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Dependent Origination: Causality

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2013-01-22
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Dependent Origination is the way the Buddha understood the arising of individuated forms in the world. The question D.O. attempts to answer is how the world and the sense-of-self come into existence. That is, what are the causal conditions of separation? Why do we see the world as we see it? The first two talks in this series are overviews of the sequential unfolding of D.O. and the remaining talks examine each of the twelve individual link within this chain.

Conditioned causality is the fact that many conditions conspire to allow a single internal or external event to arise.  Western thought usually focuses on a single cause, but with increased insight we see that causal factors are limitless.  No one person or one event “made us angry,” the whole universe was the reason that anger arose.


Look for the reason that an event occurs. It can be an external event like getting your mail, or going shopping, or an internal event such as a mood, thought, or attitude. See if you can trace back its origin.  When you think you have found a first “cause” look and see if that first cause was also conditioned by other factors until you understand that all of history led to this event and all of life simultaneously led to its arising. Once this is realized, who are you going to blame for the negative attitude you carry or the car that swerves in front of you? 


Link to view on Vimeo:

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