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Thread: Thanissaro Bhikkhu: A STUDY OF DEPENDENT CO-ARISING

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    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/a...fsuffering.pdf

    Dukkha—the experience of stress, pain, suffering—is not a simple thing. As the
    Buddha once observed, we respond to its complexity in two ways:
    ยง 1. “And what is the result of stress? There are some cases in which a
    person overcome with pain, his mind exhausted, grieves, mourns,
    laments, beats his breast, & becomes bewildered. Or one overcome with
    pain, his mind exhausted, comes to search outside, ‘Who knows a way or
    two to stop this pain?’ I tell you, monks, that stress results either in
    bewilderment or in search.” — AN 6:63

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    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    1) Ignorance: not seeing things in terms of the four noble truths of stress, its
    origination, its cessation, and the path to its cessation.

    2) Fabrication: the process of intentionally shaping states of body and mind.
    These processes are of three sorts:

    a) bodily fabrication: the in-and-out breath,
    b) verbal fabrication: directed thought and evaluation, and
    c) mental fabrication: feeling (feeling tones of pleasure, pain, or neither
    pleasure nor pain) and perception (the mental labels applied to the
    objects of the senses for the purpose of memory and recognition).

    3) Consciousness at the six sense media: the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and
    intellect.

    4) Name-and-form: mental and physical phenomena. Mental phenomena
    include:

    a) feeling,
    b) perception,
    c) intention,
    d) contact, and
    e) attention.

    Physical phenomena include the four great elements—the properties
    constituting the kinetic sense of the body—and any physical phenomenon derived
    from them:

    f) earth (solidity),
    g) water (liquidity),
    h) wind (energy and motion), and
    i) fire (warmth).

    5) The six internal sense media: the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and intellect.

    6) Contact at the six sense media. Contact happens when a sense organ meets
    with a sense object—for example, the eye meets with a form—conditioning an act
    of consciousness at that sense organ. The meeting of all three—the sense organ, the
    object, and the act of consciousness—counts as contact.

    7) Feeling based on contact at the six sense media.

    8 ) Craving for the objects of the six sense media. This craving can focus on any
    of the six sense media, and can take any of three forms:

    a) sensuality-craving (craving for sensual plans and resolves),
    b) becoming-craving (craving to assume an identity in a world of
    experience), and
    c) non-becoming-craving (craving for the end of an identity in a world of
    experience).

    9) Clinging—passion and delight—focused on the five aggregates of form,
    feeling, perception, fabrication, and consciousness. This clinging can take any of
    four forms:

    a) sensuality-clinging,
    b) view-clinging,
    c) habit-and-practice-clinging, and
    d) doctrine-of-self-clinging.

    10) Becoming on any of three levels:

    a) the level of sensuality,
    b) the level of form, and
    c) the level of formlessness.

    11) Birth: the actual assumption of an identity on any of these three levels.

    12) The aging-and-death of that identity, with its attendant sorrow, lamentation,
    pain, distress and despair.

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    Forums Member andyrobyn's Avatar
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    This is how it was and is with me ... how about you Element?

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    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    In each of these examples, assume (1) that you are operating in ignorance—i.e.,
    you are not thinking in terms of the four noble truths, and instead are looking at
    your situation in light of your personal narratives about the family situation and
    your own place in it.

    A. As you walk to the door of your parents’ house, thinking about the
    situation (2b—verbal fabrication), you pull up memories of things your uncle
    has done in the past (2c—mental fabrication). This provokes anger, causing
    your breathing to become labored and tight (2a—bodily fabrication). This
    makes you uncomfortable (2c—mental fabrication), and you are aware of
    how uncomfortable you feel (3—consciousness). Hormones are released
    into your bloodstream (4 f through 4i—Form). Without being fully aware that
    you are making a choice, you choose (4c—intention) to focus (4e—
    attention) on the perception (4b) of how trapped you feel in this situation.
    Your consciousness of this idea (5 and 6—mental contact) feels oppressive
    (7—feeling). You want to find a way out (8—craving). At this point, you can
    think of a number of roles you could play in the upcoming dinner (9d and
    10—clinging and becoming): You might refuse to speak with your uncle,
    you might try to be as unobtrusive as possible to get through the dinner
    without incident, or you might be more aggressive and confront your uncle
    about his behavior. You mentally take on one of these roles (11—birth), but
    unless you keep your imaginary role actively in mind, it falls away as soon as
    you think of it (12—aging-&-death). So you keep thinking about it, evaluating
    how your parents will react to it, how you will feel about it, and so on (2b—
    verbal fabrication). Although the stress of step (12) in this case is not great,
    the fact that your role has to be kept in mind and repeatedly evaluated is
    stressful, and you can go through many sequences of stress in this way in the
    course of a few moments.

    B. You have been walking to your parents’ house with the above
    thoughts in mind (2 through 4), already in a state of stress and unhappy
    anticipation. You knock on the door, and your uncle answers (5 and 6) with
    a drink in his hand. Regardless of what he says, you feel oppressed by his
    presence (7) and wish you were someplace else (8c). Your mother makes it
    obvious that she does not want a scene at the dinner, so you go through the
    evening playing the role of the dutiful child (9c, 10a, 11). Alternatively, you
    could decide that you must nevertheless confront your uncle (again, 9c, 10,
    and 11). Either way, you find the role hard to maintain and so you break out
    of the role at the end of the dinner (12). In this way, the entire evening counts
    as a sequence of stress.

