old kamma? The eye should be seen (‘viewed’) as “old kamma” [that was] fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. The ear… The nose… The tongue… The body… The mind should be seen as “old kamma” [that was] fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. This is called old kamma.

And what is new kamma? Whatever kamma one does now with the body, with speech or with the mind: This is called new kamma.

And what is the cessation of kamma? Whoever touches the release that comes from the cessation of bodily kamma, verbal kamma & mental kamma: This is called the cessation of kamma.

SN 35.145


Commentary: It was previously stated that ‘namarupa’ was the ‘meditator’ or ‘gatekeeper’. The quotes above describe how a ‘gate’ to the past & future is defined at consciousness-nama-rupa & the sense organs.The above quotes describe how the results of old kamma manifest out of ignorance & as the sankhara, which can be experienced in the present by namarupa.The above quotes also explain how new kamma will be generated when ignorance conditions namarupa to pursue new kamma. The pursuit of namarupa for new kamma is the dependent arising of the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th & 11th conditions of sense contact, feeling, craving, attachment, becoming & (self-identity) birth.

 In dependence on the sensuality element there arises sensual perception; in dependence on the sensual perception there arises sensual intention; in dependence on the sensual intention there arises sensual desire; in dependence on the sensual desire there arises sensual lust; in dependence on the sensual lust there arises a sensual quest. Engaged in a sensual quest, the uninstructed worldling conducts himself (patipajjati) wrongly in three ways – with body, speech and mind.

In dependence on the ill will element there arises perception of ill will…

In dependence on the cruelty element there arises perception of harming…

SN 14.12 


Meditation: As instructed from the start, it is essential to establish the mind in a clear knowing/awareness of ‘namarupa’. ‘Rupa’ is the physical body that sits upright in meditation and ‘nama’ is the mind intent on meditation.By namarupa having such meditative mindfulness & clear-comprehension (sati-sampajanna), namarupa can feel, perceive & experience internally any manifestions of past kamma arising out of ignorance and then conditioning the body, verbal & mind conditioners (sankhara). By calming the sankhara & ignorance, the meditating namarupa can negate the effects of past kamma (actions), calm or keep in check the inborn tendencies (anusaya) and prevent the stream of dependent origination conditioning new kamma in respect to external sense objects.

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Nicky, modified 7 Years ago at 4/19/16 3:44 PM
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RE: Guided meditation on Dependent Origination

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Dependent origination: becoming

Katamo ca bhikkhave, bhavo? Tayome bhikkhave, bhavā: kāmabhavo, rūpabhavo, arūpabhavo. Ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave, bhavo.

And what is becoming? There are three kinds of becoming: sensual becoming, fine-material becoming & immaterial becoming. This is called becoming. ~ SN 12.2 ~

Craving is the condition of clinging and clinging is the condition of the process of becoming. ~ SN 12.12 ~

Commentary: ‘Becoming’ is conditioned by craving & clinging. ‘Becoming’ (bhava) is defined in AN 3.76 as: “the consciousness of beings (sattānaṃ), hindered by ignorance and bound by craving, that is established (patiṭṭhitaṃ) in the sensuality, materiality or immateriality element/sphere”. Similarly, in SN 23.2, the term ‘being’ or ‘sattā’ is defined as the mind, under the influence of craving,  caught up & tied up in one & more of the five aggregates.I

In summary, these three kinds of becoming reflect the levels of attachment to the physical body and its sensations, attachment to the fine-material states of meditative absorption and attachment to the immaterial states of meditative absorption


The craving that makes for new becoming — accompanied by lust & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving to be, craving not-to-be: This, friend Visakha, is the origination of self-identification described by the Blessed One.  ~ MN 44 ~ 

“Who, O Lord, has a sense-impression?”“The question is not correct,” said the Exalted One…”The correct way to ask the question will be ‘What is the condition of sense-impression?’ And to that the correct reply is: ‘The sixfold sense-base is a condition of sense-impression and sense-impression is the condition of feeling.'”

“Who, O Lord, feels?”“The question is not correct,” said the Exalted One…”The correct way to ask the question will be ‘What is the condition of feeling?’ And to that the correct reply is: ‘sense-impression is the condition of feeling and feeling is the condition of craving.'”

“Who, O Lord, craves?”“The question is not correct,” said the Exalted One…. “The correct way to ask the question will be ‘What is the condition of craving?’ And to that the correct reply is: ‘Feeling is the condition of craving and craving is the condition of clinging.'”

