16 Jan
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Flavor of Mind

More on the DPP homework topic of Dependent Origination

Consciousness (vinnana) is the third link in the chain of Dependent Origination. Christina Feldman says that consciousness “describes the basic climate of the mind at any particular moment–the way the mind is actually shaped, flavored, at any moment…whether it’s aversive or dull or greedy.”

She goes on to say that consciousness also begins to shape how we see the world. As a faculty, consciousness is flavored, so the same object will appear differently to different people, depending on each person’s consciousness and the sankharas (habit patterns) that are present. AND, because everything is interconnected, consciousness is also shaping what is around us. For example, people respond to us differently when we’re angry than when we’re afraid or welcoming or giddy or sad.

“Consciousness” is the usual translation for vinnana. But I find it helpful to think of mind as being shaped with a kind of “flavor,” depending on circumstances….so for the homework assignment, I’m translating vinnana as “flavor of mind.”


(image: Steampunk Tarot by Curly Cue Design)


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