This post is the first in a series of twelve on dependent arising (the translation of paticca samuppada that I prefer over dependent origination, or co-dependent arising, or interdependent origination or any of the other variations). I plan to take each link in the classic chain of twelve and explain — in the plainest language…

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If you’ve been following along each week, first with impermanence, then with mindfulness and concentration, and then with body and feelings, and lastly with mental formations, you may have caught on to the repeated question, “Is this thought, feeling, body sensation, emotional reaction a solid, unchanging self?”

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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.

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The Suffering of Self In contemporaty terms, the self is dukkha (suffering) is because it is a psycho-social construct that can never feel secure. It is haunted by a sense of lack that we usually misunderstand.

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I was never comfortable with the wording in the Eightfold Path. The word Right xx always felt like it implied following of dogma rather than an action packed plan. Because Buddhism relies so heavily on practice and observation, I felt each part of the path was better reworded for me with verbs, and action statements.…

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