Americans seem to use “dependent origination” as the most common translation of paticca samuppada, but I don’t think we’re talking about “origination” so much as about what is arising, so I prefer “dependent arising”. (For the sake of search engines, I used “dependent origination” in the title of each blogpost, but a rose by any [...]
Up to this point what has been covered in the first five steps is an overview of the problematic situation as it’s given to us.The model for what’s going on in these first five steps is a well-known origin myth that gets referred to in various different places in the suttas: the story of the [...]
When Sariputta describes step #5 (from MN 9, as translated by Bhikkhus Nanamoli and Bodhi), we are clearly in the field: There are these six bases: the eye-base, the ear-base, the nose-base, the tongue-base, the body-base, the mind-base…. This tells us nothing about how it relates to the process of dependent origination, it only tells [...]
It is with this link in the chain that this secular understanding of dependent arising finds a deeper insight into the processes through which we create anatta, deeper insight than offered by the confusion of the traditional views of what’s going on. The Pali word for this step is namarupa — nama shares a root [...]
We come into the world ignorant of the things we do that end up causing dukkha in our lives, and in particular ignorant of the drive for existence of our sense-of-self: that’s step #1: ignorance, and step #2: sankhara. Sankhara is simultaneously that natural tendency to develop and protect our sense-of-self taken to extremes, and [...]
Perhaps Gotama’s most famous discourse among Westerners is the one we call the Fire Sermon. It is included in most anthologies of “the Buddha’s sayings”; in that quintessential summary of Consensus Buddhism, the PBS documentary The Buddha, it’s one of the few discourses quoted at any length. On the show, professor of Asian cultures D. Max Moerman explicates it this way:
One of the many things I like about the company I’m currently working for is that our CEO uses the following words repeatedly in his All Hands meetings: Mindful, Awareness, Compassion. He speaks of communicating with each other through compassion, being mindful to the needs of others, and staying aware of our cultural needs within the company, and the greater community outside of the company. All of this is spoken without mention of Buddha or Buddhism, and is completely secular.