    C. Instead of dropping the role you have taken on, you assume it for the
    rest of your life—for instance, as the passive, dutiful son or daughter; as the
    reformer who tries to cure your uncle of alcoholism; or as the avenger,
    seeking retributive justice for the many hardships you and your mother have
    had to endure. To maintain this role, you have to cling to views (9b) about
    how you should behave (9c) and the sort of person you are or should be
    (9d). You keep producing (10) and assuming (11) this identity until it
    becomes impossible to do so any further (12). In this way, a full sequence of
    dependent co-arising could cover an entire lifetime. If you continue craving
    to maintain this identity (8b) even as you die, it will lead you to cling (9) to
    opportunities for rebirth (10 and 11) as they appear at the moment of death,
    and the full sequence of dependent co-arising could then cover more than
    one lifetime, leading to further suffering and stress on into the indefinite
    future.
    Last edited by Element; 13 Jun 11 at 11:15.

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    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyrobyn View Post
    This is how it was and is with me ... how about you Element?
    hi Andy

    this is the first time i have read Thanissaro address Dependent Origination in such a manner. i really liked it, especially the dinner party scenario. i really liked the way Thanissaro numbered the conditions of Dependent Origination and then used them in his example, such as 2c, 4a, etc. this is very skilful means and a very useful illustration for the reader's reflection. quite excellent

    does the reader think each allocation of each numbering was accurate?

    i thought this may make a good discussion thread

    regards

    Last edited by Element; 13 Jun 11 at 11:26.

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    Forums Member andyrobyn's Avatar
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    Agree, obviously

    Would love to have a discussion with practitioners from other traditions in relation to the way fabrication and name-&-form develops from our experiences.

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    Forums Member stuka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    hi Andy

    this is the first time i have read Thanissaro address Dependent Origination in such a manner. i really liked it, especially the dinner party scenario. i really liked the way Thanissaro numbered the conditions of Dependent Origination and then used them in his example, such as 2c, 4a, etc. this is very skilful means and a very useful illustration for the reader's reflection. quite excellent

    does the reader think each allocation of each numbering was accurate?

    i thought this may make a good discussion thread

    regards

    I was thinking that Thanissaro might have been onto something until the end when he went into the same old reincarnation hack.

    Too bad. Just can't let go of superstition....

  9. #9
    Forums Member stuka's Avatar
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    I think a review of the Buddha's teaching of the Six Sextets might lend some perspective to his teaching of paticcasamuppada:


    "Monks, I will teach you the Dhamma admirable in the beginning, admirable in the middle, admirable in the end; I will expound the holy life both in its particulars & in its essence, entirely complete, surpassingly pure — in other words, the six sextets. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

    "As you say, lord," the monks responded.

    The Blessed One said: "The six internal media should be known. The six external media should be known. The six classes of consciousness should be known. The six classes of contact should be known. The six classes of feeling should be known. The six classes of craving should be known.

    "'The six internal media should be known.' Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said? The eye-medium, the ear-medium, the nose-medium, the tongue-medium, the body-medium, the intellect-medium. 'The six internal media should be known.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said. This is the first sextet.

    "'The six external media should be known.' Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said? The form-medium, the sound-medium, the aroma-medium, the flavor-medium, the tactile sensation-medium, the idea-medium. 'The six external media should be known.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said. This is the second sextet.

    "'The six classes of consciousness should be known.' Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. Dependent on the ear & sounds there arises consciousness at the ear. Dependent on the nose & aromas there arises consciousness at the nose. Dependent on the tongue & flavors there arises consciousness at the tongue. Dependent on the body & tactile sensations there arises consciousness at the body. Dependent on the intellect & ideas there arises consciousness at the intellect. 'The six classes of consciousness should be known.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said. This is the third sextet.

    "'The six classes of contact should be known.' Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. The meeting of the three is contact. Dependent on the ear & sounds there arises consciousness at the ear. The meeting of the three is contact. Dependent on the nose & aromas there arises consciousness at the nose. The meeting of the three is contact. Dependent on the tongue & flavors there arises consciousness at the tongue. The meeting of the three is contact. Dependent on the body & tactile sensations there arises consciousness at the body. The meeting of the three is contact. Dependent on the intellect & ideas there arises consciousness at the intellect. The meeting of the three is contact. 'The six classes of contact should be known.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said. This is the fourth sextet.

    "'The six classes of feeling should be known.' Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition there is feeling. Dependent on the ear & sounds there arises consciousness at the ear. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition there is feeling. Dependent on the nose & aromas there arises consciousness at the nose. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition there is feeling. Dependent on the tongue & flavors there arises consciousness at the tongue. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition there is feeling. Dependent on the body & tactile sensations there arises consciousness at the body. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition there is feeling. Dependent on the intellect & ideas there arises consciousness at the intellect. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition there is feeling. 'The six classes of feeling should be known.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said. This is the fifth sextet.

    "'The six classes of craving should be known.' Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition there is feeling. With feeling as a requisite condition there is craving. Dependent on the ear & sounds there arises consciousness at the ear. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition there is feeling. With feeling as a requisite condition there is craving. Dependent on the nose & aromas there arises consciousness at the nose. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition there is feeling. With feeling as a requisite condition there is craving. Dependent on the tongue & flavors there arises consciousness at the tongue. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition there is feeling. With feeling as a requisite condition there is craving. Dependent on the body & tactile sensations there arises consciousness at the body. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition there is feeling. With feeling as a requisite condition there is craving. Dependent on the intellect & ideas there arises consciousness at the intellect. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition there is feeling. With feeling as a requisite condition there is craving. 'The six classes of craving should be known.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said. This is the sixth sextet.

    --MN 148 Chachakka Sutta: The Six Sextets

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