Hey fellow buddhists.
This week I have found out something which matches up with dependent origination so much that I feel that it is too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence. Feedback would be good (I don't really know anyone who practices vipassana to direct me on this).
OK - so I don't really know where all the words before "contact" tie up but have made some educated guesses also I don't know about the conciousness/karma formations bit. I'll explain through what I have done to see this and what I see.
I usually meditate with a mixture of sammatha and vipassana - I keep my mind centred in a ball of nimmita(s) whist simulatenously picking up sensation etc. with periphery awareness.
OK - I'll explain what happens as I go from my deepest points to letting my mind do what it normally does gradually and tie this up with dependent origination.
So - at the deepest point (in concentration - not on an object - on a point in space), I let sati work over my body. As the sati picks up sensation (which I don't actually really feel when I'm deep in concentration), it creates a link between the sensation and it's nimmita. A little picture (I'm thinking that maybe this is karma formations but don't know - In fact - when deeper still the picture is clear and doesn't move to the target - it just flashs up. The thing which moves the target is a combo of pictures. With negative sensations the picture is scary, with positive the picture is pretty. Actually - when I'm deeper still these pictures will glow) will flash past up for a split-sencond and I will comprehend it's destination.
Now - it's when I allow my mind to gradually start doing what it normally does that I gradually experience what I think is dependent origination.
i) A stream of nimmita will gradually (if I'm deeper in concentration - because concentration slows it down (otherwise (I see this when I'm not meditating as well) it's very fast) move towards the target destination (I've made an educated guess that the stream is "six sense bases").
ii) Nimmita stream reaches destination (i.e. a sense). This is "contact".
iii) Sense is felt. This is "feeling".
iv) I can't actually "see" the craving - but the more positive the sensation the more "keen" my awareness is for the next thing to happen.
v) Awareness integrates with the nimmita stream. This is "clinging".
vi) Awareness is shot along the nimmita steam towards the sense. This is "becoming".
vii) A wall comes up between me and the sense - my ego is born (I'm on one side - reality on the other). This is "birth".
viii) Unless I go into immediate sammatha meditation on the thing that I'm looking at just after "birth" the wall will very quickly increase in width (due to negativity) - pushing me back into spritual darkness. This is "death despair etc.".
And the cycle continues - round and round and round.
Now the buddha does also talk of the other type of rebirth. But in dependent origination he's not. Now - whenever I read a web-page on dependent origination they always say that birth and death is the other type of rebirth.
So I looked at the buddhas description in the sutta. At first I thought "oh no - I've got it wrong - he's clearly describing the "normal" rebirth - but I can't be wrong - this just ties up so well".
Then I read the description closer - If you read it carefully he's definitely talking about the rebirth I'm experiencing (this guy loves to use analogies):
"And what is birth? Whatever birth, taking birth, descent, coming-to-be, coming-forth, appearance of aggregates, & acquisition of [sense] media of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth.
"Now what is aging and death? Whatever aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging. Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called death.
The total proof that he means this is that he says the death is an INTERRUPTION in the life faculty and not a TERMINATION of the life faculty. Also - appearance/disappearance of aggregrates is probably the best sum up of what I see.
He uses words like "graying" and "wrinkling" to describe old age which is what tricks you - but this is exactly what going into spiritual darkness feels like - a graying and wrinkling of the "spirit".
Yeah - so feedback would be great - cheers.
Hope this helps people as well - as soon as a starting looking into suffering by analysing the movements of the nimmita ball (which is the same thing as movements of consciousness) whilst doing sati on sensation (knowing which were positive and which were negative) I found this (well - took me a few days to get to the picture level). And you don't even need nimmita to see it - I only have to sati on the movements of my conciousness and sensation simultaneously (although I can't really see anything deeper than "becoming" without nimmita).
Peace and Love,