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Thread: TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

  1. #1

    TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

    Hi,

    I have posted on the Leaf Blog a short description by Nishijima Roshi of the "Twelve-fold Chain of Dependent Origination", one of the Buddha's fundamental theories. Even folks who say "I am not that interested in Buddhist philosophy right now" should have some familiarity with it ... so please review the same even so. It is that important and basic to Buddhist Practice.

    Yes, this is HOMEWORK! 8)

    http://treeleafzen.blogspot.com/2008/08 ... ii_22.html

    The posting is part of our "Heart Sutra" series of "Sit-a-Longs", and while there is no talk today, I will talk about it on Sunday. We will also have our "Live" Saturday sitting tonight, from Midnight, Japan Time.

    Gassho, Jundo

  2. #2
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

    HOMEWORK!!!!!!!! :shock: :shock:
    WHAT?????? :cry:
    Where is that on the syllabus? :?
    (Grumble) When's it due? :evil: (Because I want to wait to the last minute).

    I get that so much, it's fun to say it for once.

  3. #3

    Re: TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

    I'll take a look at it Chief.

    W

  4. #4

    Re: TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

    I can do the homework...but how many points will i be docked if i miss the class on Sunday (which is likely)? ops: ann

  5. #5

    Re: TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

    hi... below is also a link to a doctoral thesis by Ven. Thich Chen-Thien titled The Concept of Personality Revealed Through The Pancanikaya, and the CONTENT page.

    I found it very readeable and interesting, although don't know if it would fit in to Jundo's list of recommendations. I hope you enjoy it...
    Gautami

    http://www.budsas.org/ebud/personality/person-00.htm

    BuddhaSasana Home Page
    English Section

  6. #6

    Re: TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

    I'm still network challenged but i will take a look tomorrow night.
    Been a while since I've have been assigned homework, and even longer since I've agreed to complete it ops:

    Gassho
    Dirk

  7. #7

    Re: TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

    Hi everybody,

    A loop of thread going through the eye of a single needle. That seems familiar to me. This twelve-fold chain of dependent origination is a very precious teaching indeed, piercing the fabric of ignorance is the activity of Buddhas who happened in this very moment to be just all of you and every single one of you!
    In a way, I don t look at brushing my teeth or taking my morning train as painful homework, but just as life itself. As a school teacher I know how much homework is a source of great irritation, anxiety...And that is precisely it, how irritated and upset we sometimes get (i get so pissed too...) My own resistance to what is is a precious teaching. Looking at, looking through and then turning backwards/ noticing, stripping down and reflecting seems to be the wonderful invitation of our path, wonderful but not easy.

    gassho

    Taigu

  8. #8

    Re: TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

    Hello Taigu... as a teacher you might be specially interested in exploring the chain of dependednt origination as applyed to education... see the link below. Again, I don't know if it fits Jundo's requirements, but I found it very interesting and readeable.

    http://www.budsas.org/ebud/personality/person-00.htm

    Would like to know what you think...
    Gassho
    Gautami

  9. #9

    Re: TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

    Thanks Gautami, I will try to digest it the next few days.
    Take care

    Taigu

  10. #10

    Re: TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

    Hi Jundo and others,

    Nishijima Roshi talks about the second link, karma, in terms of undirected volitional action. I was wondering if, in the "karmic rebirth" process (whether taken literally or figuratively), this second link is also where past karma comes into play? That would seem to fit, since consciousness is the next link in the chain. In more modern terms, this would be like saying circumstances and conditions are prior to consciousness, which seems about right to me (though existentialists would differ). For example, I was born into the suburban middle class in the United States in the late 21st century, with all the benefits and perils involved.

    If #2 is not connected with past karma, I have some trouble with the sequencing in the chain -- it seems a bit counterintuitive.

    Thoughts, guidance? Thanks much.

