18 Jan
Posted in: Homework
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What Comes Through the Door

Christina Feldman says: “In classical presentations, the process of Dependent Origination is comprised of twelve links. It is important to understand that this in not a linear, progressive, or sequential presentation. It’s a process always in motion and not static at all. It’s also not deterministic. I don’t think that one link determines the arising of the next link. But rather that the presence of certain factors or certain of these links together provide the conditions in which the other links can manifest…It’s a bit like a snowstorm–the coming together of a certain temperature, a certain amount of precipitation, a certain amount of wind…co-creating a snow storm.”

That said, the next “link” in this chain of conditions is called salayatana, which translates as “the six sense bases” or “fields of sense experience.” In Buddhist terms, these six are the five physical senses (sight, sound, taste, touch and smell) plus the mental “sense” of mind, which includes thoughts, memories, images, ideas, etc. Metaphorically, these sense organs are considered “doors” through which sense impressions (sights, sounds, tastes….as well as thoughts and ideas) come into awareness. So just as the eye is the receptor for sight sensations, mind is the receptor for thought sensations.

Sense “bases” doesn’t have a lot of meaning for me. I like the idea of doors opening up to let sensations come into awareness, so for the homework assignment, I’m going with “sense doors.”

(image: Q-Cards by Zolo Inc.)

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