The 12 links of dependent arising

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From December 17 to 25, 2006, at Sravasti Abbey, Geshe Jampa Tegchok taught on A Precious Garland of Advice to a King by Nagarjuna. Venerable Thubten Chodron complemented these teachings by giving commentary and background.


  • The “aspect I” and “referent I” and how they appear to the wisdom realizing emptiness directly and to ordinary beings
  • The analogy of a reflection in a mirror
    • False appearance and how it does not harm appearance or function
    • Conventional existence
    • Another meditation on emptiness of the person
  • The continuum of a person
    • A specific “I” for each lifetime
    • A general “I” over many lifetimes that are related through karma
  • Brief overview of the 12 links of dependent arising
  • Looking at the 12 links over several lifetimes

Verse 37

  • How to cut the 12 links
    • Best places to cut are at feeling and craving or at death
    • Stopping the craving and grasping
    • Seeing all as emptiness
  • Refuting inherent existence—other texts that are referred to are
    • The Diamond Slivers
    • The Fundamental Wisdom by Nagarjuna
  • The production of things
    • From self
    • From inherently existent others
    • From a combination of self and others
    • Or without causes (nihilists) there’s no inherent production from any of these
  • Questions and answers
    • Is the person who is a collection of aggregates a conventional existence?
    • About rebirth, there are different Buddhist traditions: in Theravadan Buddhism, you are trying for liberation for yourself—but aren’t you also caring for the person in the next life of your mind continuum?
    • To ordinary beings, we see and fear danger—is that from the “I” being in danger?
    • The self-grasping “I” is to be negated in emptiness meditation, how does that relate to the “I” in tonglen meditation?
    • What is the moment of consciousness when the seed ripens?

Precious Garland 08 (download)

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