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Dependent Origination: Feelings and Personalities

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2013-07-09
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



We are now entering the feeding frenzy of Dependent Origination. Once contact is made, the following links condition the manifestation of the sense of someone very quickly. This someone is the one who is perceived as receiving the sense data. How did this someone get there? He or she was not present prior to the contact, now suddenly, like a magician’s trick he or she appears. If we slow the process we see a very important link at the heart of this formation, and that is feelings. Feelings are the pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral tastes that the contact conveys. These tastes awaken the conditioned sleeping giant of ourselves, and we come out hungry. As the feeding moves from a taste to wanting more, the volume of our noise increases considerably. The lines of definition are starting to form as the person builds itself upon all the similar tastes stored in memory. I first the person starts out simply hungry (desiring) but within the right conditions that hunger grows in magnitude to become ravishing (grasping).


Buddhist commentaries speak of three types of personalities: greedy, aversive or deluded. These are based on a predisposition toward one of the three feelings tones (pleasant, unpleasant, neutral). Your sense of self can form around the preponderance of one of these feeling. Discover which personality type best represents you and watch your responses to the associated feeling. Notice how you are prepared to accept, reject, or not notice new situations, events, people, or places. Attempt to counteract your conditioning by focusing on the feeling prior to the action/reaction. Gently hold the feeling but do not fall prey to its power. See if you can alter your conditioned response to circumstances.


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