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Dependent Origination: Contact

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2013-06-18
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Think of the senses as six channels that are constantly flooding the brain with raw data while the brain attempts to coordinate this barrage of input into a meaningful presentation of events. The brain selects what data it will focus upon and leaves the rest out. When the particular sense data is allowed to make its way into consciousness, we call that, “contact,” which is the sixth link in Dependent Origination. After contact is made various formations of mind encircle the contacted sense impression with perception, recognition, and memory. Now the contact becomes connected to all the other data, and actions are taken in relationship to the definition the contact (now the focus of experience) is given. Is this significant or not, how does this fit within my worldview, and shall I approach or avoid? If there is unconscious contact, we will likely see unconscious action, and if there is conscious contact then the action will not come from the past conditioning of the mind but spontaneously from what is.


Contact is the first noticing of an experience. If there is little or no awareness of the contact, then the pleasant or unpleasant feelings that inevitably arise lead quickly to a series of psychic events that form a worldview (I am attracted to or do not like this situation). Because the worldview is not understood as mind created, a struggle ensues.   This week follow the contact and watch the unfolding of the mental events that follow. Allow yourself to know (simple awareness) the arising of contact, and any accompanying aversion or attraction. Do not struggle with what is occurring simply hold the intention to know what is occurring.


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