14 Jan
Posted in: Homework
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Not Knowing

The main topic of the DPP homework for this month is Dependent Origination (paticca samuppada), which is the Buddha’s unique teaching that describes how, out of ignorance, we continue to get caught in suffering over and over again.

Let me just say that this is not a simple, intuitive teaching. Which is why we have already spent a great deal of time working on it. This month, part of our homework is to look at the 12 links that make up the chain of Dependent Origination, to consider the various translations of the Pali terms for these links, and then to create a personal list that works for us. (And to find images that represent each of these terms.)

The 12 links are:

Avijja…ignorance, blindness, unconsciousness
Sankhara…karma-formations, patterns and programs, volitional formations
Vinnana….consciousness, cognition, knowing
Nama/Rupa….name/form, mentality/materiality, mind/matter
Salayatana….six senses, sixfold sensory experience, realm of the senses
Phassa…contact, sensory impingement, touch
Vedana….feeling, sensations, sense experience
Tanha…craving, emotional urge, hunger/thirst
Upadana….grasping, clinging, attachment
Bhava….becoming, being
Jaramarana…aging and dying, old age and death, grief, sorrow, suffering, lamentation and despair

Today, I’m working on avijja. I think I’m going with “not knowing as my personal translation.

(image: this illustration is from a tarot deck I’ve had in my collection for years….but I’ve lost the box, so I’m in a state of not-knowing as to the source) 


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