Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

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Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:15 am

So we have the Noble Truths to work with, does DO add anything useful that we can apply in terms of our daily practice? And if so, what?

P
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Re: Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:20 am

Greetings Porpoise,

porpoise wrote:So we have the Noble Truths to work with, does DO add anything useful that we can apply in terms of our daily practice? And if so, what?

It shows us additional, more detailed ways, by which the structures of conditioned experience (i.e. this entire mass of suffering) can be observed and known. Understanding this helps eradicate craving and I-making at their roots.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

Postby Brizzy » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:50 am

porpoise wrote:So we have the Noble Truths to work with, does DO add anything useful that we can apply in terms of our daily practice? And if so, what?

P


Without DO, we would have no means to realise the four noble truths. DO explains our causally arisen world and by implication our way out.

:smile:
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Re: Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

Postby bodom » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:50 pm

An easy and helpful way to practice with DO in daily life is to simply notice our reactions to the senses meeting sense objects. Our we reacting with attraction or aversion to sense objects? Our we grasping on to pleasant sights, sounds, tastes, smells, tangibles or discursive thoughts? Are we rejecting unpleasant experiences? These reactions are dependently arisen. There is no need to recall past lives. You can practice with DO right now in this very moment.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

Postby OcTavO » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:39 pm

The way I understand it (and I could be wrong), Dependent Origination and the first two noble truths are practically inseparable. The second noble truth is that the cause of suffering is craving (tanha) caused by ignorance (avijja) of the true nature of things. Dependent Origination is that true nature of things, so essentially the whole purpose of practice is to understand Dependent Origination on a deep level.
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Re: Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:37 am

bodom wrote:An easy and helpful way to practice with DO in daily life is to simply notice our reactions to the senses meeting sense objects. Our we reacting with attraction or aversion to sense objects? Our we grasping on to pleasant sights, sounds, tastes, smells, tangibles or discursive thoughts? Are we rejecting unpleasant experiences? These reactions are dependently arisen. There is no need to recall past lives. You can practice with DO right now in this very moment.

:anjali:


Thanks, that's good advice. I've been doing this for some time as part of mindfulness and insight practice. Though for this approach the first 2 Noble Truths seem sufficient?

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Re: Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:40 am

OcTavO wrote:The way I understand it (and I could be wrong), Dependent Origination and the first two noble truths are practically inseparable.


That's the way I understand it too. My question is about what useful detail DO adds to the first 2 Noble Truths in terms of daily practice. In practice it seems useful to have that additional detail in the contact - feeling - craving section of DO, but beyond that I'm not sure.

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Re: Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:43 am

Brizzy wrote:
porpoise wrote:So we have the Noble Truths to work with, does DO add anything useful that we can apply in terms of our daily practice? And if so, what?

P


Without DO, we would have no means to realise the four noble truths. DO explains our causally arisen world and by implication our way out.

:smile:


Thanks. Could you elaborate on why DO is necessary to see the "truth" of the Noble Truths?

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Re: Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

Postby Kenshou » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:26 pm

Dependent origination is what it's all about, really. The first noble truth simply sets the context by stating that "there is dukkha". We're all familiar with this fact. The 2nd and 3rd truths are about the origin and cessation of suffering. It's here where we start talking about dependent origination.

When we see how dukkha originates, we also see how it might be ended. This right here is the entire point of dependent origination. The gist of it boils down to that everything in this world of ours is unreliable, subject to change, and so clinging to these things will inevitably end in suffering of some degree. When we do not cling to anything being any particular way, suffering will not arise. When absolutely everything is let go and no clinging remains, there is the end of all suffering, nirvana. Dependent upon conditions we suffer, when these conditions are no longer present, suffering will not arise.
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Re: Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:22 am

Kenshou wrote:Dependent upon conditions we suffer, when these conditions are no longer present, suffering will not arise.


I can see that it's all about conditionality, but isn't that conditionality already clear from the way the Noble Truths are expressed?

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Re: Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

Postby beeblebrox » Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:38 pm

porpoise wrote:I can see that it's all about conditionality, but isn't that conditionality already clear from the way the Noble Truths are expressed?


Not necessarily... I think that the only things which are evident from the Noble Truths is that craving is a (the?) cause for the suffering, and that the birth, etc. are suffering. The rest of the details are missing... which I think makes up an important part the Right View (mentioned in the 4th Truth).