    Gassho,
    Rob

    "Gudo: The ‘Twelve Causes’ are (1) chaos (sk: avida), (2) action (karma), (3) consciousness (vijnana), (4) the external world (nama-rupa), (5) the six sense organs (shadayatana), (6) contact (spasha), (7) sensation (vedana), (8) desire (trishna), (9) grasping (upadana), (10) possession (bhava), (11) birth (jeti), and (12) sickness, old age and death (jana-marana)."

  11. #11

    Re: TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

    Hi Robert

    my own personal take on this re;

    karma, in terms of undirected volitional action.
    is that this means undertaking an action without being mindful/thoughtful of the possible effect - rather than it being about past lives etc etc. Personally, I am agnostic on the more traditional definition of karma.

    Kindest regards

    Jools

  12. #12

    Re: TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

    Hi Jools,

    Good to meet you I'm also agnostic, so my question wasn't meant to endorse a traditional view. Just curious about it... i.e, in the traditional view, would this be where past karma enters and begins shaping a new/not new consciousness?

    On another note, is the 12-fold chain seen as something that recurs continually during our lives, on a day-to-day ,or moment-to-moment basis, as well as defining the overall course of a life? And if so, how might this work -- what would be a concrete example of the process in operation?

    Gassho,
    Rob

  13. #13

    Re: TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

    Quote Originally Posted by robert
    Hi Jundo and others,

    Nishijima Roshi talks about the second link, karma, in terms of undirected volitional action. I was wondering if, in the "karmic rebirth" process (whether taken literally or figuratively), this second link is also where past karma comes into play? That would seem to fit, since consciousness is the next link in the chain. In more modern terms, this would be like saying circumstances and conditions are prior to consciousness, which seems about right to me (though existentialists would differ). For example, I was born into the suburban middle class in the United States in the late 21st century, with all the benefits and perils involved.

    If #2 is not connected with past karma, I have some trouble with the sequencing in the chain -- it seems a bit counterintuitive.
    "
    Hi,

    I just presented a second talk on the "Twelve-fold Chain" for the "Sit-a-Long". Please see if that resolves some of the question.

    http://treeleafzen.blogspot.com/2008/08 ... xviii.html

    I would drop (for purposes of understanding "dependent co-origination") ideas of "past" "future" "before" "after" ... dropping chicken/egg ideas of what led to what. That is why it is called "dependent co-origination". Did your sense of "self" create the sense of "not-self" (a sense of the outside world separate and prior to your birth), or did the sense of "not-self" create the "self"? In fact, they need "each other" (although there is really no "other" to need or be needed).

    For another example, does a "mother" create a "baby", or does the idea of "baby" create a "mother" (for how can there be a mother until there is a baby? A female without a "baby" cannot be called a "mother", so the baby makes the mother. That is much how "you" thinking there is a "you" creates the world, not just the world creating "you"). See how that works? Does water flow "down river" from the top of the river to the mouth ... or do we need a "bottom" of the river in order to have a "top" (how can there be a "top" without a "bottom" or a "bottom" without a "top" ... thus they are dependent on each other for existence.

    That is one of the reasons that Master Dogen spoke of time, and cause/effect, flowing in all directions as Harry mentioned.

    Gassho, Jundo

  14. #14

    Re: TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

    Hi Harry and others,

    For those folks unfamiliar with his writings, Master Dogen had some very interesting perspectives on time. And I emphasize the word "perspectives", because he wrote of an infinite variety of ways of looking and experiencing time (and "no time") ... some seemingly contradictory, each true in its own way.

    I gave a couple of talks on this when we were covering the Genjo Koan a few weeks ago, in the past (or was it?) ... Please have a look ...

    http://treeleafzen.blogspot.com/2008/03 ... -xxvi.html

    and

    http://treeleafzen.blogspot.com/2008/03 ... xxvii.html

    I also wrote this in the bookclub awhile back (which is just when it was, and was perfectly what it was in that moment) .. .

