Posts Tagged ‘nutriment’

A Secular Understanding of Dependent Origination: #11 Birth

The birth of beings into the various orders of beings, their coming to birth, precipitation [in a womb], generation, manifestation of the aggregates, obtaining the bases for contact — this is called birth. With the arising of being there is the arising of birth. — MN 9 translated by Bhikkhus Nanamoli and Bodhi   On one…

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A Secular Understanding of Dependent Origination: #9 Clinging

There are these four kinds of clinging: clinging to sensual pleasures, clinging to views, clinging to rituals and observances, and clinging to a doctrine of self. — MN 9 translated by Bhikkhus Nanamoli and Bodhi   The word translated as “clinging” is “upadana” and it actually makes reference to fuel — another form of nutriment, or…

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A Secular Understanding of Dependent Arising: Table of Contents

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…

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A Secular Understanding of Dependent Origination: #7 Feeling

There are these six classes of feeling: feeling born of eye-contact, feeling born of ear-contact, feeling born of nose-contact, feeling born of tongue-contact, feeling born of body-contact, feeling born of mind-contact. — MN 9 translated by Bhikkhus Nanamoli and Bodhi   Still in the field of sense information, here we are being asked to look at…

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A Secular Understanding of Dependent Origination: #6 Contact

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…

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A Secular Understanding of Dependent Origination: #5 Use of the Six Senses

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…

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A Secular Understanding of Dependent Origination: #2 Sankhara

In the last post I offered a fairly plain description of what was meant by “ignorance” in the first link in the chain of dependent arising. It is ignorance of what dukkha is, how it comes about, that it can come to an end, and the way to do that. I said that dukkha is…

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A Secular Understanding of Dependent Origination: #1 Ignorance

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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Food and Fire in Dependent Origination

You wouldn’t know from the title of the sutta — “The Greater Discourse on the Destruction of Craving” — that this is one of the suttas that gives the most detail on dependent arising (aka dependent origination, interdependent co-arising, etc) but it is one in which the Buddha attempts to put across the concept that was the backbone of all his teachings. He describes it backwards (which is normal) and forwards (used almost as frequently). He covers arising, and he covers cessation (backwards and forwards). And then he describes it in terms of fire, in terms of nutriment, and in terms of one person’s life, as well as pointing out what we should and shouldn’t care about if we properly understand it (we would not, for example, have any reason to be wondering who we were in the past or who we will be in the future).(1)

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On "Nutriment" and Life As Process

One of the many little things I have discovered while studying the Pali texts over the last several years is that the people of the Buddha’s time were obsessed with food. You may laugh, if you like, but this is actually important. I hear all the time that, in interpreting these texts, we need to…

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