“Who, O Lord, clings?”“The question is not correct,” said the Exalted One…. “The correct way to ask the question will be ‘What is the condition of clinging?’ And to that the correct reply is: ‘Craving is the condition of clinging; and clinging is the condition of the process of becoming.’ Such is the origin of this entire mass of suffering”.  ~SN 12.12 ~

On seeing a form with the eye…engaged in favoring & opposing, he relishes any feeling he feels — pleasure, pain, neither-pleasure-nor-pain — welcomes it & remains fastened to it. As he relishes that feeling, welcomes it & remains fastened to it, delight arises. Now, any delight in feeling is clinging. From his clinging as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of suffering. ~ MN 38 ~

Commentary: The suttas quoted above emphasize the ‘newness’ of becoming. They describe becoming occurring after sense contact. As SN 12.12 vividly describes, becoming is part of the process of the creation of a ‘self-identity’ (rather than something occurring to a pre-existing self-entity). SN 12.12 states there is no ‘person’ that has a sense impression, feels, craves and clings. Starting from clinging, the idea of ‘self’ or a ‘person’ begins to arise and solidifies during ‘becoming’. 

Therefore the craving of love creates the idea of a ‘lover’; the craving of hatred creates the idea of a ‘hater’; or the craving of confusion creates the idea of the ‘confused person’. First the tongue tastes food, next it feels pleasure and next the idea is formed (by becoming) that “I like this food”. The liking or pleasure occurred before the ‘liker’. 

To see how becoming is something newly arising or conditioned to an unconditioned or primal mind, meditation must be developed well, particularly an empty & bright mind.


Monks, there are these…underlying tendencies (anusaya). (6) The underlying tendency of desire for becoming; and (7) The underlying tendency of ignorance.  ~  AN 7.11 ~

There are these three fermentations (āsavā): the fermentation of sensual desire, the fermentation of becoming (bhavāsavo), the fermentation of ignorance. From the origination of ignorance comes the origination of fermentations.  ~ MN 9 ~ 


Commentary: It was previously stated in the section about ignorance that there are underlying tendencies (anusaya) towards and outflows (asava) of becoming. It was described from MN 64 how a new born baby has no notion of ‘self’ but that the tendency to becoming lies (genetically-instinctually ) within the baby’s mind. This shows how the later sense of ‘self’ gradually developed and built up in the child’s life will be from many new becomings, such as when the child will first establish the ideas of ‘my mother’ & ‘my father’ and ‘me’ or ‘I’. 

Although becoming is essentially something new occurring after each ignorant sense contact, remnants of past becomings can flow out of ignorance as sankhara (random thoughts). For example, when meditating, an “I” or “self” thought can pop straight of ignorance (rather than arise after sense contact). However, this does not mean there is an inherent ‘self’ in the mind producing random or uncontrolled ‘self’ thoughts. Instead, it simply displays the accumulated ‘becomings’ built up over time in the past. 

Similarly, when meditation deepens but there remains a general sense of 'self' floating around in the mind, this general sense of sense would be the remnants of past becomings that have habituated the tendency (anusaya) towards becoming.

In the scriptures, there is the phrase: “When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of recollecting my past dwellings. I recollected my manifold past dwellings, i.e., one birth, two… five, ten… fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand births”. We consider these myriad (ego) ‘births’ are the myriad (self) ‘becomings’ conditioned into the mind & memory over a lifetime from (physical) child birth from the mother's womb. 

Meditation: To clearly experience new becomings,  a clear, empty & bright mind is required, which generally requires lengthy meditative development. Establishing the foundation of a strong awareness of the neutral namarupa (the ‘gatekeeper’) is our recommended starting point. The suttas say:


He dwells with body-mindfulness established, with boundless awareness. ~ MN 38 ~

And if mind and body (nāmarūpe) are comprehended, there is, I say, no further work left to do for the noble disciple. ~ SN 12.63 ~


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Nicky, modified 7 Years ago at 5/3/16 6:21 AM
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RE: Guided meditation on Dependent Origination

