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Dependent Origination: Becoming Through Thinking

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2013-10-01
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Let us explore the link of becoming a little more. We and the world arise together through the link of becoming. The feeling tone provides the inception point, the tear in the fabric of the formless, through which we and the world of form emerges. We come out naming and forming, with body and senses fully functioning, and a consciousness filled with content and states of mind – all thoroughly convincing “us” that we are someone interacting with “something.”  This manifestation needs to maintain momentum or it would be only a momentary fluctuation of personhood. Thought provides that continuity allowing ignorance to misperceive the sense-of-self as continuous. Thought establishes time and time and memory build a past and future whereby the sense-of-self can substantiate its existence.  Thoroughly exploring thought allows a natural quieting that begins to disassemble the mental construction of “I.”


Papanca is the elaboration of a feeling (pleasant, unpleasant, neutral) into a story complete with emotional overtones. Notice when an unpleasant feeling arises that a narrative appears justifying the need to turn away and avoid this experience.  With a pleasant feeling the narrative takes the form of prolongation and how important it is in my life to have this experience.  When a neutral feeling rises, our minds will lose interest and move toward a more entertaining fantasy. Be willing to halt this progression by picking a feeling tone and not allowing the mind to elaborate on it or lose connection with it.   Rather let the feeling be seen as a simple feeling calling for no further mental input.


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