    As to Dogen's conception of Being-Time. I can give that to you in a nutshell. It helps to realize that Dogen was always proposing Reality from several perspectives at once, some seemingly contradictory (X exists, X does not exist), but just different vantage points, each true in its way:

    So, we usually think that time flows past to present to future, and that events over 'here' and 'now' are not events over 'there' and 'then'. Well, that is true in its way. But Dogen also pointed out that the past is just a memory of the mind (it was, after all, just the 'present' back then), and the future is just a dream of the mind (what future has there been yet?). In that way, 'past' and 'future' are just dreams. So, without there truly being a 'past' or 'future', what need have we even for the word 'present' (which only exists as a concept in contrast to what is -not- the present)? If we compare it a little to a 'river', it is a little like saying that there is no 'upstream' or 'downstream' or 'here' to the river, if we just see it all as a single 'just-the-river'.

    And because every place on the river is 'just the river', every drop of the river is 'just the river', everything happens SIMULTANEOUSLY! Both the top and bottom of the river are present simultaneously and are one. Because everything that is of the river is just the river, everything that happens 'here' happens 'here' 'there' and 'everywhere' too. (I don't like overly connecting modern physics to Dogen, but there are parallels: For example, we think of the 'Big Bang' as something that happened in the past, but in some mathematical models, it is happening right now and every time too. Furthermore, where in the universe is the 'Big Bang' not happening(?), because all came out of the Big Bang at once).

    Further, there is a past and future too (there is, and there is not). But the future flows into the present which flows into the past. It is a little like saying that, though a river flows from upstream to downstream, you cannot have downstream without upstream. Downstream also flows into the upstream. Modern physics has come intrigingly close to this by saying that all timelines actually can be seen as running in two directions (the dominoes falling down can also be seen as the dominos 'unfalling up').

    And every drop of the river flows into every other drop of the river, so that what happens to Drop X is the time and being of Drop Y. If you drink a cup of coffee, it is the whole universe drinking a cup of coffee. And if you are doing it here and now, the whole universe is here and now.

    Furthermore, everything in the universe had its own 'time'. (Again, by coincidence perhaps, EInstein stumbled upon a model something like this a few centuries later). My clock is not your clock.

    We also think of time as 'long' or short' ... but would a creature that lives its lifetime in a day or a creature with a lifetime of 10,000 years view time the same way as mankind? Are not 'long and short' subjective judgments of men, and is not 'time' just" time' (just what it is, not long or short)? And can we not say too that every moment is an eternity unto itself? .

    And, of course, time is not separate from being, and being is not separate from time ... In other words, all of the above is just YOU!

    And on and on it goes. It is just another way of seeing life and being as of one piece with all of space and time, with all Reality. It is just another way too of tossing a monkey wrench in our normal way of seeing events and who we are.

    Now, I am out of time ... so time to stop.

    Anyway, I have not even begun to scratch the surface. If you want to read Dogen original words in Uji, have a look here ...

    http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachings/ ... gs/Uji.htm

    And a scholar's paper here:

    http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-PHIL/dirck.htm

    Does that help?
    Gassho, Jundo

  15. #15

    Re: TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

    Hi Jundo,

    Thanks for the illuminating talk. I found the car analogy particularly helpful.

    Let me see if I['m following this -- "birth" here means birth of a notion of a separate self, rather than physical birth, right? And likewise, "death" is "awareness of death", not the physical disintegration of the body per se. These physical processes would happen regardless of whether we had minds, just as non-sentient substances can form and degrade.

    Also, I would imagine that practice doesn't cause us to jettison these notions, only to become liberated from them.

    On the right track here?

    Gassho,
    Rob

  16. #16

    Re: TWELVE-FOLD CHAIN OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

    Hi.

    I would "drop" all concept of future, past and so forth, its a too linear conception of time.

    I also come to think of Dr manhattan in "watchmen" and how he's driving people nuts with his conception of time...

    http://www.amazon.com/Watchmen-Alan-Moo ... 253&sr=8-1

    May the force be with you
    Tb

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