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Dependent Origination: Review

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2013-12-17
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



If we review where the exploration of Dependent Origination has brought us this year, we will notice four perceptional shifts that D.O. has encouraged. The first is that through D.O. we perceive there are an infinite number of influences on every event and that existence itself arises from multiple factors, and therefore there is no separate existences. Everything is tied together through the web of relationship. But D.O. moves it even further by its second perceptual shift in which it shows how the web of somethingness was generated by the mind from nothing. Out of nothing, form arises and becomes the world of connected relationships with “me” arising within it.  The “how did that happen,” is explained by D.O., as the links build upon themselves to reveal a world of appearances that have no inherent substance. The third perceptual change from D.O. is a variation of the second in which the world arises directly from “my” projections. In essence the world does not have a fundamental existence of its own.  It is dependent upon “me” and what I know, for it to be. The fourth shift is the acknowledgment of struggle that is inherent in the arising of form from formlessness. We are birthed from that struggle and ultimately must grow old and die because of it.


Review the links in Dependent Origination and pick a link you would like to explore in more detail. From that link watch how all the other links form around it. For instance take the link, name and form, and establish how the world and myself arise from our name placed upon a form we call “me and my body.” What had to be in place for the assumption of body to land as true? What was the body before I called it the body? What was I before I gave myself my history? My name becomes associated with a history and “I” gain more and more traction. Ground yourself in stillness and see my name and my form arising out of stillness. Let the name die in silence before it establishes the form. If you follow this far enough you can completely dissolve the entire sequence of links through complete awareness of this single link.


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