Just for information, the DO goes like this =

Birth is condition for the Aging and Death. Existence is a condition for Birth. Clinging is a condition for Existence. Craving is condition for Clinging. Feeling is a condition for Craving. Contact is a condition for Feeling. Six Sense Bases are conditions for Contact. Name-and-Form is a condition for this Six Sense Base. Consciousness is condition for Name-and-Form. Volitional Formations are conditions for Consciousness. Ignorance is condition for the Volitional Formations.

I think these are very useful to know (once you understand what the significance is), not at all apparent in the Four Noble Truths.
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Re: Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

Postby Kenshou » Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:33 pm

I am coming to think that DO is necessary for right view only insofar as it provides right view of the four noble truths, since if we have this, we know how to reach the cessation of dukkha, and that very thing is the entire point. DO as in the full twelve nidanas not being necessary, though it would be undeniably supportive.
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Re: Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

Postby dhamma follower » Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:08 pm

porpoise wrote:So we have the Noble Truths to work with, does DO add anything useful that we can apply in terms of our daily practice? And if so, what?

P


I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Kurus. Now, the Kurus have a town named Kammasadhamma. There Ven. Ananda approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "It's amazing, lord, it's astounding, how deep this dependent co-arising is, and how deep its appearance, and yet to me it seems as clear as clear can be."

[The Buddha:] "Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Deep is this dependent co-arising, and deep its appearance. It's because of not understanding and not penetrating this Dhamma that this generation is like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond transmigration, beyond the planes of deprivation, woe, and bad destinations.

and
"Ananda, when knowing — as they actually are — the origination, passing away, allure, drawbacks of — and escape from — these seven stations of consciousness and two spheres, a monk is released through lack of clinging, he is said to be a monk released through discernment.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

IMO, DO is the tool to understand anatta. With the practice of satipathana, its nature become more and more clear. In daily life, my understanding is that, apart from trying to be aware of the contact of six-sense doors with objects and the subsequent process, one simple application of DO is to pay attention to the cause of things we do, we feel ... In this way, eventually the "I" behind our actions or feelings will loose its [illusory] existence, only causes and effects giving rise to one another are on the scene.

For example: you are going by a pizza restaurant and suddenly feel strongly wanting to get in. If there's no sati at all, identification takes place and there you go. If mindfulness is there, there's understanding that "this is just wanting, not "I" wanting". If mindfulness is stronger, it might understand as well the cause(s) of this wanting: the memory of how good a pizza is, or a pleasant feeling associated with eating a pizza, or being in a pizza restaurant etc. In short, it's a clinging caused by moha at a past time consuming pizza. At this present moment, thanks to sati, clinging is not grasped at I, mine - there's not "I" wanting but just clinging of the past giving rise to desire at the present, so the cycle is broken. Now you have seen DO in two orders: the samsara one and the liberating one (in reverse order). The first is generated by moha, the second by panna.

Of course, the process can be much more complicated, as there are generally many causes involved, but the principle is the same.

For some, it might not be easy to see the root causes directly in this way. Then asking the question "why" to give a suggestion to the mind can be a help.

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Re: Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:03 pm

[quote="dhamma follower]
IMO, DO is the tool to understand anatta. With the practice of satipathana, its nature become more and more clear. In daily life, my understanding is that, apart from trying to be aware of the contact of six-sense doors with objects and the subsequent process, one simple application of DO is to pay attention to the cause of things we do, we feel ... In this way, eventually the "I" behind our actions or feelings will loose its [illusory] existence, only causes and effects giving rise to one another are on the scene.
[/quote]

That's a useful way of looking at it, and satipatthana practice definitely helps. My recent focus has been on developing awaress of desires, how they arise and how they cease and how they're often in conflict with each other.. :smile:

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Re: Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:45 pm

porpoise wrote:So we have the Noble Truths to work with, does DO add anything useful that we can apply in terms of our daily practice? And if so, what?

P




The four noble truths are just a condensed form of DO. When you work with them you work DO and visa vers



A practical way off looking at DO is to be mindful of sense contact and see how this leads to feeling, craving, clinging and birth and observe the dukkha at the end


Then one can see that abandoning craving in relation to what is felt will stop the arising of dukkha


metta
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Dependent origination - what use is it in daily practice?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:35 pm

Greetings,

Focusing back in on the "what use is it in daily practice?" aspect of this, I would recommend using this as a tool of analysis when it is identified that suffering is taking place. Using the dependent origination framework to understand your experience helps you gain insight into the causes of suffering, and cultivate disenchantment with regards to them. Yes, you can do the same with the 4NT, but as has been suggested above, the first two of the Noble Truths are an abbreviation of the full dependent origination sequence.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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