Reviewing Dependent Origination

This talk provides a view of a core Buddhist concept that describes how karma is formed that differs from the traditional Theravaden understanding–instead of the terminology of Dependent Origination, a case is made for an alternative rendering, Contingent Provisional Emergence, which includes more contemporary concepts and research regarding the formative drives that create our personality structures.  This view complements comments from the previous meeting of August 17, 2022 regarding the Five Aggregates of Clinging, part of the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Understanding Contingent Provisional Emergence

Next week’s talk will begin a review of the Seven Awakening Factors, qualities of attention that significantly develop liberation from distress and confusion in the mind, leading to a transformative understanding regarding our self-state organizations.

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Reviewing Contingent Provisional Emergence

This talk provides a thorough review of the core Buddhist concept Paticca Samuppada, typically translated as Dependent Origination.  A different rendering of the concept is provided, including reference to a contemporary concept, complexity theory which led to the term Contingent Provisional Emergence.  The Theravadin tradition describes 12 elements to the concept and each is reviewed, with emphasis on the nonlinear aspects of how the moment-by-moment process of self organization operates.

This talk can be accompanied by: “Guided Investigating Feelings Meditation”, found in the archives, to reinforce the importance of mindfulness of feelings to realize the potential of the paticca samuppada concept.

Here are the extensive notes prepared for this talk; it is recommended to download and read them to more thoroughly understand the concept:  Contingent Provisional Emergence Review

 

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Guided Investigation of Feelings Meditation

This meditation is intended to focus attention on the impermanence of feelings, either related to physical sensations or mental phenomena.  Cultivating skillfulness in this practice facilitates the ability to realize the benefits suggested in the concept of paticca samuppada, typically translated as dependent origination, but also to be understood as contingent provisional emergence, the focus of the Dharma talk presented the same evening “Reviewing Contingent Provisional Emergence”, which is a thorough review of paticca samuppada from a contemporary perception informed by complexity theory and neuroscientific research.

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How Feeling Drives The Self

This is the second of two talks about the importance of the practice of mindfulness of feelings.  During this talk, Peter reviewed paticca samuppada, usually translated as dependent origination.  A new rendering of the term was explained, that is, contingent provisional emergence, with clarification of the non-linear, mutually influential functions that affect how the mind overlays a provisional interpretation of raw sense data input, thereby creating a “selfing moment”.  In this creative process, attention becomes fixated on a particular feeling and perception, creating the craving and clinging dynamic that is the driving force of our distresses about life.  Mindfulness of feelings as feelings allows the skilled meditator to avoid “personalizing” the emerging self-organization, providing relief from craving and clinging.

Third Night: How The Self Is Formed, Deformed And Reformed

During this rather extensive Dhamma talk, Peter reviewed the concept of paticca sammupada, usually translated as dependent origination.  He explained why he prefers to name the process “contingent provisional emergence”.  This concept is key to the Buddhist understanding of karma, the law of cause and effect.  The formation of a momentary self-state, it’s fulfillment as a moment of “selfing” in awareness, then the dissolution of that composite of conditioning factors was described in depth.  Emphasis was placed on how important mindfulness of sense inputs is for the practice, and the critical emphasis placed on understanding the emerging self-state as provisional and the value of dispensing with unwholesome states as soon as possible.  This furthers the process of personality integration,  which is followed by nurturing wholesome states to fruition.  The concepts of craving and clinging were described, with tanha, unquenchable thirst for craving and upadana, fuel or nutriment, for clinging.  Peter described the “glue” of craving and clinging as raga, passion, heat or fire.  The antidote for raga is viraga, dispassion, or the absence of fueling the fire.  This was followed by a lively discussion of this process and it’s implications for alleviating distress.

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