Dependant Origination and Your Meditation Practice

Jan 31, 2021
The following is a lightly edited transcript from Master Your Becoming.

Sensation is depicted as a dude with an arrow in his eye.

From our mindfulness 'Awareness' workshop, in the second foundation, sensation, there are three types of sensation: pleasant, unpleasant and neutral. The unpleasant, the pleasant and the neutral fit in this link.

What's the first link? Delusion.

Delusion conditions imprints.

Imprints condition consciousness.

Consciousness conditions mind and body.

The mind and body condition the six sense bases.

The six sense bases condition contact.

Contact conditions sensations.

Sensations condition urge.

On the basis of pleasure, you have an urge. On the basis of pain, you have an urge. On the basis of neither pain nor pleasure, you have an urge. This is where where our meditation workshop is a microcosm, right here on this link. All of your meditative exercises, training your mind to have stability and vividness in order to observe with clarity these subtle urges and resist them is all about this link, urge.

Mostly this link is called clinging. I hate clinging. I'll tell you why. Urge is not technically a good translation but I'm putting it forth and this is the justification to me. Clinging is about grasping towards the pleasant but does clinging, in your mind, fit well for not wanting something to happen? If I put the word urge there, can you have an urge in either direction? You can have the urge to itch because it's unpleasant. And when you get bored and you're in you're in the bank and there's not a lot of stimulation, you have the urge to reach for your iPhone. That's an urge. That's why I put urge there.

We are still in the present, links 3 through 10 are all the present. But then there is a subdivision between the results of the past and the causes for the future. Do you want that? That line is demarcated between urge and action. Consciousness, mind body, six sense bases, contact, sensation and urge are all conditioned by the past. They are all the results. There's nothing you can do about them.

Did you have any control in your meditation for what thought came up? The conditions were absolutely right and you sat down for your meditation. You were at Rocky's retreat up in Canada in the beautiful spring and the birds are chirping and the butterflies are out and your cushion is the latest eco-friendly thing. You've paid your ticket and you sit down and it's a disaster. Did you have any control over meditation being a disaster? No. You can't sit down and say I'm going to have a good meditation.

I remember this very keenly when I was doing Bikram yoga which is an hour and a half in a hot room. You've got to have lots of liquid. You have to watch your diet. You have to get plenty of rest and I would do all the conditions and I would get into the Bikram room and I would be a beached whale within two minutes on the floor. It didn't matter. No control. This is the result of the past. All conditions can be go. All conditions can be right and you can have a subjective sense of agony. That is the six sense bases.

Contact comes next, then sensation, then urge. Those are all in the present but they are all part of the ripening effect. You put a seed in the ground and then the seed pops up. Do you have any control over the seed breaching the earth? No. It's going to come when it's going to come.

From the course Master Your Becoming.


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