Posts: 484 Join Date: 8/2/14 Recent Posts
Dependent origination: Birth
Katamā ca bhikkhave, jāti? Yā tesaṃ tesaṃ sattānaṃ tamhi tamhi sattanikāye jāti sañjāti okkanti nibbatti abhinibbatti, khandhānaṃ pātubhāvo āyatanānaṃ paṭilābho, ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave, jāti.
What is birth? It is the taking birth, entering, production and coming-forth of ‘a being’ (‘sattā’) & the various ‘groups of beings’ (sattanikāye) from the manifestations of  various aggregates & the acquisition of various sense spheres. This is called birth. SN 12.2
‘A being,’ lord. ‘A being,’ it’s said. To what extent is one said to be ‘a being’? Any desire, passion, delight or craving for form, feeling, perception, mental formations &/or consciousness Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be ‘a being'. SN 23.2
Why now do you assume ‘a being’? Mara, have you grasped a view? This is a heap of sheer constructions: Here no being is found. Just as, with an assemblage of parts, the word ‘chariot’ is used, so, when the aggregates are present, there’s the convention ‘a being.’ SN 5.10
In human bodies in themselves, nothing distinctive can be found. Distinction among human beings is purely verbal designation….For name & clan are assigned, originating in conventions…Whoever makes his living among men by agriculture is called a ‘farmer’…Whoever makes his living among men by merchandise  is called a ‘merchant’…that is how the wise truly see…seers of dependent origination. MN 98
Angulimala, say to that woman: “Sister, since I was born with a noble birth, I do not recall that I have ever intentionally deprived a living being of life”. MN 86
Wikipedia: Jāti (in Devanagari: जाति, Telugu:జాతి, Kannada:ಜಾತಿ, Malayalam: ജാതി, Tamil:ஜாதி, literally “birth”) is a group of clans, tribes, communities and sub-communities and religions in India. Each jāti typically has an association with a traditional job function or tribe.
There is the case where an uninstructed person assumes form, feeling, perception, mental formations &/or consciousness to be a ‘self’. That assumption is a mental formation. Now what is the cause, what is the origination, what is the birth, what is the coming-into-existence of that fabrication? To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by that which is felt born of contact with ignorance, craving arises. That mental formation of ‘self’ is born from that. And that mental formation is impermanent, fabricated, dependently arisen. That craving… That feeling… That contact… That ignorance is impermanent, fabricated, dependently arisen. SN 22.81
Commentary: The translation of the definition of ‘birth’ (‘jati’) in Dependent Origination from SN 12.2 is attempted according to its reality, as described in the other accompanying citations from the scriptures.

The central & crucial Pali word in the definition is ‘satta’ or ‘being/s’. As described in the other citations, there is no such thing as a concrete ‘being’, apart from the idea, assumption or mental fabrication of a ‘being’ due to craving & clinging to the aggregates & the sense spheres. As stated in the citations, the mental production or fabricating of the idea of ‘beings’ is mere ‘convention’ or ‘verbal designation’. 

Therefore, for example, when a set of five aggregates ‘manifests’ (pātubhāvo) performing the activity of farming, the mind, when operating under the influence of ignorance, regards those aggregates as a ‘farmer’ (rather than as mere impersonal aggregates or elements). The ‘manifestion’ or ‘production’ of the aggregates, is not only physical (for example, a physical body using a plough or sickle) but also mental (for example, a love of farming, the need to earn a livelihood, accumulated or learned knowledge about farming or the unpleasant feelings & mental toil of working in the hot sun). 

Or a certain ‘man’ (with certain physical & mental attributes) or ‘woman’ (with certain physical & mental attributes) is regarded as a ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ due to the aggregates they manifest towards a ‘spouse’, such as the physical aggregates relating to sexual activity, as well as the mental aggregates relating to the relationship, such as love, commitment, trust, obligations, burdensomeness & so forth. 

In brief, ‘birth’ or ‘jati’ is the psychological solidifying of ‘self-view’ as personal ‘self-identity’ and also giving ‘birth’ to the various external ‘self’ & ‘social’ identities from what is seen, heard, smelt, etc, and from how various aggregates manifest or unfold in various ways. 

Therefore, in the single lifetime of an ordinary (unenlightened) mind or person, ‘birth’ can and will take place millions and even billions of times. 

From this birth of self-identity or ‘being’ (satta) will inevitably occur aging-&-death of the sense of ‘being’ or ‘identity’ when the sense objects & aggregates of attachment change due to inevitable impermanence. From this inevitable change or loss comes suffering, i.e., sorrow, 
lamentation, pain, grief & despair. 

