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Dependent Origination: Co-Dependent Arising

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2013-02-05
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Dependent Origination asks us to see the world from a vastly different perspective than our normal understanding. It exerts that fundamentally nothing exists independently, and everything is co-dependent upon everything else.  Most of us do not see the world in this configuration. Normally we think of ourselves and all other objects as having separate existences. Let us loosen our grasp on seeing life as separately existing and ease ourselves into the symphony at play. Notice that coincidences and chance occurrences are part of the wonderment of inseparability. Nothing is happening randomly by accident. 

Although even a philosophical understanding of this eases our individual burden, it is the realization of tis fact that dramatically effects our lives. When we see we are not separate from the world around us, we release the need for a personal and binding narrative, and the formless sacred comes into view.


Dependent Origination makes the startling claim that the world and the sense-of-self arise together moment after moment, each conditionally dependent upon the other. How do you understand this statement? Can you sense that as you invest meaning into the forms of the world, those very forms define you? When you desire something, are you not equally defined by the intensity of that desire?  You invested the desire into the object; you then chase after it as if the desire were intrinsic to the object itself, which makes the object seem separate from you. Investigate this co-dependent arising all week throughout your day.


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