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Introduction to Dependent Origination

Dependent Origination.016

This diagram illustrates the process of Dependent Origination (in red) along with its complement, the Eightfold Noble Path (in green):

Ignorance: not seeing things in terms of the Four Noble Truths of dukkha, its origination, its cessation, and the path to its cessation

Fabrication: the process of intentionally shaping states of body and mind

    • bodily fabrications: the in-and-out breath
    • verbal fabrications: directed thought and evaluation
    • mental fabrications: feelings of pleasure, displeasure, or neither-pleasure-nor-pain, and perception (the mental labels applied to the objects of the senses for the purpose of memory and recognition).

Consciousness at the six sense media: the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and intellect

Name-&-Form: mental and physical phenomena. Mental phenomena include:

    • feeling
    • perception
    • intention
    • contact
    • attention

Physical phenomena include the four great elements—the properties constituting the kinetic sense of the body—and any physical phenomenon derived from them:

    • earth (solidity)
    • water (liquidity)
    • wind (energy and motion)
    • fire (warmth)

Six Senses: the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and intellect

Contact at the six sense media: Contact happens when a sense organ meets with a sense object—for example, the eye meets with a form—conditioning an act of consciousness at that sense organ. The meeting of all three—the sense organ, the object, and the act of consciousness—counts as contact.

Feelings based on contact at the six sense media:

    • Pleasurable
    • Displeasurable
    • Neither-pleasurable-nor-displeasurable

Craving for the objects of the six sense media. This craving can focus on any of the six sense media, and can take any of three forms:

    • sensuality-craving (craving for sensual plans and resolves)
    • becoming-craving (craving to assume an identity in a world of experience)
    • non-becoming-craving (craving for the end of an identity in a world of experience)

Clinging: passion and delight focused on the five aggregates of form, feeling, perception, fabrication, and consciousness. This clinging can take any of four forms:

    • sensuality-clinging
    • view-clinging
    • habit-and-practice-clinging
    • doctrine-of-self-clinging

Becoming on any of three levels:

    • the level of sensuality
    • the level of form
    • the level of formlessness

Birth: the actual assumption of an identity on any of these three levels

Aging-&-death: gradual decay of an identity, with its attendant sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair

Second Noble Truth ← Prev | Next → Dependent Origination is Profound

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