 …in that acquisition (paṭilābho) of individuality (attabhāva; self-becoming) in which one’s own volition (attasañcetanā) operates but not the volition of others (parasañcetanā), it is by reason of their own volition that beings (sattānaṃ) pass away (cuti; shift; vanish) from that group (kāyā). AN 4.171

There is the case where an uninstructed person… assumes form (the body) to be ‘self’ or a ‘self’ as possessing form or form as in the ‘self’  or the self as in form. He is seized with the idea that ‘I am form’ or ‘Form is mine.’ As he is seized with these ideas [i.e., takes ‘birth’], his form (body) changes & alters [i.e., undergoes aging-&-death due to impermanence] and he falls into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress & despair over its change & alteration [i.e., over its aging-&-death]. SN 22.1
Before discovering true knowledge, the mind cycled round in myriad births, seeking the builder of this house, each new birth bringing more suffering.Now O house-builder, you are known. You will not build this house again. For your rafters are broken and your ridgepole shattered. The mind has reached the Unconditioned; attained the destruction of craving.Dhammapada 153-154






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Nicky, modified 7 Years ago at 5/3/16 3:56 PM
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RE: Guided meditation on Dependent Origination

Posts: 484 Join Date: 8/2/14 Recent Posts
Dependent origination: Aging-&-death
Now what is aging and death? Whatever aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging. Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called death. SN 12.2

Commentary:
 
Once the psychological ‘birth’ of ‘beings’ (‘satta’) is comprehended then aging-&-death is easily understood. The definition of ‘aging-&-death’ in Dependent Origination (above) becomes straightforward.

The definition of ‘aging-&-death’ (above) means when looking into the mirror, the mind experiences suffering because it thinks: “I am aging”, “my hair is graying”, “my skin is wrinkling”, “my faculties (eg. eyesight, hearing, memory or intellect) are weakening”, etc. 

Or the mind experiences suffering due to thinking: “My wife aging”, “my wife’s hair is graying”, “my wife’s skin is wrinkling”, etc causing the wife to also suffer, to the point the wife has cosmetic surgery in an attempt to alleviate her and the husband’s suffering. 

Or the mind experiences suffering due to seeing the deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death & corpse of “my mother”, “my father”, “my child”. “my friend”, “my favourite pop star”, “a person I love & admire”, etc.

Therefore, aging-&-death does not refer to the physical processes of brokenness, graying, wrinkling, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty, etc. Instead, it refers to when there is attachment to these physical processes in relation to the various ‘beings’ (satta) that are psychologically generated & constructed from the process of attachment, becoming & birth. 

emoticon

There is the case where an uninstructed person… assumes form (the body) to be ‘self’ or a ‘self’ as possessing form or form as in the ‘self’  or the self as in form. He is seized with the idea that ‘I am form’ or ‘Form is mine.’ As he is seized with these ideas [i.e., takes ‘birth’], his form (body) changes & alters [i.e., undergoes aging-&-death due to impermanence] and he falls into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress & despair over its change & alteration [i.e., over its aging-&-death]. SN 22.1
 

Long have you experienced the death of a mother. The tears you have shed over the death of a mother while  spinning & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

Long have you experienced the death of a father… the death of a brother… the death of a sister… the death of a son… the death of a daughter… loss with regard to relatives… loss with regard to wealth… loss with regard to disease. The tears you have shed over loss with regard to disease while spinning & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

Why is that? From an inconstruable beginning comes ‘samsara’. A beginning point is not evident, though beings (sattā) hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are spinning around & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced suffering, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all conditioned things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released. SN 15.3


He has been stilled where the currents of conceiving do not flow. And when the currents of conceiving do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.’ Thus was it said. With reference to what was it said? ‘I am’ is a conceiving . ‘I am this’ is a conceiving . ‘I shall be’ is a conceiving . ‘I shall not be’ is a conceiving …. Conceiving is a disease, conceiving is a cancer, conceiving is an arrow. By going beyond all conceiving , he is said to be a sage at peace.

A sage at peace is not born, does not age, does not die, is unagitated and is free from longing. He has nothing whereby he would be born. Not being born, will he age? Not aging, will he die? Not dying, will he be agitated? Not being agitated, for what will he long?
It was in reference to this that it was said, ‘He has been stilled where the currents of conceiving do not flow. And when the currents of conceiving do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace. MN 140


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